Sibling rivalry….it is a natural occurrence that we as parents have to deal with on a daily basis, some more than others. I remember all the fights I had with my younger siblings over the littlest of things.
‘Did you take my pants?!’
‘Not me! Your butt is bigger than mine!’
Oh how I remember those arguments. They usually ended with someone crying or a bunch of screaming. Coming from a large family, 4 girls up until I turned 14 when my mother remarried. I eventually gained a brother and another sister. Growing up, I knew sibling rivalry all too well. It did not prepare me for the sibling rivalry that came with my own kids. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, Ryleigh (6), Brady (4) and Chloe (9 months). Luckily, Chloe has yet to fully engage in this whole sibling rivalry thing. Now, she will put in her 2 cents when it comes to taking Brady’s Pokemon figurines or Ryleigh’s glitter bouncy ball. This is nothing like the dog fighting between Ryleigh and Brady. Gees frickin’ louise! Seriously though! Summer is in full swing around here as is the fists. My kids do get a little physical in their arguments, but that is nothing compared to the screeching that comes from my son’s vocal cords. The summer can get too long for my kids (and me) because they are spending so much quality time with each other. The busy schedule of the school year keeps the fighting at bay and with it only creeping its ugly head over the weekend. Oh summer…I love you but despise you when it comes to the bickering heard across the house.
“Stop!” “That’s mine!”
Can I please LEGALLY change my name during these times? Please?!
Ryleigh is a pro at aggravating. Bless her heart, she gets it honest. My husband is the master of aggravating. If it were possible, he would have a black belt in aggravating. Ryleigh loves to stir the pot when things are too peaceful. Why would we want it peaceful and boring? I can tell you a thousand reasons why, but none of that matters when it comes to kids. Then there is my son. He does as well with aggravation as does mixing oil and water…not well at all. During times of being aggravated, he mimics a creature in the wild that has apparently been either mauled or seriously injured. I am not even exaggerating. I am shocked my ears haven’t started bleeding from all the painful shrieking they have encountered since the summer began.
When my son has had enough of the aggravation, not sure if it is a mental breakdown or his vocal cords have reached their straining limit, he becomes the Hulk. The sibling rivalry has reached the more aggressive, hands on status. Not good, not good at all. I have to quickly switch into referee mode with protective gear.
As mothers, it is pretty much impossible to completely avoid all sibling rivalry. We can try our best to limit the occurances as well as the outcomes. Here are a few tips that have a pretty good success rate in my books.
- Keep all things the same. You cannot expect to have no fighting when one kid has an orange water gun and the other has a blue one. They always want what the other has, proven fact amongst us mothers.
- Get outside. It’s summer time. Let them get out of the house and release some of that energy. It has to go somewhere. Better used running around than putting each other in a choke hold.
- Schedule play dates with other kids. They quickly get tired of seeing each other 24/7. After being used to seeing other kids during the school year, it is sometimes hard for them to switch to just seeing each other. So get out and let them aggravate other kids-only kidding.
- Plan activities that require team work. Ok, this has about a 80%-90% success rate. Sometimes they are in the mood to pick a fight no matter what and will fight over who does what part of the activity. Either way, it’s better than 50%, right?
- Let them solve the issue at hand. This of course depends on the age. A 2 year old could care less on solving any issue. When my older 2 kids are arguing over which movie they want to watch, I tell them to either pick something they both want to watch or they will watch nothing at all. If they want to watch something bad enough, they will come to an agreement.
There is still many, many more days left of summer. Sibling rivalry is at full force and I am trying to keep a grasp of what sanity I still have left. Let’s make the most and best of these times we have with our kids while we can! Before we know it, the summer will come to an end and we will be back into our busy schedules of the school year.