Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

Homeschoolers have a certain type of radar.  We can spot other homeschoolers johnny-on-the spot.  My daughter, Ryann, who has no pride, is known to shamelessly approach total strangers and say something like, “I see you’re all wearing skirts.  Are you homeschoolers?  Are you Christian homeschoolers? I’m not wearing a skirt but I’m also a Christian homeschooler.  Sometimes I wear skirts, and anyways, wanna be penpals?”  Man, I wish I were that brave. She’s made some really good friends that way. 


All that to say, in a round about and almost connected way, that me and Angie have started meeting impromptuishly at the park in Morristown (on Tuesdays at 11 if any of you other locals feel so inclined to drop in and help us take over the playground).  So last time we were there, this lady shows up – really lovely, beautiful kids, long tan skirt and a baby strapped to her back — and I thought, “That lovely momsie is most definitely a homeschooler, I wonder if I could work up the nerve to strike up a conversation” and then all of a sudden, she looks at me and says, “Jen? You’re Jen, right?”  And then I realized I KNEW her and she’d even been to my house (like a year ago or so).  On my word, I think I must have that one affliction, whats-it-called, where you forget stuff and such, you know?  So I felt like a total dolt but I was sure glad she came over and after I remembered who she was, I also remembered that I just so happened to really like her. So that worked out famously.  She has joined our non-official impromptu homeschool parkday group. Kris P, you totally need to show up for the next one.


Ok, in other news. I got this email from a lady named Gina D. who said I could share her question with you guys.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Here is what she wrote:


“My first born is a lovely 8 yr. old little girl and I could not ask
for a better oldest child.  She is mannerly, well-behaved, smart, creative,
and she has a heart for God EXCEPT when she is around my 4 yr old son!  She
turns into a mean, bossy, vindictive, vengeful, troublemaking, torturing
little girl…I kid you not!

I so want my children to love and care for each other, how do I encourage
this when it seems like things have gone so wrong the last few months.  I
consider myself a strict parent and know how to "handle my kids", but this
is one that I am stumped on.  My sisters and I were always playmates growing
up and still today we are best friends, so this is something that I simply
do not understand.”


I wrote out some thoughts, but they sounded, I don’t know, sort of canned. Plus it was SO LONG. So instead, I’d appreciate some of you to lend your input / ideas / expertise. And don’t be shy, for heavens sake, please do share your thoughts, or even your own struggles. Within this group I know there is bound to be a treasure of wisdom. One of the best resources we have for child training, and Christian encouragement is each other.  Which is another reason I am glad that we homeschoolers have radar so we can find each other when we go out.  But I digress. 

So… any takers?  Does your family deal with this?  What do you do?  How do you culture a loving, respectful child who ‘honors and esteems others above herself’ (Phil chapter 2)?  Do you require this in your home?  We do, and have had some success (it’s a continuous ongoing shaping process/struggle that most certainly does *not* come naturally for *any* of us).  But it can, and is, being done in Christian homes.  Give me your thoughts…



September 15th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. RedHeadRyann said,

    on September 15th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I am going to give a couple of verses that encourage me and keep me from acting unkindly toward my siblings. To start with,

    (John 14:15) If you love me, you will obey my command.

    (Ephesians 6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

    I love God; therefore I must obey you and not fight with my siblings as you tell me not to. And you say to get along with my siblings, and if I love God, I will obey you and get along with them.

    And here are some of my favorite verses that tell me HOW to act.

    (John 15:17) This is my command: Love each other.

    (Ephesians 4: 31-32) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

    (Thessalonians 5:11) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

    And lastly, I would like to share some other verses that clearly tell me not to fight or take revenge…which seems to be an issue with most siblings,

    (Romans 12:16) …Do not be haughty in mind….

    (Romans 12:17) …Never pay back evil for evil to anyone…

    (Romans 12:19) ….Never take your own revenge…

    I find all of those verses useful everyday.



  2. JenIG said,

    on September 15th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Ryann, you are a good girl and you will make a fine mother someday. this was very well said and well researched. I am glad you are an Igarashi, and I am glad you take so much after your most fantabulously wise and wonderful daddems.

    love, momsie

    PS get off the computer and PUH-LEAZE get the laundry off the couch

  3. Anonymous said,

    on September 15th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Get the laundry off the couch? Can I put it on your bed, like I used to?

