Pushing the buttons
Have you ever found yourself playing the referee of a heated argument between your kids? They don’t seem to be able to get along on anything and they are fighting over the tiniest thing just because they want to get on each other’s nerves. Our daughters are 2.5 years apart and since very young they have this strange love-hate relationship that is quite volatile at times. They would be playing and laughing together at one moment and then arguing at the next. It looks like they are testing and pushing each other’s boundaries constantly. As this article rightly pointed out that siblings are the children’s first experience in learning how to handle social interactions with peers and the effects can be long-lasting, well into their adulthood.
Photo by @pamelarescende
It is never fair
I am sure so many of us are trying to raise our kids in the most equal way possible, but it is achievable only to a certain extent. We need to take into consideration the difference in interests, personality, and circumstances in which the siblings are growing up. Our oldest daughter sometimes complains that her little sister always gets to do things at an earlier age than she did: getting her ears pierced, being allowed to go out with friends alone, or trying her first coffee all at a younger age than her! I guess she is right, being the firstborn to inexperienced and sometimes paranoid parents can be hard and I do feel apologetic about it! It is normal and acceptable to feel disappointed or upset and we are there to help them understand.
Photo Credit: @xo_dynaa
A solution to the problem
But disagreements among siblings can never be avoided, the tricky part is to know when to intervene and when to let them resolve the arguments by themselves. In the past 2 years when school kept switching to online learning, our kids found themselves stuck at home for prolonged periods. They were fighting so much to the point that I was at a loss on how to resolve the constant conflicts and that they themselves couldn’t stand it anymore either! One day when I came home from work, they told me that they have looked it up on the internet to see how to fight less and that the methods seem to be working!! I am super proud of them for acknowledging the problem and for being proactive about finding a solution (of course the truce was short-lived, but it was the effort that counted!)
You can always count on family
Photo Credit: @koryssa.anne
After the conflict is over and everyone has calmed down, I try to find the right moment to remind the kids of the unconditional love and support one should always get from their siblings and parents. When they become adults, no matter what life throws at them, they will still have a close relationship with each other and warm arms to turn to.