Sibling Rivalry…as a mom it has become a riddle to me.
I have a younger brother so I know all about the typical sibling rivalry. It’s simply part of growing up and now that I’m an adult, I can see that it actually can help you deal with others later in life. Imagine that.
But as a mom of three boys, there is another side of the story…the mom side. First, I must apologize to my own mother for putting her through all the sibling rivalry stuff back when I was a kid. I had no idea how frustrating, and pull your hair out crazy it could make you. Now I do, and I’m getting my payback (not that you would ever wish that on me) in full.
My two older boys can fight like dogs, about anything. I’m not kidding…ANYTHING! It usually all revolves around who gets to do something first. It’s all about being first. Be the first to come in the house, the first to walk upstairs, the first to wash up before dinner, the first to get into the car when we are going somewhere (there have even been skinned knees as a result of this one). The simple act of getting to the bathroom to wash their hands for dinner can turn into an all out brawl. Don’t get me started on who gets to the red swing on the swing set first! UGH!
Fighting over equality is second in the running. They have to have the same amount of everything. I really try to be conscious of keeping it all fair but I have to say that I simply don’t have the time to stand over them counting out every single fish cracker to make sure that one child doesn’t have more than the other.
Believe it or not, even though the constant day to day battles to be first or to have the same make me want to bang my head against the wall, I can say that I’ve been there as a child and can somewhat understand (somewhat…I said somewhat).
The one thing I don’t have experience with is the fighting over toys. I can guarantee that my brother never wanted to play with my Barbies, or My Little Ponies, or Care Bears, and he definitely didn’t want to play with my baby dolls or my Strawberry Shortcakes (uh-oh…I do believe I’m dating myself now). I without a doubt had no interest in playing with his GI Joes, or He-Man, or army figures, tanks, and bazookas. So we had a break from each other when we wanted to play with our toys. But with three boys, there is fighting over toys. Who is playing with what, who is touching what, who has a specific car that the other needs to go off his newly built super duper racing ramp. Who gets to play Batman (because there is only ever one Batman mommy…there can’t possibly be two), or Spiderman, or Superman.
There is simply no break in the rivalry. Which is why I’m convinced loony bins were created! Well, loony bins and wine.
But I have to say, when the stars align and the boys play nicely together…there is no better sound or vision in the entire world. They are a team working together to build a great castle or to fight the bad guys together! It may be short lived, but it is those moments I conjure up in my mind when they fight over who gets to pee in the toilet first!
I would love to hear how other mothers do with this aspect of parenting, so I have to ask……
How do you handle the rivalry between your children?