It’s the age old problem, Sibling rivalry and all the associated problems that come with it. How do you actively control or inhibit this natural occurrence?
I like to think with my youngest two it is a phase they will grow out of or at least put to good use as they grow older. I only have 12 months and 8 days between them. Yes some would call that crazy, I do! Not everything in life can be planned though including a third child. The closeness of their ages brings with it some delightful traits and some not so delightful traits.
The beauty of their closeness is the friendship they share. They really are Irish twins. Talking for each other, protecting each other, watching over each other and generally always having a buddy to play with. I LOVE this part. It makes me watch in wonderment that is a close sibling relationship.
The rivalry though can be fraught with anger and nasty surprises. My middle child (hmmmm thinking out loud here, maybe he has middle child syndrome and I have failed to nurture that?) can be very bossy. He articulates well and knows how to manipulate the situation to his advantage. One could call him a negotiator. I call him well versed in getting his own way.
My youngest (the surprise package) is happy to please. Which no doubt pleases the negotiator no end. They both have their fiery sides and when they clash it can become the battle of the wills.
Today my middle child lashed out and hit his younger brother. He apparently wasn’t fetching his toys quickly enough- do you see the pattern, to negotiate and to please. Any hoo, one thing lead to another which induced crying and carrying on. The negotiator was out of words by this stage and off to his room he went. I shut the door and consoled my youngest, who by this stage had stopped crying and was quite frankly enjoying the peace and quiet on his own, and on his own terms!
After the mandatory 5 minutes in the bedroom thinking about actions passed, I opened to door and asked if he was ready to say sorry to his brother and in turn resume playing.
Quick off the mark he retorts-“ Nope I don’t think I am Mum, you can shut the door again!”
So what is the answer? Let them squabble when they squabble? Take the good with the bad etc?