If it’s not a chair they’re fighting over, it’s the color of the chair.
To successfully cohabitate with children, one must learn to quietly cry.
Because dealing with sibling rivalry is not even about being a good referee, it’s managing each kid’s mood, too. So one kid is a biter? And the other a pushover?
Why don’t we add a drama queen to the mix? Just to spice things up.
So in between the “I hate you!” “Go away!” “He took my pen!!” here are my house rules regarding fights:
- Never fight over food. Just never.
- If you don’t want to share a certain toy/thing, put it away. If you show it, you share it.*
- Use your words. No hitting, biting, pushing, screaming.
*I established this rule after FZ became a big sister and I realized that everyone has a few personal things that they value. Be it a special gift or artwork.
While we enforce sharing in our house, I also teach my kids to respect each other’s personal things and space. But I make them responsible to take care of their things. If they leave out a special toy, then it’s their fault if baby brother grabs it.
And while I have rules, who says my kids follow them? It’s a long process, folks. My goal is sometime between now and my first gray hair they finally listen to me.
And so I have learned to quietly cry. In my pillow, when I have those early morning pre-breakfast “I want the blue plate!” fights. In the bathroom, when I have those mid-day “That’s my book/pony/string!” fights. And in my head, when I have those post-brushing, “I want Mama/Baba to sleep with me!” fights.
While it may seem like they’re fighting all day, the beautiful moments of love and friendship shine through on occasion. When they laugh, or share a book together. Or hold hands as they walk. And you feel like you got this. You feel like yes, kids are great. You feel like baking cookies and dunking them in milk.
Keep holding onto that feeling.