Sibling Rivalry

Everyone enjoys a great sports rivalry. Gamecocks vs Tigers, Lexington vs Irmo, and Virginia vs Virginia Tech are just a few that come immediately to mind. Sports fans get decked out in their team’s colors and the air in the stadium is electrified as the game begins. It’s such a shame that we can’t get that excited over sibling rivalry. Little Man vs Little Girl, half the crowd in pink, the other in blue, and let the games begin. Perhaps some Sock Em Boppers are in order to make this happen.

At the ripe old ages of 4 and 2, The Kiddos have developed quite a unique relationship. With Little Girl developing more skills and better able to keep up with her older brother, the playtime they have together can now incorporate so many things. This also means that she is able to play with the same toys, the same basketball, and often, anything that is not hers that she knows will make LM mad. It is great that our children have such a wonderful relationship between them. For the most part, I can always just let them play and their imaginations create hours of entertainment for both them and myself. But every cloud has some sort of lining, and that’s where it all falls down of course.

The ability to play together also brings the occasion of rivalry along with it. Because LG can now play with so many of LM’s toys, there tends to be the occasional (or not so occasional) fight between the two. They get heated, they get intense, and every now and then, they get physical. Nothing gets on my nerves more than the “she hit” “he hit” “daddy she did…” “daddy he did…” for 10 hours a day. Most of the time it is over small stuff, or perceived stuff. Little Man is great at throwing a huge fit when sissy hasn’t even done anything yet. Oh the joys of toddlers.

Recently I have struggled with the idea of how I can promote more of the healthy part of the relationship over the quarrels and petty fights they have. I guess my hope is to decrease the occurrence of outbursts and timeouts, and increase the amount of sanity in our lives. I know that the sibling rivalry will always exist. I’m sure in some way (whether we know it or not) my sister and I still try to out-do each other. Is there a way to help tone it down? Or is this one of those things I just have to live with? Mom and Dad, what do you have to say? Other than pointing and laughing of course 😉

I’m sure I am not the only one here today who would like a little less crying and a lot more rocking out. We love music in our house and it is easy to get the kids to boogie down with me on most occasions. Recently it’s been “Apache (jump on it)” and we dance for hours. It’s totally mint and I’m not ashamed to admit that I know the dance as well. There are times when nothing seems to work though, and patience is easy to wear thin. These are the times that it is not only necessary to get the kids under control, but my own temper as well.

So I would like to ask you today: What do you do to promote a healthy relationship between siblings? Do you find some things work better than others? Is it even possible to to do anything about it? I would love for you to share your thoughts, tips, or remarks in the comments section below. Perhaps we can all come up with the genius plan that makes it totally possible to end sibling rivalry. If we can do that, then the world will be ours… Well, at least until the next day. We all know how unpredictable it can be. And that’s just half the fun!

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John Taylor

JohnTaylor is the proud dad to two wonderful kids: Little Man(5) and Little Girl(3), and also the honored husband to The Wifey who has been gracious enough to tolerate me for 8 years and counting. This adventure into dadhood started back in 2007. Since then, no turning back. I am along for the ride, and learning every moment of it.

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