Siblings who play together, grow together

I’ve been noticing the siblings grow in their ability to play with and care for one another lately.

Take the recent school holidays for instance. There was one day when I had to leave the house for a meeting, and the kids had all but locked themselves in the bedroom, and were in the midst of “ordering takeaway” at McDonalds’ to have a burger feast while “watching TV.” (All of this was make-believe by the way.)

Two hours later, when I came home, the kids were still in their rooms, happily playing by themselves. I was like “What? You mean they were there the whole time I was gone?” (I later found out that they had left the room for some snacks and were playing in the living room before as well.)

But really…It didn’t take a school holiday for me to observe their play interactions. I’ve been observing it for some time now; when the elder two are back from school. Josh is always the first to greet them at the door. He is happiest when they are home to play with him. Their latest gig is to throw all my sofa cushions on the floor and to lie on them, like rowboats, and row/crawl all the way to the bedroom.

siblings1

Sometimes they hold hands and jump off tables together, onto a soft floor mat of course.

Watching the crazy scenes makes me roll my eyes…but it also makes me thankful that they have one another to play with, and to lean on in the future.

I’m thankful that we don’t have that many structured activities planned for each one yet. In a weird way, I feel the extra time they get to enjoy with one another, during this season, is worth it. (I’m also expecting that things will change as they grow older and take on more commitments especially when the formal schooling years begin.)

But for now, I’m relishing the moments.

happy_Josh

Josh is really the blessed one. He gets to learn and benefit from big sister’s sweet patience and kind doting love. He also learns to defend himself against big brother, who’s prone to snatching things and pushing him around during play. (I must say though, in the last two months, JJ has started to show a more gentle and caring side to his baby brother. It’s not consistent, but it shows up on good days. Whenever it shows up, I make sure to give him loads of affirmation and love.)

bros

I guess this is the season of togetherness, for the trio.

I love watching them play like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s not a bad thing for the kids to experience some boredom – actually boredom breeds play and imaginative thinking that is very much child-led. When they direct and play out dramatic bad-guy-versus-good-guy scenes, their negotiation and socialization skills are also getting a workout behind the scenes.

And one lesson we should all learn is that while mothers want more for their sons, the truth is that sons need less. Boys need fewer toys and fewer clothes. They need more time with their mothers and fathers, less time in structured events, and more time being bored – yes, bored – so that they can use their imagination and creativity and figure out what to do. Young men need less time face-to-screen with electronic life and more time face-to-face with people. Less television, video games, clothes, telephone bills, sports, events, and preschool hours mean less stress for mothers and more time for boys to figure out who they are and what they want out of life. – Boys Should Be Boys

Siblings who play together,

laugh together and learn together.

fight together.

grow together.

When they’re happy, it makes my life a lot easier. As I take on some writing jobs from home, moments of play means moments of concentration for me to do my work.

When they’re upset with one another, it can be really frustrating. But it’s also something they need to learn to cope with. Conflict as a normal part of life. The fighting moments are also opportunities for them to learn how to give in and let go. I do step in though when things fall apart.

Though there are not-so-good moments, I try to be thankful still. Thankful for kids who play together. Thankful for moments of fun and love.

From them, I’m learning too, what it means to be carefree and to not have any worries. Of course, as an adult, I do have my fair share of those. Which is why bible verses like this one helps me to stay grounded.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?

– Matthew 6

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