That being said, it still doesn't bring me comfort when one of my children is not nice to another. I am used to kids picking at each other or antagonizing each other once in a while. I am sure I participated in that sort of behavior plenty of times on my own while growing up. Overall, my kids are good kids and get along well and don't do stuff like this all the time (although enough for me to know they are definitely siblings!).
But recently, one of them did do something to another that was more than just irritating or agitating. It was just plain mean. This really affected me, and I cry just thinking about it. First of all I was shocked that this child would do that. Second of all, I was saddened because I could see the potential harm it could have caused. This could have had serious life-long-lasting effects. And there still may be a little backlash. The action was done with a "spirit of revenge". This is probably what upset me the most. We are not a family of "revenge". I don't condone seeking revenge. If someone harms me, 90% of the time I can just let it go. 9% of the time, I cry about it and then let it go. And probably 1% of the time I vent about it, then cry about it and then let it go. But I am not one who likes confrontation. In fact, just the thought of it sends me into anxiety mode. So it is easier for me to let it go.
I can't figure out why my child would take something to the extreme like this. But, I have to remind myself something my counselor told me once. Our brains are not fully developed until approximately age 25, and therefore we do not have complete rational thinking until about then. So, in reality when someone says, "I was young and stupid", they are in essence correct.
Ok. So, I get all of that. The struggle I am having is how to DEAL with this sort of behavior. I definitely don't condone a spirit of revenge. I try to teach Christ-like principles, including "Turn the other cheek". I have to admit, this whole episode has sort of left me feeling like I have fallen a bit short as a mother.
Have any of you ever dealt with your kids who weren't always nice to each other? What did you do? How did you handle it? Did they ever grow out of it?