11 answers

How Much Sibling Fighting Is Normal?

my kids are 18 mo apart boy and girl. they have been fighting ALOT. everyone says they should be such great frieinds, but i'm just not seeing it. younger one is a terror, the opitomy of a whiney, bratty competative,stinker. oldest is usually laid back but i think he is getting sick of it.

how do i teach them to be nice. I've always done the use your words thing, the take turns, that whole bit, it's just not workign anymore,so i've been separating them but it's getting so bad they can't hardly be in the same room for more than 10 mins.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

edited: i'm wondering if i just don't have any tolerance for the tattling and whining and i need to just go in another room and leave them to it and they will eventually worki it out or bloody each other, or I maybe i should continue to separate them.

I like the idea of a big hard project any ideas on that one? paint my back deck?

Featured Answers

I've read posts here by mamas who say that when their children squabble, they are required to hold hands for thirty minutes. :^)

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

The 'be good friends' thing is a HOPE not a given.

My closest sister and I fought like cats and dogs until I moved out. We loathed each other. We're friends as adults, but that's just dumb luck. A lot of adults continue to despise each other. My best friend in my family was / is 6 years younger than me.

In other families, you'll see the same or the opposite (close in age get along, distant don't).

It REALLY comes down to personality.

Parents can make it worse (favoring or not disciplining or unreasonable expectations), but can rarely make it better

2 moms found this helpful

Siblings are NOT automatically great friends.
Most siblings fight to some extent, some a LOT.
Many are close as adults, and many are not.
Your kids are little people, they have their own personalities. Of course you should always encourage sharing, compassion, cooperation and friendship but ultimately it will be who they are deep down inside that determines whether or not they end up good friends, or simply two people who happen to be related.

2 moms found this helpful

I've read posts here by mamas who say that when their children squabble, they are required to hold hands for thirty minutes. :^)

2 moms found this helpful

My brother and I were 2 years apart.
We have always fought like cats and dogs.
It was REALLY bad when we were in high school, like physical fighting, he bashed my face into the coffee table and chipped my tooth, he punched a hole in my bedroom door, I threw him against the stairs and punched him in the face, and so on and so forth.

Anyone that tells you that siblings, any age, any amount of age separation will be great friends is lying.

It is not automatically true.
My brother and I are in are 30s now and can't stand each other, we can't be int he same room for more than a couple of hours.
I have met his kids (my nephews) all of one time because we do not get along.

I haven't spoken to him at all in ... 5 years...

So, for me the level of fighting you describe is normal.
Also one of the reasons I only had one.

1 mom found this helpful

I recommend the book, Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlisch.

The brother who is 2 1/2 years younger then I fought all the time. I also had brothers 6 and 9 years younger and we got along. Whether or not siblings fight has so much to do with variables such as personality differences. I've always thought it was normal to have some fighting but I suggest that what you're describing is not so normal.

Your description of the youngest would make it difficult for anyone to get a long with him. Perhaps you need to find a way to deal with him so that he can become more likeable.

Does he have consequences when he's whiney, bratty? If not I suggest that you set up consequences for both kids that includes those traits you want to get rid of.

Are you sure the oldest isn't pushing the youngest's buttons? It would be normal for him to be doing so. Be on the look out for that and give him consequences too.

after your SWH YOu should not have a tolerance for tattling and whiney. There should be consequences when either one does that. In a way you have the right idea; to leave the room. Tell them ahead of time that you will not listen when they are doing those things and then never listen to them. Let them work it out.

One reason they may be doing this is to get your attention. If they don't succeed they may cool it somewhat. Do you give each one individual attention every day in small amounts and every week in a larger way?

1 mom found this helpful

Have them work on a long and difficult project together. They will learn how to work together without fighting so much.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry but I'm laughing right now... I have 3 kids, doesn't matter how close in age or not they are, they will fight. I have the hardest time with my boys. My oldest 17 year old girl, then 15 year old boy and 5.5 year old boy. Both of my boys at some point were my baby the youngest, and the 15 year old as much as he does love his brother will pick on him. I get after him more, he's older... my younger one just is a whiner too, and it's really been bothering me more now than it used too. Now when it was just the 2 older ones, they picked on each other, I think boys love to pick, don't get me wrong my daughter would instigate it sometimes, but mainly my son. As the two older ones have gotten older, less they fight with each other. Now, both my daughter and older son will pick on the young one, dues I guess, as a mother, it drives me crazy. My boys will pick on each other the most, and my older son loves to irritate my young one, but there is times when the young one does start it. My older son will say, he's toughin him up or he's not doing anything (I hear that the most) while he's humming or tapping his fingers and it's annoying me too, but I just ignore it while my youngest starts crying. Then it like I'm giving into the young one and yelling at the older one. It's just an ugly cycle. I try to be fair, tell each of them to quit it, stop whining stop making the noises, or whatever.

I do remember fighting with my sisters when I was younger and we all love each other now, and hardly fight at all, well, not like that. We still get mad at each other, jealous sometimes but in the end LOVE each other...

This is were you learn patience and cursing your children "I can't wait for you to have kids of your own..." LOL

ALL throughout childhood and even until adulthood (until say about 8 years ago), me and my sibling, NEVER got along, always fought and couldn't stand each other.
We are 2 very different personalities. Opposites.
We are only a couple of years apart.

Now, I was the more easy going one. My sibling was the more OVERBEARING and antagonistic one.
So, many times.... she was just a bully. And it makes the other more peaceful sibling... have a VERY VERY unpleasant life.
So... you NEED to, figure out, WHICH kid is being the instigator.
I was mostly defending myself and standing up for myself. My sibling was manipulative and would lie to get ME in trouble.
So, that is a very different dynamic... when one kid is being always manipulative and lying about the trouble they are making... and the parent does not know.

IF either of your kids, is a BULLY to the other sibling... then you need to nip it now.
It is highly UNfair... if the sibling not making trouble, is always being blamed.

There is regular sibling fighting. And then there is the kind... that is NOT normal nor nice nor should it go on, and it should not be, tolerated. At all.

And, just leaving 2 kids alone to deal with it on their own... will NOT make it go away, nor will it make the 2 kids learn how to be Diplomats or how to get along.

So, DISCERN this wisely.

Not all sibling fighting, is normal.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.