it's almost a given that brothers and sisters will fight. it is assumed, expected even. but i've been thinking about this a lot lately and wondering WHY?
the last several months or so my kids have totally been pushing each other's buttons. all.the.time. and it is both of them.
the girl (nearly 12) is ms. bossy pants. she thinks she's grown. she thinks it's her right to boss the boy around and bully him. she sees nothing wrong w/ telling him to do something and if he doesn't she will either yell at him or get physical. she's been punished for this a kabillion times.
the boy (9) does things he knows will irritate the girl. and he tattles. and he whines. he will start playing a game with her and then not want to finish if things don't go his way. or, he will ask for her help on something and then fuss at her for helping him or not listen to her.
i fought w/ my brother when we were younger. i really, really did not like him. at all. there are six years between my brother and i. aside from being an only child until he came along, i also was the only grandchild (my brother and three of my boy cousins were born w/in a year of each other) until they came along. he was born in germany, the first time my dad was stationed there. when we came back not only did we have him but there were those three other boy grandchildren. i was not happy, but, still the only girl. (the other girls came along when my sister was born and right before that my aunt had twins, a boy and girl).
i didn't like him from the beginning and really not until we were adults did we actually get along well.
but what is the crux of sibling issues? is it competing for your parents attention? is it competition in general? there are time when my kids get along and they play together and everything is ok. but for the most part lately they seem to be at odds and i don't know how to help them work through this. it is so exasperating.
i know my kids aren't the only ones that do this, but i think we've collectively just accepted that this is the way it is.
i've always secretly hoped that my kids would be close; that they'd be friends. i know the age difference plays a part in it, she's in 6th grade, middle school and he's in 3rd grade. there's a difference in maturity, there's a difference in interests and there's the inherent difference in boys and girls.
there have been times when they have stuck up for each other, usually when outside forces (school) are at work and most often it's been the boy sticking up for the girl. i just hope that when they get older that they lose this attitude they have toward each other and come to like each other and respect each other.
i have a great friend in my brother and i would hate for my kids to miss out on that relationship w/ each other.