When Andrew was 9 years old, he caught strep throat and couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Roughly from his birthday in April until the end of the school year, he was on the mend from recurring strep throat infections.
Around that time (and maybe some time before that) I couldn’t help but notice our children squabbled–often! So much so that Jake and I became convinced that something had to be done about it. I bought the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally, studied sibling rivalry with my church sisters, and with God’s help, Jake and I began implementing a plan to bring a greater level of harmony to our home.
This would make a great book! I thought. I’ll call it Andrew on the Mend. (OK, so I’m not that great with titles.)
From my calendars and journals, I began listing events in our children’s lives that would add to the story. We loved exploring the woods behind our house, and Andrew was into woodcarving. Both became a big part of the story.
Daddy on the Mend has a loose plot; I wanted this book to have a more complicated plot. In order to achieve that, I had to change or add some details or move the time frame of some incidents. For example, losing Andrew’s woodcarving at the library actually happened a year or so after the story takes place. Also, Grandma’s character is a combination of both of the children’s grandmas. My mom lives closer to us so she is able to babysit more often, and my mother-in-law is into natural remedies.
Tips on helping siblings get along.
•Help them see the need for harmonious sibling relationships. Study God’s word together, especially noting Jesus’ example of loving and serving others.
•Do a “d0-over.” When a sibling conflict has occurred, discuss what went wrong and how each person should have acted. Then re-do the scenario with loving actions and words.
•As parents, it’s important that we exemplify harmonious relationships.
•Pray for them and pray with them, asking for a willing heart to show the love of Jesus to their brothers and sisters.
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34