In most families in one word – yes.
As your children get older, you might one day suddenly realize that they are arguing, what seems to you, the whole time they are together. Spending time with them suddenly becomes draining, frustrating and aggravating. Their arguments are usually petty, illogical and unjustified. Is this normal? You look around at your friend’s kids and see how they get along, or appear to, and you might feel that your parenting skills are not what they should be.
When and if you ask your friends, you might be relieved to know that a lot of them suffer from the same thing or you might find yourself faced with sympathy and those unwanted pity looks. It is worth knowing that some mums never like to let on that there is anything wrong with and in their families. This is nothing personal, they just don’t like to share anything.
So back to our question – is it normal for siblings to fight a lot?
If you have siblings, you will probably remember a lot of fighting, arguing, pulling toys back and forth, your mother saying the older one should give in because they are more mature and should know better and on it went. It is normal for siblings to fight. They are different people with different personalities living day in day out under the same roof, all going through different things at different stages. They have different needs, different issues, different pretty much everything, so yes, it is normal for them to fight.
How you handle them fighting can be the key to keeping your peace of mind, so that your voice doesn’t join the general mayhem. There are no set rules for this but some mums gave us the tips that worked for them:
- There is a saying in Arabic that says “The children’s judge hung himself!” If you try to play judge and jury between your kids you are going to lose – kids have an amazing ability to manipulate and argue their case. Stay out of it and they will resolve it usually with no hard feelings.
- Separate them – time out works for kids of all sizes. If it’s getting too much, put them in different rooms for a limited time or forbid them to speak to each other for a couple of hours. You might find them whispering to each other within seconds.
- If you notice that there is malicious behaviour in the fighting, there might be a more serious underlying problem that you need to take a closer look at. A little bit of jealousy, competition and rivalry is normal and healthy even, but if you are worried, follow your instinct and seek professional advice.
- Kids look at their parents and copy them. Mind what you are doing in front of your kids with your spouse and show them how to resolve issues and disagreements in a fair way.
If you’ve tried everything and they just need an outlet, lock yourself in your bedroom with some good music and a good book, or maybe catch up on that series that you have heard so much about!