Oh joy of joys, six weeks of summer holidays with 3 children, which means six weeks of fun, laughter and bickering, arguing and stropping!!
With us adopting the favourite throw away comments shouted to gain a reaction are:
I wish you weren't my mum, I want to be adopted!
You don't belong in our family!
You are not my brother/sister you were adopted!
I guess it adds a bit of variety instead of the usual "I hate you" "you loser" or the favourite when they think I'm not in hearing distance is "shut up and go away you idiot!"
Up until recently my mantra has been "sibling rivalry is healthy it teaches children how to handle different situations, preparing them for adulthood." I still firmly believe that, but I am concerned about the type of throw away comment that will be shouted across the dinner table when child 4 is older and able to stir up trouble. I think that all our children once in a while like to drop a verbal live grenade into the middle of the dinner table conversation just so they can sit back and watch the explosion and then the fall out. This fallout could potentially be a lot more volatile in the future. With comments like "you are adopted so aren't allowed......." Or "I was chosen so am better than you" could make our dinner table conversation quite interesting don't you think?
If I keep my mantra in mind at least the adoption will always be an open discussion and all the children in our family will have dealt with any prejudices or stupid remarks that they may come across during their lifetime in the safe environment that is our kitchen.
They will hopefully have learned the best way to deal with ignorance and bigotry, but more importantly they will have learned how to cooperate with others, be tolerant of different view points and know how to work as a team. Negotiation, empathy, managing emotions of themselves and others, resilience, learning about consequences are all crucial parts of growing up and I will keep on telling myself that, when they are bickering they are learning important skills to be used later in life.......