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Trouble with brotherly sisterly love, and how to manage it...

I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old (will be 5 in a month)... I know brothers and sisters fight, but as much I teach them new ways to play "NICE" with eachother and just get along in general... they still are at each others throats... I have leaned to pick my battles and let something slide and have it be a learning lesson for both of them to figure it out on their own. But is there any good answer to brotherly sisterly love.. or will they just grow out of it? I want to teach them the proper way for handling situations and leaning to play together nicely. We are all human and we know that they are going to fight and bicker once in awhile... but I would just like something that has worked for others, considering I feel all out of answers!!!

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Asked by tmt4 at 4:19 PM on Jun. 13, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I only have one kid, so I can't speak from experience. It must be so hard. I bet they will be best friends when they grow up. Are they fighting for your attention? Can you give them each a block of time to spend with you or their dad as a reward for being nice to each other? Start small. No fights for an hour = something. Two hours, etc.

    Good luck!

    Answer by Evie3 at 4:23 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • They WILL outgrow it. As long as no one is getting hurt, let them work it out.

    My brother and I were always at each other's throats at home... but let ANYONE try to harm my brother and they had ME to answer to... and he did the same for me.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:24 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • At that age, are you teaching them tools for figuring things out? Taking turns is simple, but how to choose who goes first? Eenie meeny minie moe, rock paper scissors, hands on the bat, etc. As they get older, it's easier to let them figure it out, but when they are little you need to teach them ways of coming to a decision.

    Answer by missanc at 4:25 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • they may not grow out of brother and I fought our whole lives while we lived with our parents, now we only see each other about once every 2-3 years and we live 20 minutes from each other. Sometimes people just dont get along. It's important to keep the peace and teach them respect for each other and each other's property. Hopefully they will grow out of it but sometimes they dont...good luck

    Answer by shivasgirl at 4:49 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • I think parenting can make a difference. I have ideas or suggestions but I'm pretty tired at the moment. I would recommend the book "Siblings Without Rivalry," since it is focused on that subject. The authors aren't my absolute favorites, but their philosophy is pretty consistent with the stuff I lean toward & the topic is all about sibling relationships & how to parent to best advantage, minimize frustrations, etc.
    I agree with leaning toward letting them work out some things on their own (it's their relationship & they have to navigate & own it) but I think there is a difference between that and a "hands off" approach, which I don't think is necessarily prudent. I have toddler twins (plus an older child) and I do consciously let them navigate their relationships, but I support them and facilitate a lot of the "negotiations" during conflicts.
    I think certain approaches can help if conflicts come up over toys. I don't enforce

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:33 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

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    taking turns or sharing, for instance. I mean, they share & I want them to, but I don't dictate turns, have a time limit, or decide when it's time for a turn to be over. I don't trace back the history & try to return the item to the one who was "wronged," either. Such as if one twin snags the other's shoes while the first one had them off while changing his pants/getting a diaper change (for some reason, my boys went through a big shoe phase.) I do validate feelings & support the one who is waiting for a chance to play with something, or who is upset.
    With us, the term "ask for help" is the thing I reinforce if there is hitting, grabbing, biting, etc. "If you feel like hitting/grabbing/pushing, you just need help. So ask for help, instead." That can mean calling on me, but also verbalizing feelings (to the sibling) is a way of "asking him for help" rather than acting out the frustration. (Stop! I don't like that! etc)

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:44 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

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