Ugh!!!! Sometimes it can be so difficult to quietly reply when I'm angry, or annoyed, or flusterred.
This happens especially when I am at Lisa's, and I'm "in charge" of the youth in her home. I'd rather play the big sister role, but that always goes hand in hand with a bit of authority. If you knew me well, you'd know its not a mask that I wear willingly. I like being the fun one who takes them out for a rare treat to Starbucks (or dunkin donuts, which is wayyy more economical these days...).
I'm not one to sit back and watch them be cruel to each other either. I strongly dislike it when the girls in the home take out their frustrations on my poor little brother. He is almost always the only boy, who happens to always be the youngest. He is my buddy, and I love spending time with him. His extreme willingness to chime in to help, has delegated him the nick name, "the back seat driver," on more than one occasion. I've been giving him some suggestions this past weekend, to help him avoid being snapped at so much because he deserves love and patience.
I find myself doing the exact "snapping" towards my sisters, as I despise so much when it is directed towards little brother. I also find myself snapping at the dogs (who are dopes by the way). Its frustrating, because I know that I very much need to practice what I preach. In order to teach the importance of tone in conversation, I need to be able to demonstrate it. In order to teach about emotion and feelings, I need to respect theirs as well. In order to share Christ's love for them, I need to bow down and become humble about the oftentimes small role I will play in many of these girls' lives.
I also wear the "battered veteran" hat in the home. I've been there and have done that, and am living to tell the tale. I try to remember what it was like in their shoes and I find that it helps immensely, but lets face it. I wasn't that "cool" even when I was a teenager. So relating to them on their level can be very trying sometimes, and takes work. I decided that I appreciate the difficulty of having teenage foster youth in your home now more than ever!
So today I vow to practice better and more loving ways to interact with my siblings, and to practice what I preach. :-)