  4. drewsfamilytx said,

    on September 15th, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I have no experience with the sister/brother thing. Well, except I do have a brother and we played together but he was mean until his senior year in high school. Now I just love being around his smiling face!

    SO, here is my quick thought since I need to get to ze grocery store.

    Is there something that the 8yo girl and 4yo boy could do and enjoy TOGETHER?

    Just wondering if it would work like the idea of a husband and wife that just don't get along finding common ground in an activity they both enjoy. Be it a real activity or just going for a walk or whatever. Some commonality that they can build on?


    Marshie– who is not a rocket scientist either

    PS Can Ryann come over and train my children for me? I just know she'd be fabulous at it!

  5. 2peter318 said,

    on September 15th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Untitled Comment

    This is a hard one, I'm really not sure what to say about it. My kids have the normal brother/sister thing. I guess the thing I would try is having her write and study some verses regarding loving her brother. Again, not a whole lot to say, sorry.

    You're daughter sounds so sweet, I know you must be very proud of her. 🙂


  6. smilingeyes said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Sibling Affection

    It has always been my desire and my prayer to see my kids become friends with each other. Here are a couple of things we've done to try to foster that: Sometimes, when my kids are enjoying each other’s company, I will purposely let other things slide. I let them giggle across the bedroom to each other even though they "should" be going to sleep. I'll sometimes let the oldest one read aloud to the others past bedtime, too (as long as they're in bed). I’ll let them sing and dance their way through their dishes jobs, even though it takes them twice as long to finish. I sometimes let them take a break from schoolwork to hike in the woods together. It’s a matter of priority: their relationships with each other are more important to me than chores or bedtime regulations.

    If there is fun news to share (“Grandpa’s coming to visit!”), I like to let one of the kids tell the others.

    I casually drop comments about them to each other when I'm alone with one: "Susie spent months thinking about what to give you for your birthday…glad you like it!"

    Also, what another poster said about finding common ground is great. My kids all love to play cards, especially Nertz. They also share their favorite books with each other (I guess you're never too old to be read aloud to) and jam around the piano.

    By far, the most effective tool I've used is prayer. I pray fervently about this because it's important to me. We now have 2 teens and a 10-year-old, and although they haven't always been good friends, God is lavishly honoring those prayers and we're enjoying seeing those friendships develop and strengthen!

    Sorry this is so long! This one is close to my heart!


  7. Anonymous said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 1:32 am


    I have a 7 year old daughter, who is my second child that for awhile just really started being mean to her four year old brother. I started telling her she could do her chores or play with her brother. I also will let them continue playing rather than call her to school or chores when they are getting along, but the minute she started being mean to him I would give her chores, and I did not allow her "second chances" until after she had done the assigned task, but after awhile I would say that her brother could help her if he wanted. She would beg him to help and it helped her to change her attitude toward him. It took her about three months to catch on that she was going to work if she treated him unkindly and now she plays well with him. My house and yard are not large, so I can always hear the children and can nip everything in the bud quite quickly. This has solved most of the issues.

  8. Anonymous said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Untitled Comment

    A few weeks ago, a neighbor girl came over with her Mom. The girls were playing and began to argue over a toy-so I corrected. The Mom said to me.."I just don't get it. When you are at my house, you tell Corynn that we need to respect Miranda's(the neighbor girl) toys and her wishes-so you can play with what she is not playing with. But when I am at YOUR house, you say CORYNN-you have these toys all the time. You need to enjoy sharing with others-be gracious. Be hospitable. Either way-Miranda always gets her way and Corynn gets the shaft. Why do you do that?" I thought about it for a minute-never occurred to me that way before and I responded: "Well, I guess it doesn't matter WHERE you are, you should ALWAYS think of others before yourselves…"

    As your question friend wrote-my just turned four year old is the same way-and yet, at times has such a love hate relationship with her one year old brother. It drives me batty. Especially when I want so badly for them to love each other. Is it because it is boy-girl…so they have less commonalities?! I don't have advice-just wanted to pipe up that I am very interested in the replies as I deal with these things also.

    In addition to that, if you don't mind, could I add another question-for today or another day? It relates to the above story.

