With the holidays approaching, I'm longing for my house to be filled with the joyous sounds of children laughing, Christmas carols being sung, a crackling fire glowing, peace on earth and good will to men...
And siblings beating each other up in the kitchen?
There's a new challenge to this idyllic picture I've created, and it comes in the form of my six year old daughter. She fooled us all by being sweet and charming for the first nearly seven years of her life, but the constant pestering from her otherwise adorable four year old brother has pushed her to the brink. Truth be told, he's been jumping on her last nerve since he learned how to crawl, and I think she's finally had enough!
Now my sweet girl is certainly nowhere close to signing up for the girls' boxing team, but she has been showing new aggression towards her brother. Some have suggested that this is only natural as the older sibling maintains the pecking order with the younger sibling. I have certainly tried to keep in mind that she is never the instigator, and that yes, she most likely does want to assert her big sister authority from time to time.
Other friends have advised me to nip it in the bud or it will only get worse. Just today a friend shared a tale of her six year old tackling his older sister to the ground followed up not long after by the eight year old slapping the four year old. Stories like this make me thank my lucky stars that I stopped after just two children - less fights to break up! But they also reinforce that sibling squabbles happen in every home.
In my situation, we have decided to enforce strict consequences. Privileges and special items will be put in time out each time I hear that knowing yelp, "Mom, she hurt me!" and hopefully the big sister bullying will begin to decrease. In the meantime, I'll just turn up the Christmas carols and hope for the best...
Are your children's battles with each other getting the best of you? What is your best strategy for dealing with sibling rivalries?