Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

I’ve had this kicking around my head for a couple of weeks now, and decided to just write it out. So, if this seems a bit jumbled or rambling, I’m sorry...

We have major sibling rivalry issues in our house right now.

There have been arguments over the most inane situations that I never knew was possible. Like gum, drinks of water, or who has to do their breathing treatments first. When the arguing and whining commence, I can literally feel my brain recoil inside my head with dread of what comes next.

It makes me crazy.


Completely bonkers.

Joseph, especially, can find inequality in any situation. Whatever Jocelyn has, he wants, or he believes he should get something also. I’ve tried and tried and tried to explain that it all evens out in the end. That “Fair is not always Equal”. But, he just can’t see it. He will argue endlessly and whine and stomp his feet and generally make a huge scene out of the situation, no matter where we are.

Jocelyn, on the other hand, can go from zero to screaming in two seconds flat. She can take something of Joe’s, and then throw a fit when it is taken away from her and given back to Joe. Or, she can get super sneaky. This morning I found her with her bedroom door closed, sitting on her bed stuffing cookies into her mouth as fast as she could before Joe would inevitably go in and demand that he have some, too. She is the one that taunts and teases and will call names to get what she wants.

I’ve ordered a couple of books on the subject, and so we’ll see if, hopefully, the advice in them will help.

All this time spent thinking about my kid’s sibling rivalry has really made me examine my relationship with my brother and our own sibling rivalry.

This next part will undoubtedly make my parents smile with self satisfaction. Ü

Even as an adult, before I had kids, I always felt as though my brother was heavily favored by my parents. They coddled him throughout his life, and often would make excuses for him and his behavior, which would drive me crazy with jealousy.

I never understood, until recently, why they did this. Well, now I understand.

It pretty much boils down to the fact that he needed more help, guidance, and assistance. He needed my parents to hold his hand through every minute, when I, simply, did not. I have always been very independent and self sufficient, ok, and maybe a bit hard-headed, so they must have believed I didn’t need them as much as my brother did, and I’m sure they also believed this with my own insistence that they leave me alone and let me do my thing.

What they gave to him in their accommodations, they gave to me in my freedom.

One of my favorite saying is that “Hindsight is 20/20”. It’s always easier to look back and make sense of a situation that you’ve had time to think over and make sense of, perhaps when you’ve gained a bit more wisdom on the subject than what you had before.

Looking back, I realize that I pushed my parents away making them believe that I needed my space, when what I really craved was more of their attention.

Evaluating all of this about my life really serves no purpose now. I cannot go back and change my behavior or anyone else’s for that matter. But I can acknowledge that I felt that way and now, of course, apply it to the way I parent my kids.

If only I could come up with a strategy that would keep the kids from arguing over the most stupid of things, like a cup of water.

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