Rivalry Between Siblings

The oldest two of my bunch are only 18 months apart. I’ve had to endure the ongoing feuding and what seems like the never-ending rivalry between these two, pretty much for the last 12 years. Now at the ages of 13 and 14, they’re hardly ever cordial to one another (when they are, it’s VERY SHORT LIVED). The constant bickering, arguing, jabbing, poking, bashing and the sabotaging of each others personal items has reached new heights, and quite frankly ANNOYING!                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the process of diligently trying to irritate each other (each and every chance they get) I’m always the one irritated! I have reached the end of my wits, and have started rationing out harsh (well, what I’ve deemed as being harsh) punishments for the initiator and participant (just my fancy smancy way of saying, both of them are now getting in trouble each and every time an argument ensues or sabotaging occurs). Punishments include: no T.V., no computers, no cell phone, no landline, no communication with anyone outside of our home. I literally try to make their lives as miserable as they’re making mines, yet this rivalry lives on!

At this point, I need to know when does it get better because I’m at the end of my wits? I keep hearing, “they’ll grow out of it”. WHEN? I’ve heard, “they’re gonna wind up being the best of friends.” Well, can I fast-forward to that point NOW?!? I want to enjoy my children! It won’t be long before they’re ready to leave the nest, and the only memories of them that I’ll have are ones where their at each others necks!. I definitely need the anecdote to put an end to their sibling rivalry! I  want to stop dreaming of the day when they both move away, and start loving all of our family moments together!

…..this too shall pass? When?


Filed under Family, Mothering, Parenting, Raising Teenagers, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Rivalry Between Siblings

  1. Sibling rivalry was a major problem in my upbringing. I was determined to do a better job with my children. Overall, I believe I failed. My daughters are also 18 months apart. I swear my oldest disliked her sister since her birth. Why? How could an 18 month old despise an infant? I wish I had the answer back then, but I think after all this time I have figured it out.

    The answer is multi-faceted like so many parenting issues, but I will attempt to give you a clear and concise response. Part of the problem is that each one of our children, in some ways, needs to be in an only child family. They need to feel like they are the one and only center of our universe. When we bring home a new baby they must share us from that moment forward. One way to help them feel like they mean the world to us is to spend time with them, one on one, doing something that they enjoy. Take pictures and build memories of your special time with each child. Advice I had received, but I didn’t take the time and energy to do it consistently. My now adult daughters tell me they wish I had, and they think it would have helped them feel less jealous of the other.

    Another important piece of advice I have is to insist your family show basic respect to each other. All members need to respect each other and all things in the house. If they don’t then the parents need to give them appropriate and consistent consequences. Additionally, don’t forget about praise and rewards. Those are sometimes more powerful than consequences. Be sure to express to them your desires for everyone to treat each other with respect, and when they do, recognize it, and praise or reward them for it.

    Raising children is a difficult and very rewarding adventure. Often parents feel like things are not going so well, but it is usually not as bad as it seems. We all struggle to do our best, being that you are writing about it and searching for answers, tells me you are probably one of those parents who are raising responsible adults. If you want even more information I suggest you check out my blog on how to have a mutually respectful family.

    • Wonderful advice! Thanks a bunch! Your comment is confirmation that some of the things that I’ve implemented into our lives are on the right track. I make certain that I spend individual time with each child. I must do it more consistently and more often, though! I definitely see a big difference with each child, when they get their individual time. Raising children (all with extremely diffeent personalities and needs) is definitely a challenge. I only hope that it’s not too late to correct the damage that this sibling rivalry has done! Thanks, again! I’ll definitely check out your blog!

  2. I had 2 brothers and 4 sisters (7 total). Some of us were tighter and others not so close. It may take till they’re out of the house or they may get closer sooner. Hard to say. Good luck to you. Kids are fun!

    • Thanks for the comment MJ! I have one older brother and we NEVER went through anything like this. We’ve always been close and continue to be close. I want so badly for my children to be close with their siblings! I sure hope I get it! Thanks again for the comment!

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