Friday, July 27, 2012

Discovering Common Ground

My daughter and her two (girl) cousins have always been very close. As only children, they are the closest thing to a sibling each of them has. So, it’s natural that they get so excited about coming together each summer to make the kind of memories they’ll laugh about when they are all grown up. 

When they came together this summer, they found things were a little different.

The girls, ages eight, nine and ten, realized that they’ve all developed different hobbies and interests and opinions on how and when these should be enjoyed. We immediately saw a challenge in getting them to respect the other’s interests, etc… My daughter, playing a very unfamiliar role, found herself in the middle of two even stronger willed children. She found it very difficult to play and have fun with one without having the other upset.

Finally, I sat all the girls down and had a talk with them about loving and respecting each other not only because they are family, but because they are people with feelings that deserve respect. I encouraged each of them to find out what had changed since last summer among them and see what new things they have in common. This sparked a conversation that led to all of them discovering they have an interest in crafts. With this interest, they were able to come together in Nana’s craft room, express their own unique creativity while still making those precious memories.

How do you encourage your children or nieces and nephews to get along? Do they have something among them that they all love to do when they are together?

Nikki Hall-Branch is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom to one daughter. 

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