As a mother of three I would like to think that the rivalry between my three munchkins will end as they get older, however, the older they get the more bickering happens. As I look at my younger sister and me I realize that sibling rivalry never ends. It is apparent in the way my sister and I can be seen when together. My sister and I are opposites having very little in common, the fact that we have the same two parents and love tattoos are really the only things I can think of that we have in common. I am the hold the door for another person and tell everyone to have a nice day kind of person and my sister pretty much sticks to herself unless it’s a good friend of hers. I will tell a stranger my whole life story and she will barely utter a word to a stranger unless she is having one of her awesome days then maybe she will be silly with me.
My children are consistently fighting over every little thing from the fact that they can’t share a simple toy to the fact that they all want the exact same amount of food for dinner. I mean seriously, who can evenly split up mac n cheese unless they use a measuring cup and I am not going to do that just to appease my children. My sons have more toys than my daughter does because she is nearing the age of 9 so that is another thing to bicker about, the fact that she is getting too old for the same toys as her brothers and doesn’t have any toys for her age, except a small collection of barbies.
My day is filled with picking my battles, let’s say the kids are at each other about a toy because they can’t seem to share, however, they are not in harms way – I don’t get involved, I simply monitor to avoid a major catastrophe. For the most part with bickering or fighting I feel if one child hit the other and the other child hit them back well then no time out is needed, I will speak to them but they both were in the wrong so they both get spoken to. If my son, AJ, who happens to have a major aggression issue at times beats up his sister or brother, well he will get a time out regardless of whether or not a sibling hit him back because his aggression has been out of control before and I refuse to allow it to get out of control again.
When sitting in the van I often am found having to pull off to the side of the road to keep the kids separated, it seems my oldest two children, who are almost 5 and almost 9 can’t seem to get along in the van at times. This causes a traffic hazard so I handle it immediately by pulling over. It’s like I can never win with these kids and some days I want to rip my hair out while other days I simply joke about the fact that I am getting grey hair as a result of these three.
How do you handle sibling rivalry? What situations do you step in and what situations do you simply just monitor?