Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My two beloved cherubs have developed a new, aggravating set of behaviors.


"I had it first!"
"No! Gimme dat!"
Usually pushing or hitting ensues and then of course,
"Maaaaaammmaaaaa! Waaaaaah!"

This scene repeats itself several hundred times a day.

Here we see the hogging that immediately precedes the pushing and crying:

As if there isn't 4 feet of keyboard available,
he's gotta control every last key. 

When faced with a parenting challenge I run to other mamas and the library.

I pinged all my favorite mama friends, and left the library with no less than 5 books on siblings.

The general consensus of my research:

Ignore them as much as you can stand, unless there is a threat of actual, physical harm.

I have to admit, I like this idea.

There's a rather convincing body of psychological and developmental research supporting the "let them work it out themselves" mentality, and working with it a little in our house has already decreased my stress level.

The fighting is still there, but I feel more in control.

So let me throw it out to you - beloved readers (Hi Mom!) How do/did you manage sibling squabbling?


  1. the letting them work it out seems to be the best possible way to go..unless as you say bodily harm is is good life lesson as the smaller one learns to "get some of his needs met by his own behavior" and the older when he does not win learns that often the "bigger one needs to give way, for the younger sibling..another life lesson "mothers can't completely control the environment" remember school is coming and they will be out of your sphere of influence soon enough so let them learn how to handle it you guys MOM

  2. I agree with your findings. My soon-to-be 3 year old has recently turned into such a winer, and i think it's cause he's learned he can get his way when fighting with his brother (age 8) if he cries, fake cries or wines. We hear it and tell the older one to let him just have it or have a turn. Now, my 8 year old just gives him his way most of the time so he doesnt have to hear the crying, and the baby also learned that wining gets his way! Now that we see, we are making changes. But please....avoid! I think the conflict is good for them, they'll learn how to work with conflicting people.
    Jessica, in CA

  3. Melissa, it's funny I happened to pull up your blog tonight, because J and O's fighting is driving me batty! Unfortunately, in our home, it does sometimes resort to physical harm between the two of them - tonight at dinnertime, there was an "incident" (with my back turned, of course) where O's bottom front baby tooth is now pushed into his gum :( I'm thinking we'll be at the dentist tomorrow!! I wish they could just work it out without hurting each other.

  4. I have only one child - so that solved that issue, but I am child #3 of eight children so I know a thing or two about sibling fighting. My older brother and I fought all the time. In my opinion he is still chief of the butt-head tribe :o) and we are full grown adults, until we get in the room with each other. My parents ignored us for the most part - until it got physical - which was often - and then Dad would save my wimpy brother from the deserved and serious whooping that me, his LITTLE sister, was intent on giving him. While we dont physically fight anymore...both in our 40's and we are still rivals. Strange how that works out.