When our oldest two were quite small, a dear couple imparted to us perhaps my favorite parenting advice to date.
They have five children, the youngest being a teenager, and all five love each other deeply, protect each other, support each other. They are the kind of kids you dream of one day having.
When we asked their parents why everyone gets along so well, they simply answered this:
"We have been speaking over them since before they even knew what it meant, that they are all best friends."
That's it. It is all they have ever known. The four sisters, and their brother have been raised as best friends. Best friends that they still are to this day. It is such a beautiful and inspiring thing to witness, and so very simple.
From that day on we began speaking it over our girls. When they fought, refused to share, or left one another out, we gently reminded them. Carsons are best friends. Best friends no matter what.
Halley and Lucy get it. They love each other fiercely. They share a room, they share toys. They are rarely apart. Are they perfect? Of course not. But they are pretty awesome.
Janey is beginning to get it. She can repeat back to us when asked:
What are Carsons? Carsons are best friends.
I know we are only eight years into this parenting gig. I know the most challenging years are coming up. In fact I am reminded of that by fifty billion strangers every single time we are out in public. (My feelings on that subject for another day.) But I believe that the hard work that we are putting in now, is laying a foundation that will carry them into the teenage years and beyond.
Best friends forever.
Speak it over your children.
There is no better friend in the world than the one that shares your home.