sibling problems???any advice?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bananaz4MyKdz, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Bananaz4MyKdz

    Bananaz4MyKdz New Member

    do any of you have issues betwen your siblings?

    i swear sometimes i think mine are just hate each other. my older boy just constantly belittles my 8 year old and teases him and threatens him and they end up fighting all the time. he even tells his friends not to play with him or to be mean to him.
    my 8 year old is always trying to play with him or talk to him to no end and has finally started fighting back. as soon as he even starts to talk to him he will ignore him or tell him to shut up or other mean words and will even hit him at times. it is very sad. it is hard because he does want to play with his older brother but to be treated this way for so long is unbearable so now they constantly fight with each other and end up cursing at each other then straight out fist fighting. HELP.

    this isnt something new, he didnt like him as a baby and never grew out of it. i dont know what to do besides keep playing referee.

    any of you going through anything like this? any advice?
  2. Loris

    Loris New Member

    I can relate. I have gone through the same with mine. Mine are older, but it hasn't gotten easier. All that's worked for me is to try and keep them apart. Never is easy, I'm afraid. I hope someone can give you some ideas.
  3. pigless

    pigless New Member

    Bananaz, what sometimes works for me at home and at the pre-school is forcing them to cooperate or lose something they both like. For example, between my two they are sitting at the moment and watching Curious George (LOL). If they started fighting, I would tell them to get along or else the tv will be off the rest of the night. I've done that enough times that they know I will do it.

    At school, if two are arguing over a toy, I first ask them to sort it out. If that doesn't work, I send those two to different "centers" (kitchen/trucks/puzzles) and allow two new kids to play with whatever the others were arguing over. Today, I actually had to give a game a time-out due to too much friction. After about half an hour new kids were allowed to play it and all did well.

    I try to stay out of the fracas as much as I can. If someone is in danger or they are just driving me bonkers, then I send my two kids at home to different rooms.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine seemed to hate each other from very early too. They couldnt pass each other without reaching out and kicking or hitting or something like that.

    I got so tired of hearing "Mom...he is looking at me, breathing my air, touching me...etc".

    Things did eventually get better as they got older. I used to think the boys would grow up and never speak to each other. I would cry at those Kodak commercials and think I would never have those moments...but now I really do get them from time to time. The boys are much closer as adults than they ever were as kids.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    All kids who have siblings have sibling rivalry. The degree depends on the kids, and believe it or not, the parents reaction.

    Unless one of my kids might get hurt, I stayed out of it. Same as my Mom and grandma did before me. Mom raised 5 and grandma raised 7, both single parents and none of their kids killed or maimed each other. lol Actually there was very little rivalry.

    With mine if it got out of hand with a toy or activity, toy or activity was gone/finished for the day. If it became extreme, they had to go to seperate rooms til they could manage to be civil. If that didn't work, they had chores (very unpleasant) assigned that they had to do together. More fighting, more chores. They got the idea with consistancy. lol And I'm more stubborn than they are. :wink:

    It's hard to believe at the ages they are now that they might ever be able to get along one day. But usually something happens once they're grown and those rivalries fade away. My kids are closer now too.

    But I learned early on that the more I reacted to their spats, the more spats they had and the worse they were.
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    My kids are at each other 24/7. The two younger ones, that is. 8 and 10 years old, yeah, they don't get along.

    SO heard them fighting on Saturday. They had to sit at the table across from each other until they would commit to hugging. It took about 20 minutes, but they did it.

    easy child called Dylan a "fat lip" on Sunday. He had to tell Dylan he was sorry and KISS him on the cheek. He sat at the table for about 30 minutes, refusing to do so. After sitting so long, he just got up and did it, but it was sooooooooooo funny to see his face as he was doing it. HAHAHAHA!

    We torture them. Take a sheet (not in the winter though), lay it out on the front yard, make them sit there holding hands. Ooooooh, they LOVE it LMAO!

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've never allowed any behaviour between my kids that isn't publicly acceptable. Example: publicly belittling and telling others to not play with him - that is a form of bullying. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was accused of doing this to a younger child (not related) who hung around her on the way to and from school - this kid wouldn't leave her alone even when she asked him to go away. She had not told her friends to be mean to him, but she probably HAD said something like, "just ignore him." It was enough for her to be threatened with disciplinary action at school, because the child's mother accused easy child 2/difficult child 2 of bullying by exclusion.
    In turn easy child 2/difficult child 2 tried to point out that the darling little boy had been stalking her, but because she had not previously taken the problem to a teacher (although she had talked to me about it) she was not listened to.

    Harrassment and verbal instructions to others to bully - these are all forms of bullying. If he's doing it to his brother without being corrected or disciplined, he AND his brother will think that it is acceptable to do this and will continue with this behaviour - into adulthood, when it can get really serious.

    As for the physical fighting - I take a leaf from my mother's book. A jug of cold water will cut short a fight between people OR dogs.

