I ended my last post with "I hope I can stay up to the challenge of being a mother to my children." Not 5 minutes after I posted that, my youngest came into the kitchen and lost his cookies all over the floor. I could not believe that I just just wrote those words and a challenge came right to me. All my kids were in bed asleep when I was blogging so I wasn't expecting anything challenging until the morning mayhem. (however, I am so so grateful he came into the kitchen thus saving my new carpet).
Now on to how I Really Did Try.
I have two "sets" of children. My older teenagers and my elementary kids. There is a bit of a rift or division between them. Dustin gets along fine with the younger ones but just doesn't interact a lot with them--doing his own thing. Brennen, as a typical teenager, gets so annoyed with the younger kids and how they don't put their stuff away, and are messy and loud, and dumb. (Well he never said they were dumb but it seems to me he thinks that). And the younger kids think Brennen is bossy and mean. (He is bossy, as most older brothers are I suppose). Janessa's favorite phrase to him lately is "you don't have to get into everyone's business!"
I have talked to both sides but, yeah, not sure I am getting through.
So I decided we needed to do some "family relationship building" time. Board games were (are) great for my older boys and we used to play so much with them, but not all of our kids are board games kind of people. Plus its hard to play one with 7 people. I got us all together and we decided to play charades. Nothing formal, just impromptu. We started with scripture stories.
Janessa and Andy went first. They went into the kitchen to decided what to do. When they came back into the living room Andy stood on a stool. None of us said anything yet. Janessa didn't do anything. Except telling And he should stand on the smaller stool. We waited for a few minutes and decided they weren't going to do anything else so the guessing started with "Samuel the Lamanite" and "King Benjamin". It was Samuel. Janessa then got mad because she didn't get to do her part. She was upset that Andy used the big stool so we guessed it before she had a chance to do her part and of course I piped in telling her we were waiting but she didn't do anything (I said it nicely but still it was arguing I suppose). I encouraged her to go ahead and do it anyway and we would watch. She argued "What's the point!" She got mad and stormed into her room and slammed the door.
Scott and I kind of looked at each other and laughed. We didn't mean to laugh but it was funny that here we are trying to get the family to enjoy each other and within 5 minutes there is anger and conflict.
Well we kept going anyway encouraging Janessa to come back and join us which she did eventually. Brennen only participated in one charade as his attitude was "this is dumb" but at least he was there with us. Dustin participated pretty well. Of course the little kids are the ones that kept wanting to do the acting. We moved on from scripture stories to things in history.
It was fun and we laughed. Maybe it didn't turn out like I wanted, and I should have taken Brennen's phone away first (since he was playing chess with someone I think), but at least I tried. And it was just a random day, not family night or anything yet we all sat in the same room together without a TV.