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Any advice on how to handle siblling rivalry. My girls (8, 8, and 9) are always bickering.

My 8 yr. old twin girls are always taking sides against their 9 yr. old sister, even when their wrong. She is getting really flustered. Basically, it is the 9 yr. old against the twins, one at a time . The twins don't usually argue with eachother.

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Asked by AngeliaG at 11:33 AM on Nov. 6, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (8)
  • Oh poor girl, getting ganged up on! That is kinda like my situation at my house. My 10 and 12 year old (they are practically twins) always gang up on my 7 year old. I do have one suggestion, works for me a little (nothing can stop them I don't think, but if you can minimize it, that's wonderful) Try to find activities, or games, where they have to be teams, and have one of the twins be on a team with the older one (maybe you could be the other team mate) and explain how they need to work together, and have fun together.
    Mine fight everyday, but they do have those moments when they have fun together, and at least they will have some happy memories of each other. The more my family plays together, the less they fight all the way around. I hope this helps a bit, if you hear anything else that works, let me know!!!(also, we have a rule that if 2 kids gang up, the one that got ganged up on gets to pick the next activity. GL

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 12:49 PM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • Read on with my same blog for ages 5-8. Our ages fit into two categories so I figured I would throw it under both for those who don't read under every category. Thanks for the tips!

    Answer by AngeliaG at 6:53 PM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • This goes to show why everyone should only have one kid! Unless you wind up having mutiples. lol.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:53 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • If they have time to argue they have time to work on the house. Yard work, toilets. Anything that separates and makes them work hard.
    During that time have them think about how they should be treating people.

    Oh and Anon, shut up. That was not helpful at all.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 10:03 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Siblings Without Rivalry is a good book. See it here with other sibling rivalry books

    Oftentimes, it is a competition for your attention/affection.  Try not to overly praise the 9 year old  in front of the twins.  Take her aside and praise her when appropriate. 

    Also empathy helps.  When you are with the 9 year old (alone) tell her how hard it must be to be the "older sister" and standing up to both of the twins.

    When you are with the twins (alone) empathsize with them, and let them know it can be hard to be a "younger sisters" .

    The book has some good ideas. 


    Answer by momjs at 11:58 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Somehow, do everything you can to separate "the twins" into two people rather than one unit. Even some of the responses referred to the twins as a unit. They are two individuals..... Spend time with them separately and some time with the older one and one of the twins. It may seem strange, but they need to see themselves as two people. This must be extremely frustrating for the 9 year old. She is so close in age to them and the same gender, yet clearly the outsider...and that is not a good feeling. Do whatever little things you can to to forge a bond between each twin individually with their older sister. I am not saying you don't want the twins to be close, just not one unit! I also can see how it could be hard..... but this is a long term issue and it is important to do whatever you can to let those two girls learn to function as individuals. Encourage individual friendships, separate activities, etc.

    Answer by BJoan at 10:27 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Seperate them with cleaning jobs at opposite ends of the house. Carry a water bottle and spray them down when you catch them fighting.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 9:54 AM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • My daughters are 10 and 12 and they also fight. It was never as bad as it is now. They are in the same school and it seems like the 12 year old is jealous of the 10 year old. We have sat down with each girl individually and asked them to imagine what it must be like "to be the big sister" or "to be the little sister". Alone time helps a lot because it may be that they are jealous of the attention the other is receiving. Encourage the girls to do projects together and constantly praise them on working so well as a team. It's never easy when there are three... "3's a crowd, etc." Having mom and/or dad join in will even out the teams a bit better. Point out the positive qualities in each child and explain to them that together they are better and stronger than divided. Hope this helps...

    Answer by Susie351 at 10:40 AM on Nov. 9, 2009

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