You always take her side!Mom, he’s doing it again.She always get her way!Why does he always get to go first?
Remember when your kids were little and all you hoped for was ONE day without an attack of sibling rivalry?
The timing may have changed but not ALWAYS the conflict…
Unlike training bras and training bikes, sibling rivalry may not be something your kids grow out of.
Several years ago one of my daughters ceased talking to the rest of the family. It started with me. One of the other girls let me know that this child felt abandoned by me. True enough. She did FEEL that way. But the hurting child’s sister said it best, “You know, Mom, in this family you have to carry your own water. So I am not in it. You two work it out.” Within three months their relationship had disintegrated, also.
What is the CURE for sibling rivalry in adult children?
In our daughter Rachelle‘s bathroom there is a plaque that MIGHT give us hope for overcoming sibling rivalry:
THINK THE BEST and FORGIVE THE REST
We have to preach (and unfortunately that is the only verb that will work at times) mercy… not justice to our children.We cannot take up their offenses.We must teach them how to go to each other in love. Forgive in LOVE. THINK OF THE BEST OF EACH OTHER IN LOVE.
Recently a friend wept over two of her sons who were at odds with each other. After hearing the complaint that one young man made towards his older brother she had to ask him, “Is this going to be the thing that you allow to separate you and your brother forever?”
The brother shrugged, “Maybe.”
“If you can live with that, it is your choice to make. You are an adult.”
Although she didn’t agree with this decision, it was not her call to make.
Few other times can our adult children break our hearts as easily as when they are angry with one another.
Our job is to forgive and MODEL how they can forgive, even when they are hurt as well.
My pastor preaches often concerning mercy and being merciful to others.
He reminds our congregation that the ground at the foot of the cross is all level.
Even though it is much easier to see someone else’s fault than our own, we must OFTEN humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. We must FREELY forgive.
My daughter that sent word to me that she was hurt and felt abandoned returned to the fold after a personal transformation in her own life. Although we both had done equal shares in damaging that relationship I had to reach out FIRST. Our reunion was tearful, loving, cherished, a bit scary after seven years, and totally life-changing.
We SPEAK AND SHOUT AND ACT OUT forgiveness often as they are growing up … and since they are now adults we MIGHT feel that we are mumbling the same message.
The time for shouting and sermonizing is over. With adult children they need to see us suffer injustice with grace and mercy.