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February 23, 2004


Susan Tordella

Sibling rivalry cure:
They will.
they will be much closer.

We have many strong animal instincts. Parenting can be incredibly challenging :-)
especially when you have 3 kids.


Wow. Awesome

Rebekah Dossou

Though I haven't reached the stage of parenting sibs yet (I have one 2-month-old son, Grayson), sibling rivalry is almost an endearing term to me. I know that sounds odd, but let me explain: I am the middle child of seven kids. There was never a moment of peace in our household while I was growing up. My two brothers tried to stay out of things for the most part, but my four sisters (one in particular) and I seemed to be morbid enemies!

We fought constantly...often consisting of fist-fights, chasing one another around the house, falling down staircases, hosing a kid (ME) down in the kitchen with the garden hose...even a few cases where someone ended up in stitches--literally. My mother wondered aloud constantly what she had done to deserve such a bunch of ruffians to call her very own. She swore up and down that we'd all end up with terrible kids of our own, but she never held back on the love...OR PUNISHMENT.

We all got what was coming to us, every single time we fought. The punishment always fit the crime, and acquittal was an extremely rare occurence. Mom was a very just mom, and always seemed to instinctively know who had instigated something. She handled discipline like a champ--never unfair, never too harshly, always with love (and we knew this, whether or not we believed it at the time).

Whatever your method of discipline is, just be sure you instill in your children that hurting one another will result in nothing less than punishment. Persistence really pays off, whether or not it seems so at the time. One occasion of discipline may work for a week or for just an hour...sometimes even less. But there is no substitute for loving discipline. NONE.

My sisters and I are the best of friends now; inseparable, all five of us. Three of us are married with children of our own, and two are in college. We spend every second together that we can, and we have thousands of fond (and REALLY funny) memories. Sibling rivaly really is a hard thing for the partents to take, but it absolutely is a normal--and even healthy--experience. Your children fight in a perfectly normal way (you just usually don't see other kids at their worst) and you should be proud of them!

Eve P.

My kids are younger than yours, two and four, but the hardest time of the day is when I pick them up at preschool. They're both tird, and they both haven't had me for awhile, so there's often one blocking the other's way to their seat--or some other irritating provocation. I try to get them home as swiftly as I can, snack them, and then they're usually more relaxed.

In general, I try to front load the quality one-on-one time with each of them (evenings, weekends, when the other's on a play date) because they're young enough that a lot of the negative stuff comes from competition for me. I also try to do this magic mixture of staying out of it--because a lot of times my involvement makes it worse (the small one is suddenly more injured if I ask "What happened here!"--but also to stay in it--being there at key points when they're being really unkind or when they just need to not be in the same room.

No magic here at all--just my empathy for a Mommy listening to whiney, bickery, unkind in the afternoon.



I am 12 yrs older than my sister so we didn't fight. I mothered her just as your sister mothered you. However, I coached my sister's high school cheerleading squad and Kristen and Cheryl were sisters who were 16 months apart. They fought a lot those 3 yrs. Sometimes I think they plotted the other's death. Yes, in fact I am sure they did. Now they are 30 and 28 and the very very best of friends. They absolutely adore eachother. They laugh at the fights they used to have. The only solution when they were in high school was to separate them so they wouldn't kill eachother. Now they are sad that they live on opposite coasts and they fly back and forth constantly. You will survive your daughter's battles. One day you will tease them about it.

Marcia Lynx Qualey

I don't know anything about parenting a pair of sibs, but my brother and I had a terrible, tense rivalry all the way through high school, involving low-level violence and bitter insults.

We're friends now, and my mother did survive it--with a few battle scars, but she survived. I think, in the end, she just had to let go and remove herself from the fray.

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