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Sibling Rivalry!

Jupiter, FL
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Sibling Rivalry!

We have four boys: 9, almost 7, almost 4 and 1.5.
The two middle boys do NOT get along – at all… and it’s maddening! All the other kids get along with each other – it is just those two that are like oil and water.
How do you handle two siblings that are constantly correcting, nagging, bugging each other?

Comments

  1. My boys fight a lot too. It helps when I remember that I used to fight with my sister CONSTANTLY and we’re really good friends now. I think it’s pretty typical behavior. I know that doesn’t really change anything, but it at least helps my mindset. (I’ve made them hug it out before and it always ends up with them giggling away 😉 )

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    1. Hugging it out – ha ha ha – you are a meanie! My mom used to do that to us too – she’d make us sit on the couch and “talk it out”. To this day I still hate “talking about things!” ha ha ha

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      1. Oh no! My kids will hate physical signs of affection!! LOL. Have you seen the pictures of the kids shoved into one big tee-shirt? Maybe that’s a better alternative.

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        1. Ha! That picture cracks me up.

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        2. I have seen that shirt – and TRUST ME – I considered grabbing one from my husband’s closet the other day.

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  2. I only have two, and they seem to get along well for now (3yo and 8mo!) — Ha! But my sisters and I didn’t get along at all growing up. I am the oldest, and my younger sisters were connected at the hip growing up and aggravated me (on purpose!) to no end. But we get along great now. College put some much needed distance between us. I learned to miss them even!

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    1. I’m the oldest too (21) and have 2 younger sisters 9 and 18 and me n the middle one get along best when we’re teasing our youngest one for bugging us. I’m moved out tho so the distance does make difference when we’re not under one roof.

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  3. Siblings relationships are the safest for practicing conflict, communication and forgiveness, which is great – unless your the parent who has to listen to all that “communication” every day! At 7 and 4, there are a few things going on. Both kids are ages where children are unsure if they want to play up and behave older, or play down and behave like their younger sib. So depending on the day, they have the ability to play well together or fight like cats and dogs. They are also BOTH the middle child, so can often need a lot of attention from parents and siblings. While children prefer positive attention, they’ll take any attention they can get when it comes to siblings, even negative attention. I think the hardest part for parents is knowing when to step in and when to let the conflicts resolve themselves. You want to keep them safe, but stepping into every squabble just lets them both know how quickly negative behavior gets your attention, which is not your goal. When fighting over toys, a quick “if you continue to fight over that, it is going away” usually works. Of course, spending time one-on-one at the end of the day allowing them to talk out their individual frustrations can help too, but is often easier said then done!

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    1. This whole comment makes sooooo much sense! It also gives some insight into my relationship with my siblings growing up as I was 3.5 years older than my middle sister and 5 years older than my youngest sister. Great explanation and great tips!

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    2. Thank you, Sara. It makes complete sense – and I see that in both of them… any attention is just that – ATTENTION! We are pretty good at letting them resolve things on their own. I try not to step in over the little issues, but when kicking and pushing starts – that’s when mama gets mad.
      Your point about whether they should play up or down is SPOT on… for both of them – especially because they are stuck in the middle.
      The oldest and the youngest have clearly defined roles… but those two don’t as much. Thank you – good things for me to keep in mind… as I try NOT to pull my hair out.

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    3. This is really great information! It’s easy to step in too soon and not give my kids a chance to work it out on their own. Of course, they like to jump to physical resolutions pretty quickly, so I guess I need to focus on teaching them some conflict resolution skills while they’re on ‘friend terms’.

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    4. My middle one can’t speak sentences clearly yet so he screams and tries to tell me. The main time we have to step in is when the little one starts throwing things but we usually find something to distract him and move on, which isn’t hard.:) The I’m going to take it away thing works best when they both understand which I love.

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  4. I have a 7 month girl and 2 and 7 yr old boys. My boys both get along with my girl (bc she’s a baby) but they have a love hate relationship bc my 2 yr old wants to be just like his bro so he follows him around, which is great til he starts making messes and distracting him.

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    1. I love watching the dynamics of annoying little brothers – when they copy their older brothers.

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      1. That’s the fun part:) for example my older boy taught his 2 yr old brother how to do up downs wen he annoys him.

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