Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Of course the kids fight!

People ask me if my kids fight - probably because most of the time, I choose to post pictures of them while they are smiling, or helping one another. My typical response is "Yes, of course they do. But it's okay, it's normal for siblings to fight." And it is. I do not know of any siblings who did not fight when they were kids. My sis and I certainly fought a lot when we were young. As did everyone else I knew.

I think what is important for the kids, is to make sure that there is a resolution after each fight. We will make each party see where the other party is coming from, by explaining to them why their siblings reacted in a certain way. Teach them to place themselves in the other person's shoes. Make them recognise that in an argument, usually ALL parties are in the wrong, in one way or another. And make them hug and make up - and reiterate that it is okay to have different opinions. That having an alternative viewpoint doesn't mean that you do not love each other. So lastly, yes, emphasizing that even though they just quarreled, they still loved each other.
Of course siblings fight! Just make sure they make up :)
In getting the kids to empathise with each other, we will sometimes also ask the kids "Why is your brother/sister behaving this way?" This way, they would learn to put themselves in another person's shoes and think for themselves why another person will behave the way they did.

Increasingly though, we find that the kids often have good insight into each others thoughts and line of reasoning. Case in point, yesterday night, the twins were playing with Lego. Now, when my children play with Lego, they are more likely playing with the Lego mini-figures (creating their own dialogue between characters, their own unique storylines, role-playing etc), rather than use the Lego pieces to build a new structure. This is especially so for Asher. He excels at this sort of pretend-play. Thanks to him, my collection of action figures see quite a fair bit of play time as well.

Despite the peace-loving nature of Asher, he loves to play fighting games! That's his way of achieving balance, perhaps!

So, last night. Asher and Shawna were playing with the Lego figures, and suddenly Asher burst out crying...

Mummy me:"What's happening guys?"
Asher:"It's Shawna! She say her person cannot die! How can that be?! Everybody has a weakness, but she says her person doesn't have any weaknesses at all."

Shawna just looked at me and shrugged nonchalently, clutching her Lego person.

Asher:"She says she doesn't want to play dying. But how can someone not die?! Everyone dies one day!"
Me:"Asher... if Shawna doesn't want to play "dying" then why don't you guys play without the characters dying? Just play, but, don't die lah."
Asher:"No, cannot... must die!"
Me:"If Shawna doesn't like to play dying, she has a choice not to. You also have the choice of not playing with her, if she doesn't like to play the way you want to. But what is better is if you two compromise and agree on what you want to play, so that you can continue playing together, isn't it?"

Asher just continued sobbing, anguishedly.  Just as I was thinking, since when did Asher get to be so morbid and fixated on death... Isaac looked up from reading his book, and said in a low voice to me, explaining...

Isaac:"Mummy, Asher is not playing "dying". He is playing "fighting". So if Shawna's character cannot be hurt and never dies - it is invincible, and so she will never lose, and Asher can never win."

Shawna smirked.

SIGH. Moment of revelation. So that's the crux of it. Asher was upset that he could never win if Shawna chose to make her own character invincible. I was very impressed with Isaac's assessment of the whole argument though. Well done.

In the end, it was laughter that came to the rescue. I turned to Shawna, started tickling her and saying "Wah you invincible ah?! Invincible to tickling or not, huh, huh, huh?!" Then everyone laughed as I randomly picked up a Lego man and said "I'm Mr Black Pants! I'm invincible too! My pants will NEVER EVER GET DIRTY!" and then everyone started inventing invincible people.  And Asher was smiling and having fun again.

I know we are greatly blessed, when I look at my family :)

Friday, 9 October 2015


Being twins, Asher and Shawna have always been close since young. It also helps that they have different characters and temperaments. Asher is usually the one giving in to Shawna during arguments, but Shawna is usually the one who does things for Asher, like taking stuff for him, or buttoning his shirt and wearing his shoes for him.
Twins at about 18 months. Talking, reading together, hugging!
Just this morning...

Asher:"Shawna, I was carrying that bag, and all my things are inside. I just put down for the moment only, to have my lunch..."
Shawna:"But I want to use it!"
Mummy me:"Shawna, Asher has been carrying that bag the whole morning, he obviously wants to use it. Why don't you take another bag?"
Shawna:"Huh... but I want this bag..."

I turned around, when to the bag cupboard to search for a bag for Asher. And when I turned back to the kids...

Me:"What happened here?! Who dumped Asher's things that were in the bag on the ground?"
Shawna looked up at me in admission...
Me:"Shawna, I don't like this behaviour. Don't throw your brother's things on the floor like that!"
Asher:"Mummy, mummy, it's okay. I let her do that. Because I am letting her use the bag."
Me:"Really? Wow, that's really nice and kind of you to let her have the bag to use. But still, Shawna, you should not put his things on the floor like that, at least place them on the table."
Asher:"It's okay lah Mummy, as long as she is happy, can already."
Me:"You're spoiling her rotten, you!!!"
Asher & Shawna at approximately 18 months, playing together.
I have always emphasized to Isaac, Asher & Shawna that they are important to each other, and that they being brothers and sister, should always love and cherish each other, forever. I'm glad my efforts have seemed to pay off, but I am aware that it's still and always will be a work in progress. Just praying that the bonds they create now, will last a lifetime.


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