Tuesday, June 15, 2010

when boys fight

Our two youngest boys, Thomas (6) and Andy (3), love to compete. They size each other up like belligerent roosters who want to crow from the same mound of dirt in the farmyard.

"I'm the fastest!"
"No, I'm the fastest!"
"It's mine!"
"No, it's mine!"
"I had it first!"
"No, I had it first!"
"I won the race!"
"No, I won!"
"I'm the biggest!"
"No, I am!"
"No, I am!"
"No, I am!"

You get the idea.

So I taught Thomas about a new Bible verse -

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Romans 12:10
- and we started a new competition: the kindness competition. It's a competition to see who can outdo the other in kindness.

Of course, it doesn't always work. After 10 determined minutes of being "the kindest" (which involved nothing more than an absence of meanness, as far as I could see, but maybe it took a lot of self-control) Thomas boasted, "I'm the winner of the kindness competition! I'm the winner! I'm the winner! I'm the winner!"

"Thomas", I said, "to win the kindness competition you have to not say things like that. Only say kind things. Sometimes kindness means shutting your mouth and keeping the words inside."

Thomas clapped his hands over his mouth and said, "Get back inside words! Get back inside! I'll smack you if you come out! Get back! Get back! Get back! Get back, words! Get back! ...".*

I sighed, and reminded myself that it's all in the service of learning self-control - and kindness.


* His words were reminiscent of Proverbs 13:3, now I come to think of it, so maybe it's not all bad! :)

6 comments:

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I LOVE this. I remember a pastor said once that this meant to 'out-honor each other.' I try to remember that when the inlaws are around. Haha. Ha. Ha.

Our memory verse for the week is Eph 5:1-2a:

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love.

Can you imagine why??

Deb L said...

My favourite is when the children fight over something completely imaginary. "My big blue monster with purple horns just ate your yellow unicorn!" "No it didn't. My unicorn ran away and your monster fell in a pile of mud." "MUMMY, Luke's being mean!!! He said my monster fell in the mud!!!" And on it goes and it's not even about something REAL!!! That does my head in. What an appropriate verse from Romans! I think we'll have to have that one up on the wall soon.

Jean said...

Hmm ... Missy ... I can think of lots of reasons why ... many happening at our house every day ... :)

Deb, I wish my kids would argue in such an imaginative way! (That's the first time I've ever expressed jealousy of another parent's kids fighting! :) ) That's priceless!

sandra j said...

Heh, reminds me of my parents' ingenious game they taught me & my siblings to play: The Quietness Game!
(i was the winner at a mighty 2 hours)

Valori said...

This is great! We have the imaginary thing, too -- and the stuffed animal world arguments like the other day on the way home from a trip to the beach. Mom, Bubba is saying that Pooh bear . . .

I like your verse, Jean. We will try and add that one to the memory verse list. I wasn't so biblical the other day in the Pooh bear argument. I just, "Just ignore him." How's that for godly parental counsel? :)

Jean said...

Good on you, San! 2 hours is pretty impressive!

Hi Valori! "Just ignore him" sounds like Proverbs-inspired wisdom to me. Something I say a lot!