Maybe it is because we don’t have public school peers to encourage distance between the ages and the genders. I could be wrong about that, but I remember many instances when my peers undermined my close relationships with my little sisters when we were kids! Maybe it is because homeschooling in our family fosters clear communication, responsibility, and individuality. Something happens that makes these difficult periods of very short duration and intensity. I am fairly certain that my EXPECTATIONS of little rivalry has something to do with it. The kids know that they are expected to respect one another and that they will be respected in turn.
Learning how to deal with conflict, how to maintain dignity, how to express one’s self clearly, how to respect differences in one another, and how to find forgiveness and acceptance and peace again are ongoing lessons in our family. We talk about peacekeeping often and point out moments of excellence in communication. We’re not perfect, any of us, but I’m convinced that our focus on positive character traits is preparing the kids to be peacekeepers, confident adults, and loving human beings.