Here was the scenario the other day, sitting at the lunch table with all the kids:
Cait was throwing a fit about something. She’s developed an aversion to the word, “no.” I’m not exactly sure what I was telling her but I do remember trying to get her to say “yes, mama.” She was looking at me, almost glaring at me. She was not smiling, and she had this look of determination like, “I will NOT say ‘yes mama’!” This went on for a few minutes, between her looking at me and hearing me calmly saying, “Cait, say ‘yes mama'” To which she as learned to nod her head and say “mama,” it’s quite cute when she does it :)
Like I said, several minutes had gone by with no response from our sweet little rascal. Then Eamon piped in, in a very sweet high pitched, mommy-like voice, “Cait, say ‘yes mama.” She had been looking stubbornly at mommy, then apon hearing her sweet brother making a request of her she quickly looked at him, huge smile on her face, she nodded her head and said, “mama!” Of course everyone cheered and I laid down my momentary feeling of disappointment that she wouldn’t respond to me, and took this as a victory from my 15-month-old baby, swayed by her peers to do the right thing.
At that moment I was realizing what a blessing it is to have mulitple children, of multiple ages and multiple personalities (not the individual children, having more than one personality, anyone confused? ;) What I witnessed was the blessing of positive peer pressure, right around our lunch table. The more mature, three-year-old, seeing that his sister was having a hard time obeying her mama, spoke up and encouraged her to do what he has already learned to do (or is the process of learning), to obey mommy. Had the other children laughed at her naughty behavior, this is what she would have continued to do. Instead, my three-year-old son encouraged her to choose obedience. I was struck by how often scenarios like this occur in our home, and what a natural blessing it is to have peers in your family to learn from.
So has Cait learned her lesson? Well, let’s just say she’s a work in process like the rest of us, and being the youngest, she’s got a LONG way to go! But she’s got an advantage, learning from her big brothers, and hopefully learning a thing or two from her very strong-willed sister ;) It’s a fun journey, most of the time :)