Since it’s the day of love, I have to talk a little today about helping siblings show love for each other.
Sometimes the heart comes before the actions, but sometimes the actions come first. In this case, you can act like you love someone even if you don’t always feel it. Being loving toward someone doesn’t require feeling loving toward them.
When I notice a bitterness growing between a couple of my kids, I will give them some assignments. I will tell them each to do something kind for the other, in secret. I give them some ideas if they need it, then they are to only tell me what they did. Don’t tell anyone else!
It’s a way of helping them think about what their sibling needs and what pleases him. To think about another person is a skill that we need to practice and this is a good way since it’s done in secret. Telling only you about the kindness gives you a chance to help them see where the gaps are in their acts of kindness. Is it really helping their sibling? Can they do more? Are they thinking of themselves? Did they successfully bless their sibling?
You should praise their efforts even if it was small, even if you are a bit disappointed in the lack of sacrifice. Then give them their next assignment. Maybe they need some guidance. But the bulk of the idea should be their own. Of course, they don’t know that their sibling is being given the same task.
Some ideas for secret acts of kindness:
1. make their bed
2. clear their place at the table
3. finish a chore for them
4. help with school work
5. share your dessert
6. let them have first choice on something
7. ask their advice
8. give a genuine compliment
9. offer to do something they like
10. let them have the best place to sit These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Encouraging this kind of love between siblings is a great way to build a godly, loving relationship!