I am thrilled to be teaching parenting again. I am finishing up a year with parents of 3-year-olds attending Bethlehem Lutheran preschool in St. Cloud. Yesterday we talked about siblings and I was able to make use of a fantastic book on the topic that I used in my classes pre-retirement: Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. The ideas the authors set forth for diminishing rivalry and fights between siblings are excellent and very workable. They are presented in two easy to read formats: lists and cartoons. They used the same format in their earlier work: How to Talk so your Children Will Listen and Listen so Your Children Will Talk.
At one point, one mom said, “These ideas are great but how do you remember to use them in the heat of the moment when your kids are driving your crazy?” I told her and the group, “This is why it is so important to take care of yourself. If you are tired or overwhelmed, it is hard to be present, sane and loving to your children. Taking care of yourself is really an unselfish act. It is your gift to those who you love.”
This is a lesson I learned long after my children were growing up under our roof.