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My kids fight 24/7 help

now I know siblings fight, but I don't know how much more I can take because they litterly fight as soon as they wake up until they go to school then they fight within 5 minutes of being home and fight until bedtime. I mean litterly that is all they do is fight. My oldest is 8.5 she gets along well with her 26 month old sister, b ut fights with her 5.5 year old sister. I believe they litterly hate each other and I don't know why because I don't give one more attention than the other or anything like that. My 5.5 year old love tormenting the 26 month old so then they are fighting. But my older 2 Like Saturday afternoon my oldest dd's friends mom came to pick her up to stay the night (she stays there a lot) she gets in the car well I was talking to her friends mom for a bit so my middle dd went and sat in the car and my oldest got so mad she had this mean look on her face her arms crossed and wouldnt talk. Well she got dropped off yesterday afternoon (i was upstairs) so I ask my dd if (name) was still here she didn't answer me she was yelling at her sister saying (name) friend wasn't here so I asked her 2 more times if (name) was still here she finally told me yes. So I go downstairs and her friend was here with her mom she just didn't want her sister to know because she didn't want her sister to go talk to her. Then when it is bedtime my oldest will give the youngest a kiss and hug but when the middle asks for a kiss and a hug she will NOT give her a kiss and hug. I don't know what to do

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:30 AM on Oct. 14, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (11)
  • Middle children can feel left out and can have a need to assert themselves to get attention. Negative attention is better than none. Make sure each child is getting enough one on one attention with each adult in the home. This can be simply going to the grocery store, etc. But each child should have some alone time with the adults.

    One idea I heard on Supernany is to play board games as a family and play in teams. Alternate who is on the teams so the children are team mates on a regular basis. (but have them be on a team with an adult for awhile first) It fosters cooperation. Make the games "required" family activities.

    You also might set up some sort of kindness chart in your home. Have the children give input as to what goes on the kindness chart and have some simple rewards for a week's worth of act a day (for example). A special dessert, something from the dollar store, etc. GL!

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:46 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • parenting is fun!

    I have no idea other than separating them when they fight.

    I mean, my daughter is almost 20- and my son is 17 and they STILL go at it at times when she comes over. Ugh *though it has gotten better since she moved out

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:02 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • Is it okay (with you) if they DO literally hate each other, and if your oldest DOES refuse to hug & kiss her 5 year old sister when she asks, even if she's just kissed the 2 year old?
    (Not is that what you want, not is that what you hope for, and not do you like it? Just is it permissible to you for this to be the case?)
    And can you handle (tolerate) the upset that may result when she refuses that request?
    Obviously if your 5 year old asks big sister to give her a hug & kiss goodnight too, and big sister refuses, little sister probably gets upset & protests! She might feel hurt, rejected, confused. I know that's really upsetting to see. My question is just is there space for this decision (not to give affection when asked) and can you handle your middle child being upset?
    The same thing with the antagonism? Can you tolerate it or do you pressure them to stop or get along because you feel so agitated?

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:17 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • I let my boys fight it out a few months ago. I got sick of the daily bs, since that happened they haven't touched each other since,

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:18 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • I ask because it sounds like there is a LOT of competitive feeling there (particularly in the oldest.) That behavior (with the friend & her mother) is very defensive & that indicates that she's super-sensitized to the situation, or hyper-vigilant about ANYthing to do with her 5 year old sister. As long as she feels that intensely sensitized or wound up, her feelings toward little sister will be adversarial & extremely competitive.

    I am wondering how much space you can make FOR those feelings, because pushing against them (the feelings) not only reinforces them, it promotes more defensiveness about them & intensifies the adversarial/competitive dynamic.

    Of course you want the feelings to change, but that happens when feelings (the ones driving her behavior--you can assume the kiddo is miserable!) are accepted & get processed. You don't forcibly change someone's feelings!

    I might be able to find an article to help.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:24 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • Normal siblings. Separate them when they start fighting or better yet, take 2 chairs, facing each other. Each daughter sits down and stays until it's resolved.

    Answer by KTElite at 9:36 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • Here are some related articles about how to think about the problems & how to respond constructively or helpfully to the issues.

    Supporting Sibling Friendships

    Helping Super-Competitive Children Relax

    Helping Children Play Well Together
    This one is geared at handling playgroup/playdate-type situations positively, but it does a good job of pointing out WHY children get hurtful or rejecting (the behavior is emotionally driven) & what helps bring resolution.

    and a list of other articles on sibling issues

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:53 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • my mom made us sit on the couch holding hands OVER and OVER again until we figured out that fighting was not worth it and start taking things from the instigator. Seems your oldest is treating the middle one very poorly and needs a wake up call. Some how she needs to understand how she would feel if she were not there anymore.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 11:11 AM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • Thanks so much girl with C

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:03 PM on Oct. 14, 2013

  • My mom used to make my siblings and me stop everything and say ten nice things to each other every time our fighting got out of hand, and we couldn't just toss out the same old "I like your T-shirt" lines over and over, we had to really think about it. The first few remarks would be spat out in a hostile way, but by the time we had to pause and think up ten good things about the other sibling, the last ones would usually be pretty heartfelt and delivered accordingly. It worked over time.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:01 PM on Oct. 14, 2013

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