“Will you two STOP it!”

This is all I find myself saying these days.  I never thought sibling rivalry would start so young.

It is just horrendous some days.  The jealousy, the hitting, the yelling, the crying, the screaming!

I have been told that sibling rivalry occurs more frequently in children who are closer in age…….well my two are only 14.5 months apart, so there you go!

The situation at times is very reminiscent of a swimmer at the beach, off in the distance there is a shark fin in sight and it is getting closer and closer.  The swimmer reacts and starts thrashing about and screaming!

This is what happens here….Miss Z is playing with say, her doll house; Master M comes crawling in from the other room.

*cue the jaws music**

Miss Z catches him out of the corner of her eye, she begins to scream, a tantrum ensues; she jumps around and tries hitting Master M with anything within reach.

All the toys are “hers”, but Master M knows what he wants and will go after it.  He is a tough cookie with a strong grip.   He gives as good as he gets in a game of tug-o-war over a Dora doll.

There always seem to be strong competition for everything; our attention and affection, toys, food, the TV, you name it, it can get quite intense.

It is hard to come up with a solution or to reason with them when they are young and do not seem to understand.

I realise that the older they get the more their rivalry will change, it won’t disappear, just what they are competing for will be different.  In their teenage years there will be fighting over friends, parental approval, compliments, academic and sporting achievements too.  Trying to outdo each other in every way possible.

As my mum used to say to my brother and I when we were younger, and had been fighting and competing against each other ALL day:

“You two will grow up to love and appreciate each other one day!”

We laughed at the time but now I can say ,I guess she was right, Mum’s always are!

How do you remedy this sort of situation in your household?  In particular if your kids started as young as mine.

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • No real solution but individual quality time with children and separate interests are helpful.


  • Mine bicker all the time! I would love to know how to stop it.


  • My two kids were unbelievable if they spent too much time together, which is inevitable in a family situation. My sister and I were shocking as kids, close as could be as adults, now in middle age we don’t speak


  • My brother and I had a few scraps when we were young. He pull the hair on my doll – my pride and joy. Another time we had an older lad staying with us for high school. We were playing cards but my brother is 4 years younger than me and wasn’t old enough to play with us. He snatched some cards up while we went to the kitchen to get drinks and hid them. Next game we had odd cards that didn’t match. We searched for them for about 10 minutes. I think we climbed under every chair except the right one. He had tucked them in the webbing. ggrrr!!! Dad made him tell him where he had hidden them – in another room.


  • I had 2 girls about 2 years apart and when the rivalry started it was mainly over toys. So then for Christmas they got the same toys and it solved a lot of problems.


  • Try to spend some individual time with each child doing what they want.


  • We have a form of it in our 1 year old twins — they can get very jealous when the other is getting any attention and push each other out of the way! God help us when they get bigger!


  • I had 4 kids in 5 years so as you guess it a small age gap too. The oldest is not 9 and the fighting and squabbling drives us insane. I have no solutions other than sometimes just sitting back and laughing at it all.


  • My friends twins use to bite each other and their Mum could not work it out at all what were they doing.


  • I was the only girl in my family and so i was a bit like the Mum in my household.

    I have 3 girls and they have always been close. They never fought and have always been the best of friends. THey are often saying that they are amazed at how other sisters fight and they couldnt imagine them fighting. I have no idea why they have always been this way but im glad they are as close as they are.


  • Luckily I haven’t had this dilemma….. yet. I used to go through it with my older brother though, who ended up distancing himself at quite a young age & now I rarely see or hear from him :(


  • Haha. Your right it wont end as they get older just change. My kids are only really at the beginning of their rivalry and usually get along quite well, but when they get in that mood all i find myself saying is leave him/her alone. Arghh.


  • An excellent description of what sibling rivalry looks like. Lucky that mummy has a sense of humour about it : )


  • Mine get separated with no communication whatsoever.


  • We have an only child so were spared the sibling rivalry, however thinking back to my own childhood and my siblings…I could write a book on our blow ups, they were legendary – then we all grew up.

    Thanks for the article, I enjoyed reading it.


Post a comment
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating