Applied Theology
by WordExplain

A Potpourri of Biblical and Practical Perspectives
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Parenting Q&A

by Christa Bartsch
Promoting Family Unity

February, 2008 

Q:  What ideas do you have for helping siblings enjoy, support, defend, and be kind to each other?

A:  Families come in all different sizes with all different personalities but I think there is one principle that applies to all situations and will help with disagreements and frustrations. 

1)  Children need to learn that we are all put in the families we’re in for a purpose.  God gave your children the parents and siblings He wanted them to have.  So when there is a squabble or frustration between our kids, here’s the speech I give them!  “We are all a family because God intended it that way.  Because of that, Dad and I will not allow any of you to run each other down or be disrespectful to each other verbally or physically.  God gave you siblings to practice how to treat others.  We are going to make sure you learn how to compromise, how to forgive each other and how to communicate in our family so you will know how to treat others in the world.”  This helps them see we won’t be sympathetic toward their complaints or whining but we will help them in problem-solving and learning compromise and forgiveness.  We want them to understand that we all (even in our marriages!) need to work daily on our relationships no matter how different the personalities are.

2)  On a more practical note, parents can do many things to promote unity in the family so the children see that fighting and yelling hurtful things at each other has no place in the home.  We have a fun thing we do in our family when we’re having a special family night or when we’re leaving to go somewhere special, one of us spontaneously says, “All for the Bartsches?” and we all put up our right hand and yell, “Hoy!”  Don’t ask me how that got started but it’s a bonding thing for us!  Also, we try to praise the kids often, thank them for being helpful, show appreciation for acts of service they might do, laugh at their jokes, tease them etc.  In general, make our home a safe, fun, edifying place to grow up in.  They can (and will) have disagreements and will get frustrated with each other but having a supportive, loving home that does NOT allow rudeness, fighting or favoritism helps them learn relationship skills with each other and ultimately those they will be in relationship with all through their lives.


by Christa Bartsch

February, 2008

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About the Author:  Christa Bartsch is a stay-at-home mom who lives in the rural Midwest.  She has led seminar workshops for women on marriage and parenting.  She has been happily married for fifteen years and is the mother of five children.  She also sings on the worship team at her church.

WordExplain by James T. Bartsch

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Used by Permission.)

Published January 11, 2008

Updated March 25, 2014

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