July 21, 2013

Sibling Rivalry HELP?!?!?!?!

     So I've pretty silent on the blog for a couple weeks. Nothing crazy is going on right now. Just summer, boys, curing boredom.... you know, the norm. But there is something going on in our family and in our hearts that has been hurting and straining the family almost for 2 years now.  In my obedience and desire to be transparent with all that is going on with us, I wanted to share this burden in our hearts.
   We have a major issue of sibling rivalry in our home.  Lincoln despises Knox. It started pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Knox. I'm not talking sibling rivalry like they will play together then fuss then hug it out, like most. I mean that Lincoln cannot stand to look at, hear, or even be in the same room as Knox.

Lincoln- Spring 2013
    We started talking about having a baby to the kids as soon as we found out we were pregnant with Knox, now 2 years ago. Mikey, age 5 then, was over the moon excited to be a big brother again. Lincoln, age 2 then, wanted no part of any discussion about the baby. Everyone around him would ask, "Are you getting a baby brother?" He would reply, "NO baby. No baby!" We all kind of laughed it off and just hoped he would get better closer to Knox's arrival.
    Then once sweet Knox arrived, even right in the hospital, Lincoln wanted nothing to do with him. You can see in this photo below that Lincoln would not even stand close enough in the hospital to take a picture. That redhead in the far left corner is him looking away from the baby.

   Knox is now 17 months and Lincoln is almost 4. And as these 17 months have quickly passed, Lincoln's hostility towards Knox continues to grow.  He can't stand for Knox to be in the same room as him. He gets angry if he has to sit within view of Knox at dinner.  At least three times a day Lincoln is physically violent with Knox- either hitting, pushing, shoving, etc. Knox wants so badly to play with him.  So he continues to try and Lincoln continues to resist. Because Michael went to Kinder this year, there were many times when Lincoln and Knox were both home with me all day.  It made for such a difficult environment at home. Lincoln tells everyone that Knox is not his brother and he doesn't want him in the family. Anytime we are all trying to get ready to go somewhere, we have to keep them separated to avoid problems.  Just this morning, for example, we were all trying to get ready for church when Knox wanted to play with Lincoln and Lincoln just kept being mean and pushing him away. To avoid drama, my husband took the big boys and went to Starbucks so I could get ready in peace. This is not how we want to deal with things. We don't think we should have to separate. It's our desire that all our boys would love each other with the binding love of Christ.  In 17 months, there has never been one time when Lincoln actually acknowledged Knox as his brother or showed any kindness to him without being told to and this breaks Michael and I daily. 
    Yes, I know all siblings fight. But this is not your normal sibling argument. You can see the deep hatred and animosity in Lincoln towards Knox. You can feel the tension when they are in the same place. This is not normal stuff. There is for sure a spirit of oppression on my precious boy's heart. 

Seriously??? How could you hate this face??
    This. is. heartbreaking. At this point, we feel like we have tried everything. Over the last few months we've buckled down on our discipline and follow a pretty strict first time obedience plan as described in books like Shepherding a Child's Heart and Growing Kids God's Way. And poor Linc gets disciplined so much. We have tried talking to him. We are going after his heart. We have tried giving him frequent one on one time with both me and Michael as well as Michael, Jr in effort to help him feel important and loved by all of us. We have prayed and prayed. We have prayed for chains of anger in Lincoln to be loosed. We have prayed that the Spirit would move in him and help him to love his brother.  We have prayed that the hardness and anger in his heart would be softened. We have repented of our own generational iniquities with our siblings. Michael has a rocky, up and down relationship with his younger brother. I have not been on speaking terms with mine for almost 4 years. So I feel Knox's pain and discontent of trying so hard to reach out only to be pushed away. 

  So bloggie family-- this is us, putting up our hands. We have no idea what to do. We continue to give this to God but we would love to hear guidance, suggestions, and stuff that worked in your families??? If nothing else, just you saying you will agree with us in prayer for our precious boys.  Help!!! 

Knox is strategically placed where Lincoln can't see him. 

Leave us some advice, comments, etc in the comments below!