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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?

One thing’s for sure, the love hate relationship is sure to stay with them for a long time!

  • I was never close with one of my brothers and now, many years later, we have no contact whatsoever. Sometimes sibling dissent passes, sometimes it’s gets worse with time

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  • It is amusing (when you think about it afterwards) when the 3 year old admits to doing something to the elder one, then realises she needs to say sorry, reminds herself as she goes to find the elder one who has retreated, then says sorry and gives a big hug, the elder ones says that’s ok and all is peaceful again.

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  • I babysit many kiddies and they have their moments. I only step in when they go overboard. Something you need to pick your arguments so by letting them sort it out that is a great skill they need to learn. I do not allow touching each other if their is a disagreement. I am watching what’s going on and only step in when I see they are having trouble settling the tiff. I ask them to sit down where they are. Stopping the situation. Then I ask what’s wrong and have everyone listen. Then we sort it out. No one leaves the room or has to be punished most times it’s sorted our easily and play continues.

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  • I have had a similar issue .. my girls are a year apart and the oldest manipulator and boss and youngest eager to please and has been Number ones slave, until recently now nearly 14 and 15 and miss 14 will not take anymore she fights back and WW3 is constant at the moment … sigh

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  • yeah my youngest two are 17months apart and it is great when they get along

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  • i have two girls 10.5 months apart. they are currently 2 and 3 and lordy can they fight!! its a constant battle but they will not play alone, they love to play games together so the arguments and hair pulling follow… ok maybe not that bad ;) But lets just say this mumma aint looking forward to the teenage years! “shes wearing my jeans” “She stole my make up” “She kissed my boyf……” This mumms needs a coffee already!

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  • My youngest try’s to shut her older sister down. Very loudly!

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  • every kid will fight with their siblings, its just human nature, i think its only if it gets violent to stop it, let them work it out,

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  • thank you sharing this article good read

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  • Kids will always have a disagreement every now and then

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  • thanks for sharing was a great read

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  • i rather have this than silence

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  • thank you for posting this

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  • this sounds like my house ,

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  • Enjoyed reading – thanks for sharing.

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