Who else feels like pulling their hair when the siblings call for a referee? “Mooooooom. (insert name here) is (insert alleged act of aggression here) to me… “
And you knew it was coming!
It’s like a superpower. This ability to predict, when the argument will hit that pitch that will make you pull your hair. One picks up a toy, you just know the other is going to want. Or one starts pestering the other in a way that can only come from the imagination of a child.
You try to stay away. “They will sort it out,” you think. But before long, you are pulled in, just like quicksand. Well, the feeling is the same!
How you wish you could avoid it.
I don’t have much experience with having a sibling. I was totally pampered as a child, being the youngest till the younger ones (10+ years) came about. And when my brother did come, my mother ensured that I felt more like a mother to him than a sister so that’s what I did. I mothered him!
There was never a time, I felt like I had a sibling. So, my kids and their issues are unprecedented for me.
On the whole, both my kids get along relatively well. They both share and care for each other as much as a mother could hope. She asks people for an extra candy and he makes sure she is having a fun time at parties.
To his credit, my son never was jealous of his sister when she was a baby. But there is a rivalry brewing these days. And as much as we reassure him of his place and her love of him, the inherent, “you love her more,” has crept in.
Mind you, my little one is no saint! She’s 3 going on 13 and fights with him on equal footing. She enjoys copying her brother so much so that often she forgets that she has limitations when compared to a 7-year-old.
So, yes, the sibling wars are rampant, but I have found the following 3 ways very helpful to keep the peace.
The Disappearing Act
This is a rule I’ve always had in my home, even when my son used to have play dates. Fighting about something, causes it to disappear for the rest of the day. It’s effective.
If you have this rule most kids will have that added incentive to resolve sharing themselves. They often even remind each other about it. Sure, you look like the bad guy! But that’s a very small price to pay for the peaceful play that comes after.
This is a trick a friend shared with me. And in my case, it really helped. If the fight is about nothing, then they must start cleaning up together. Doesn’t even matter what. They must work together towards a goal, cleaning up of the room. Win-win!
Look! A Bird
One day, there was no clean up to do. And they just wouldn’t stop bickering.
So, I said, “Hey, start doing jumping jacks. 10 each. One by one.”
And lo and behold, they forgot about what they were arguing about. Distracting them with a shiny object or these days, a bunny hopping by also works just as well.
Hope these tips help you as much as they help me. I must admit, as much as I hate these silly fights, I just love sitting and watching them play together and create a world where no one else is needed!