If the name-calling and fighting among your children has you fried, crack some eggs for your kids at breakfast--but not in the traditional sense. A friend of mine told me about this idea. She used it with her family, and I used it in mine. I think it's a great visual to dish out some teaching about the way we are to treat one another.
Lay out some newspapers, take out the eggs, and repeat the statements you've heard your children say to one another as you throw down an egg. They'll watch it crack in awe and wonder if Mom's cracked up, too.
Don't explain yet, just keep going. Did someone hit someone recently? Fire away with another egg. Any biting? Break another one. Pushing? Shoving? Name-calling? Egg away. (With the price of eggs rising, you may want to limit the number of wrongdoings you illustrate).
Once they eggs lie open and messy on the floor, you can begin to teach to this visual experiment. Explain that when the children call each other names (use the specific names they say), it's like cracking the egg of their relationship and that person's heart. It's messy. It's ugly. We can clean up the damage, but we can never put the egg back together again.
So it is with the things we do and say to each other. The relationship among siblings is like the egg. God created it whole, with a purpose to bless one another through help and encouragement. He did not design us to put cracks in our sibling relationships (or any relationships) daily. We are all created in the image of God. We are not to destroy one another with our words or deeds.
After the "eggs"periment, I read to the boys some verses out of the Bible that I wanted them to soak into their hearts. I used Romans 9:9-21, as I felt it was most pertinent to our situation right now. There are also many great verses on speech, which you could easily find by using the concordance at the back of your Bible.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves...Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse...Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud...Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 9:9-21).We cleaned up the eggs and will continue to work on cleaning up our behavior.
I'd love to hear if you serve up (or throw down!) some eggs this week. As a final caution, watch what you're wearing. The eggs do tend to splatter.
(linking up with Works for Me Wednesday).