Sibling Rivalry

I’m constantly reminded of how fast my kids are growing. The need for bottles quickly turned into independent regular cup drinking, diaper changing evolved into potty time, and now what used to be pretty smooth playtime has turned into daily debates or sometimes a wrestling match between the 3. Being a Mom of multiple kids is no easy job, but when they are very close in age, that job gets even harder. My oldest (Marley) is only 9 months older than my twins, so a lot of their interests are the same, their comprehension level is similar, and the fight for attention is pretty much at the same level. I’m fighting an uphill battle with this daily, but I also know that there may be Moms with similar problems. Hopefully some of my strategies can stop the struggle, or at least lessen the fights. Although this may be the last thing on a parent’s mind, but letting them work it out is one of the best but also challenging strategies that I know. Sometimes if we step back and let them handle it amongst themselves, they tend to work it out. This isn’t saying that you shouldn’t step in when you see that things don’t seem to be settling down, but by all means, don’t be so eager to automatically jump in to save the day. My son is more timid, meanwhile my oldest is very outspoken and strong willed, and as much as I want to jump in and save the day, sometimes I have to let him figure things out for himself and find his own voice. No matter what age you are, everyone wants to feel needed and what better way to help a 4 year old feel needed and possibly end an argument than having her to help you with something. Marley loves helping me with chores or even something as simple as her carrying a bag for me so when those moments of conflict come up between her and her siblings, removing her from the situation and getting her to help me with something sometimes helps the situation.

Above all, when you have more than one child around the same age, they tend to compete for your attention, so making each child feel special independently helps to keep the sibling rivalry to a minimum. No child wants to feel less important than the other so every chance that I get to have one on one time or even five minutes that I can get with one of my kids without the other two around I take advantage of it and give them plenty of hugs and let them know that Mommy loves them. You’d be surprised at what the benefits of building confidence in a child are.

At the end of the day, none of us are experts at this parenting thing; we’re all just winging it. There’s no perfect way to parent and what works for one family may not work for another, but as long as we try and ensure that our children grow up in a happy healthy environment, I think we’ve succeeded in more ways than we know.