For the most part Madeline and James are pretty well behaved children. Madeline's teachers tell us she has excellent behavior at school. Her dance instructors and cheer coaches have said the same. James when he's home in the mornings with Stephen is sweet as can be. On the other hand when Madeline and James are together they can play so nicely or...they fight, they tease, they escalate their voices, they compete, they don't want to share or take turns, they make each other cry, they try to hurt one another. Sigh. Siblings right? My parents have told me my brother Tason and I were the same way. And that lasted for years!
So yesterday was a day full of warnings, time outs, punishment, and serious talks with Madeline. She loves to mimic and repeat what James says, but in a whiny voice in order to make him mad. We talked about love and charity towards her brother. So when I tucked her into bed last night, I encouraged her "better say your prayers tonight, and ask God to give you grace and guidance to behave better in her words and actions." When I walked out of her bedroom I stood in the hallway and listened.
Madeline whispers in bed,
"In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dear God, Please, please, please help me to be a better girl.
Please, please, please help me be good.
Just whisper it to my ears God.
Please, please, please, I want to obey my mommy always.
Please, please, please help me to be nice to my brother.
I love you God.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen."
Her prayer touched my heart. I had to blog about it so I would never forget. I could tell she was truly sorrowful for her words and actions that day and she knew she needed to turn them around, thus the necessity to say "please" many times in her prayer. I also loved how she asked for God's guidance by requesting He whisper it to her ears. She's discovering the conscience that God gave her. And I pray she will always listen to Him.
All you parents out there, any advice or suggestions on how to get your children to get along?