My kids can really kick the crap out of each other.
And I swear, they didn’t LEARN this from me. Or my husband. Or the television shows they watch…and my kids don’t play video games (we live in the stone age and don’t let them play video games).
I honestly think this is a natural sibling phenomenon. I remember starting fights with my older brother and having him punch me ONCE in the arm and the fight was over. I mean, OVER. He could really throw a punch for a computer geek. That wasn’t the LAST fight we ever had…but I was pretty good at instigating and he was pretty good at ending them.
So my boys? Wow. One is tall for his age, one is skinny (and feisty) and they both have found a pretty good technique for hurting their each other. The oldest is big enough to throw the younger one around and the younger one finds items to use as weapons. Anything is a weapon. And I’m not even going to mention my daughter. The youngest. She’s vicious. Even I will avoid her on a bad morning.
So…what to do? I don’t want my kids to fight. But it’s a normal phase, right? Siblings are supposed to hit each other…please tell me this is normal. Please?
Don’t get me wrong. There are sweet moments too. When my oldest helps the other two get ready for school or helps them brush their teeth. My youngest runs up to her brothers and gives them the world’s biggest hugs first thing in the morning.
But inevitably, throughout the day, someone hits someone else, there is usually screaming and eventually I’m breaking something up. Sigh.
We’ve been considering putting my youngest son in karate…bad idea?
Why do they fight? It could be a multitude of reasons! They could be fighting for my attention, they could just really want a certain toy, they could just be jerks…but mostly, as parents, we like to blame any bad behavior on being tired or hungry. But that’s just not the case. Kids are just, well, KIDS.
So disciplining kids for stealing things from their siblings? Still attention! Not exactly what they want, but you’re still talking to them and not their siblings…in their eyes, they won that battle. Dammit.
So ignore it? No…it will escalate. And someone will get hurt. And someone’s FEELINGS certainly will too. So now what? What is the answer for a peaceful and loving household?
I don’t have a magic ball and every situation is different but basically, we set out some rules ahead of time and let our kids know what the expectations are of each situation. It helps…sometimes. Not always.
My theory? Let it happen (in a safe environment) for a reasonable amount of time. Because it’s going to happen anyway…as long as it doesn’t get out of hand, or start happening at school and becoming a real problem.
If no one is really getting hurt, I guess it’s OK. Just know it will only continue until they move out. No big deal…right?
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