As a parent, you always envision your kids being close and looking out for each other. When we had our boy/girl twins, we imagined their big brother Ian (7 years older) keeping an eye on them. If anyone picked on Ryan, Ian would protect his little brother. If Sophia had trouble with kids at school, Ian would step in and help his little sister. And some day, when boys come calling for Sophia, they’d have to get past both Ryan and Ian before they even get to me! But there was one scenario that didn’t jump out at me. And that scenario, as it turns out, was the first to take place.
The twins (age 3) came home from what seemed like a normal pre-school day. But they had a story to tell. According to Ryan, “Faith* was being mean to me.” My wife asked for more details and learned that there was some kind of argument between a couple of kids at school, and somehow Ryan got pulled into it. At that point, Faith was mean to Ryan (it is not clear if she was just verbally mean or did something physical. Toddlers tend to miss a few details!). And that’s when it happened.
Sophia stepped in. “What did you do, Sophia?” asked my wife.
“I yelled at her.”
“Oh! What did you say?” my wife pressed further.
“I said, ‘Stop being mean to my brother,’” replied Sophia, very matter of fact.
So that was it. Sophia, our little girl, came to her twin brother’s defense. The same little girl who won’t hesitate to yell at Ryan, complain that Ryan isn’t sharing, snatch a toy away from him, or point out that she is being a good girl (while Ryan is misbehaving), was actually looking out for him. Almost as if to say, “You can’t be mean to my brother! Only I can be mean to my brother!” We couldn’t help but smile. We asked Ryan what he would do if someone was being mean to Sophia. He said, “I would yell at them.”
Ok, so perhaps we need to refine their strategy for conflict resolution. But the basics are there. They love each other, and they already look out for each other. And they didn’t even need their big brother! I’d say it was a positive kids moment!
*name changed to focus on the positive
Song Pairing: “These Hands” (click on sample to the right)