The Sibling Hero or Taunter

Why do older siblings think it is their responsibility to antagonizetheir younger siblings?  This wasthe question I was asking myself after several days of hearing my oldestdaughter taunt and tease her two youngest brothers.  Yes, it was driving me crazy and I was tired of hearing themraising their voices telling her to stop and to leave them alone.  I knew down deep in her heart she wasjust playing with them and not intending to create ill feelings between thembut I also could see that her daily taunting and teasing was in no way makingher their hero.
I knew it was time for a mother daughter chat in which I wasprepared to hear her explain to me that she was just having fun and I did notneed to worry about her actions causing ill feelings.  Thus I began my chat with asking her to make one goal overthe next few days.  She looked atme puzzled thinking we are on vacation spending our days at the lake why wouldgoal setting be necessary now.  Iexplained that I the mom was going crazy hearing the taunting and teasing.  My desire was for  her to become their hero not theirtaunter.
After our short discussion of my asking her to make it agoal over the next few days to not taunt and tease but to serve and useencouraging words we parted ways to begin our day.  I wondered if she would take me up on this goal. Over thenext few days my wondering ceased as I saw my daughter choose to become theirhero by encouraging them in their accomplishments, by helping them when in need, byallowing them to choose their favorite movie to watch and the list goes on.
Sure there will still be times of taunting and teasing it iswhat older siblings do – however I believe they also want to be heir youngersiblings heroes so taking those few minutes to have a mother daughter chatasking my daughter if she wanted to be known as the hero sister or the tauntingsister has ceased the voice raising around here and a hero is in the makinginstead.
My parenting lesson of the week was to not lecture butapproach with concern, to not demand change but challenge it with a goal.
What parenting lesson have you learned this week?

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