    This neighbor girl (that I spoke about from above) is a B.R.A.T and I HATE it the few times we get together because, while visits with her Mom are pleasant enough-I always leave shocked at the behaviors of her child. Here is my question:

    Should we prevent our children from playing with other children who are ill mannered to prevent bad outside influences-or should we just let it go, because our children need to learn that not everyone IS good. If it is the former, what do I do if most of the children in my extended family (including the adopted children of my parents who are the same age as my children…) are among the naughtiest children I know? This has been a struggle for me for a very long time and would love any input that you all would have to offer on this subject too-even if it is brought up at a later time…

    Thanks! Rebecca from

  9. Anonymous said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Untitled Comment

    They say if you want to get your dog to like your kid, just hang meat around your kid's neck. Maybe hang matchbox cars around her neck?

    Seriously, I have this problem compounded 100%. My 10yo son and my 6yo daughter pick at each other, fight, whisper nasty things, irritate, boss, scream, torture each other… it only ends when they both have gotten into big trouble, and then out come the "I love you" cards they make for each other.

    I find they get along better when there have been fewer visits with other children who have this same problem. When my son gets to play with a boy who doesn't get along with his sister… it's a virus. And my kids catch it faster than you can spit.

    I'll be checking back for any good advice, too!


  10. Christy said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Untitled Comment

    The #1 thing we have always tried to beat into our children's heads and hearts is the Golden Rule.

    "Honey, how would you feel if Susie came over to play with you and bossed you around and hurt you and treated you meanly? You wouldn't like that very much? It would hurt your feelings you say? Well, then let's think. How do you think little Johnny feels when you do those kinds of things to him? Yes, he feels just like that." You get the picture.

    It's a constant on-going lesson, but it seems to have sunk in, at least a little. 😀

  11. ClassicalEducation4Me said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hey you!

    Ok, I'll have to think about Tuesdays at 11 … we are doing school at that time, but I might be able to break away once or twice monthly to meet you!

    Did you get my email about making the Dutch chocolate pudding? I need help!

    As for the parenting issue you've brought up, I highly recommend the book ( Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mally kids. It's a great book! One other thing that we do in our home is this … if the kids are treating each other badly, then they are restricted from playing with their friends! I tell them, "You wouldn't talk to your friend, XXX, that way!" … or … "You wouldn''t treat your friend, XXX, the way you are treating your brother/sister!" So, until they can treat each other like they treat their best friends, they can't play with their friends!


    Edited by ClassicalEducation4Me on Sep. 16, 2007 at 3:33 PM

  12. aiminghigh said,

    on September 16th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Hope this works in the long run…

    I am number six of a eight brothers and sisters, so I know what wars can occur with siblings!

    My husband and I are actively praying against wars between our children. One of the ideas we have implemented will sound strange but it seems to be working…we DO NOT celebrate birthdays. We do not have birthday parties, nor do we give out presents.

    What we do is have a "Family Day" on each person's birthday. My husband takes off at least half a day (sometimes he can take the whole day off). We don't give gifts; the birthday person plans the day FOR THE FAMILY. The birthday person keeps it a surprise (tells mom and dad so we can approve, figure cost and time, etc.). This way the siblings are SO excited for the other sibling's birthday. We always emphasize how we wouldn't be able to do this if so-n-so wasn't a part of our family. A lot of loving gets bestowed on the birthday person. And the birthday person is thrilled that the siblings are enjoying the day.

    It seems to take the "me-isms" out of birthdays and promotes sibling love and awareness.

    I think it was the best decision my husband and I made in regards to promoting friendship amongst siblings.

    Many Blessings,


  13. kellieann said,

    on September 17th, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I don't know. We sort of have this problem sometimes too, so I've just enjoyed reading the answers. Thanks!

