I love how our kids “huggle” (our word for it) on each other and the way the big kids dote over their little sister.
The boys gladly put Athena, their 5 y.o. little sister, to bed (she likes someone to lay with her, preferably me), the older girls regularly help each other and their little brothers, all of them continually laugh together…I could go on and on. I can’t remember the last time there was any sort of major disagreement or upset.
Personally I attribute this to a few key factors:
- The daily love and admiration we have showered on them since birth
- One of us has almost always been home during their childhood
- Silent birth (words spoken and recorded by their “unconscious” minds would have had some command value over them later). All the kids have been alert, calm and extremely “present” since birth
- Homeschool has maintained this calm so they have the peace of mind with which to learn and get caught up
- Our entire approach has always been to treat them as “regular people” who are temporarily living in small bodies (vs children who should be “seen but not heard…”, talked down to or whatever)
These investments have “paid off” handsomely over time. They regularly love on us and each other and are extremely gracious to others with whom they come into contact.
Early on I realized that my job as a parent was to act as an imposition between my kids and the world because it can be a crazy-pants cauldron of psycho-nonsense.
Also that this is a temporary role. Eventually they have to confront it, for better and/or worse.
But initially we, as parents, have to afford them the space to recognize themselves–to become their own point of stability.
Once they have achieved that, they can sanely evaluate what the world serves up and hopefully in a way that helps them to continually improve their lives within it.