    They both have to learn appropriate ways of dealing with their frustration. Fists are not acceptable. difficult children especially HAVE to learn to walk away, because they get blamed more than most when it's not always their fault. If they're angry and frustrated they should deal with it - talk about it, ask for someone to mediate, sort it verbally or just ignore the person. The older boy needs to learn to tolerate the younger and to not resent him; the younger one has to give his older brother some space. They need to be sat down and made to work together to organise ground rules which are a compromise for them both. Write out the rules and stick them on a poster on the wall. Make them adhere to it. You need rewards for adhering to the rules, as well as consequences for not doing so. But aim for the rewards rather than the consequences. They should be fairly natural rewards and not monetary or material. So in that sit down and talk, ask THEM what t hey would like as rewards (make it clear - not monetary or material). Time alone is good; time allowed playing computer games is good; time watching TV is good. A family outing as a reward for getting past a certain number of days without a fight - good. And if you make it clear that BOTH boys need to stay out of fights with each other in order for either to receive rewards, they may hopefully learn to help each other stay calm instead of provoking each other.
    Example: little brother nagging big brother to play. Big brother says no, little bro keeps nagging. Eventually big bro snaps and hits little bro.
    Both boys are in the wrong - big bro for snapping, little bro for provoking.
    Next time - little bro hassles big bro. Big bro says, "Leave me alone, I don't want to play." Little bro may keep nagging. Big bro could remind him of what happened last time - little bro has a choice - keep nagging and cop consequences, or stop nagging and walk away and if no fights happen that day, they both get a reward.
    Meanwhile big bro thinks, "If I play with him for half an hour, he will stop pestering me and we will both get in mum's good books."

    To begin with, the boys are motivated by gain. But it shouldn't take long for conditioned response to kick in and they find ways in which to interact which are acceptable to the other. And to you.

    But don't forget the bucket (or jug, or glass) of cold water, thrown at them when they are physically fighting. It should stop the fight enough for you to get some sense into them.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Janna...

    My husband's mom raised 6 kids and one day the two oldest boys...husband and his oldest brother were arguing and fighting between each other all day. They must have been older elementary school aged because she died when my husband was 14. Well she got fed up with the constant bickering and told them to quit or accept consequences. They didnt.

    So she made husband bend over and drop his drawers and the older one had to kiss him on his hind end! Both of them were grossed out but it stopped the

    I did make mine sit in a chair one time facing each other until they decided to be nice. They sat for a really long time! I duct taped them
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Bullying I never allowed, either.

    If one of my kids told another not to play with a sibling, they'd find themselves unable to play with that child for quite some time.

    N tried that one a couple of times before she got the idea.

    Name calling..... bozo and such was okay, but nothing mean or vindictive. This was more of a "would you really want someone to talk to you that way?" sort of thing.

    Kissing or hugging to make up was a good fight stopper in my house. lol Oh, and once I used those kid's handcuffs on T and N. They had to stay together one afternoon. I had the "key". (they were too young at the time to realize you didn't need the key to get out of them) They didn't fight for a loooooooong time after that one. :rofl:
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    I've got a big temper but a long fuse. My mom tried locking me and my brother in the bathroom to "work out our differences" when we were verbally at each other. I just about killed him. She never did that again. Considering this is the pedophile brother I'm not really sorry about it. If he had sensed any weakness on my part I'd have been victimized. When it all came out what he was doing the only person in our family he was scared to tell was me. You'd think our parents or DCFS would be scaryer. The fighting in our house between sibs was unbelievable. The sibs still don't get along and don't really want to have any contact.

    Because of my family background I try to squash any mean comments or physical fights. difficult child 1 tests this. He lightly kicks difficult child 2 just to see what I'll do about.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I remember my mother telling me that when she was younger, before she had kids, she KNEW her kids would never fight because she had the perfect answer. If the kids were fighting with each other she would separate them - one into the front yard, the other into the back.
    Then when she HAD kids she realised it didn't work. because in reality, the kids wanted to be with each other. They would each go to the side gate an whisper conspiratorially.
    So she had to find other ways. Some of her ways would not be permitted these days but she was inventive, which scared us into compliance. Who knew what punishment she would think of next? I think the most effective one was tying a stocking around the kid's waist. I don't know why this worked- the threat of it was enough to get compliance. And she wasn't tying the kid TO anything, just tying a stocking round their waist...
    Only once did she tie a kid to anything- her grandson was tied, with a stocking, to the clothesline. he could have untied himself at any time. Instead, he stood there and screamed in rage. He had run up behind his baby sister (a toddler) and shoved, hard, so she fell face first into the cement. Nasty. But while he was being punished and he was screaming - baby sister started sobbing and ran to him to hug and comfort him. How can you punish the kid?

  12. Bananaz4MyKdz

    Bananaz4MyKdz New Member

    oh my goodness...thanks for all the advice.
    i really love the water idea and actually bought a spray bottle today.
    i am up for trying anything to get these boys to get along better with each other. i know brothers will fight at times but dang...this has gone overboard way too many times. we live in a small apartment upstairs so i will have to get creative...he he but thanks to all and i will keep you posted...wish me luck.