  14. Jo said,

    on September 17th, 2007 at 11:01 pm


    I am a newbie at the sibling interaction. My daughter is 5 and my son is 1, but what comes back to mind for me is what the Pearls talked about in one of their articles ( If one sibling was having fun at anothers expense (or if there was fighting), then they would teach the rule that if someone is not having fun, then no one is having fun. This wording is a bit over my daughters head, so I have taught her that her job is to help her brother have fun. And she does! We do have the occasional, "I was playing with this toy and he took it." So I do my best to honor her ownership if she was playing with a toy first, and I teach her to give him a turn after she had a turn. But I love her heart! She truly does help him have fun, and I let her have some time alone to play by herself in her room with the toys that are too small for him. I don't let her stay there all day though! We are a family, and her playing with her brother is the only way their relationship will grow. We'll see what challenges occur as they get older, but right now I love watching them interact! My son even showed his 6 month old friend how to play with a toy and then handed it to him just like his sister demonstrates toys and gives it to him to play with! What modeling.

    Hope this helps in some way!


  15. Kellyque777 said,

    on September 17th, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    You Make Me Smile Award

    Hey Jen,

    I couldn't resist, because it is true . . . I just had to give you the "You Make Me Smile Award." Whenever I come by your blog it never ceases to amaze me how you can turn even bad days into something funny. Thanks for being so authentic and genuine in the blogosphere.

    <>< Kelly

  16. deedeeuk said,

    on September 18th, 2007 at 3:04 am

    Thanks for the comment!

    Jen, you are the only person so far to mention the great opportunity to share God's love with all these kiddos! Thanks for being so positive – and less shocked than most at all I have going on! :o)

    As for the sibling thing, I have no first hand experience, but I have had some advice from friends. One friend told me of actually tying (yes, I said tying) the two fighting siblings together for a day! Bound at wrist, or wrist and ankle for the whole day (seperated for potty breaks obviously!) meant that they had to learn to work as a team to get ANYTHING done! One day was all it took and they learned to get along really well after that. LOL!

    You could also get her a WWJD bracelet to help remind her to stop and think 'What would Jesus do right now?' If she has a love for the Lord that can be used to help improve her behaviour. She should want to please her Lord and obey Him!

    You could also check out the tomato staking website as she has some fab ideas on there! I've used some of her other ideas and they have worked really well. I also find her a little less severe than the Pearls!

    Praying that you will find your children the best of friends in days to come!

  17. JenIG said,

    on September 18th, 2007 at 4:33 am

    Untitled Comment

    thanks, all, for sharing. there is a lot of wisdom in here. i would also add that it takes a good amount of TIME… time where we are with our kids, aware of what they are saying and doing so we have every opportunity to nip things in the bud. if we are on the phone, on the computer, in front of the TV, reading a book, etc … these are the times when it is less likely we will catch bad behavior. if we are able to function as a family who is used to always being together (working, playing, schooling), i think that is a huge help in managing and training bad behavior out before it happens (or gets too big)

  18. tnmomtomanyblesisngs said,

    on September 18th, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Untitled Comment

    I am using my 15 minutes on this java shop computer to catch up on you guys. Glad all is well.

    ALl is weel here with us on the Island. We went to two lighthouses and Joe is crabbing with the kids on our back yard.. actually our piece of the ocean in the back of the house. It's fun! To think we have three more splendid days away from home and than it is back home. Only six minutes left.. Gotta go….

    Your island hopping friend,


  19. Ruth said,

    on September 18th, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Untitled Comment

    I have found some good ideas in the book Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel. The sibling rivalry is a problem I encounter on a daily basis with my two.

    I am also interested in the question asked here about children who misbehave. I never know what to do but I have cut down on relationships with those who have bad habits I don't want my children to exhibit.

    Prayer is our best defense. I am also saving up to buy the book~Making Brothers and Sisters Friends.


  20. jess4him said,

    on September 18th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I HATED skirts when you and gena were homeschooling me.

    If my memory serves me, so did Coie (just not to the degree as I did), and you. I don't recall you EVER wearing skirts when I lived there in CA, and when we came out to TN, you both wore the "homeschooler notifyer" everyday! lol.. did surprise me, just a tad

  21. mycrazylife said,

    on September 19th, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I wish I were brave like Ryann! I can spot a homeschooler a mile away, usually at the park, but then there is the akward moment of waiting to see who will do the approaching.

  22. Momwtrmn said,

    on September 25th, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Untitled Comment

    Vision Forum Ministries puts out a wonderful book (at least, I THINK it's wonderful; it's in our queue on our shelf of books to start reading) called "Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends." Could the title BE any more appropriate??? LOL. Here's the linky:

    Many blessings!


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