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Old 04-27-2018, 06:36 PM   #1
MerryTex
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Default Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

How often do your kids bicker? And what do you do about it?

I have 4 kids (DS 9, DS 6, DD 3, and DS 11 mo). I grew up with siblings (3 kids total) and my husband is one of 6 kids. So I’m not totally unfamiliar with sibling stuff. But as a mom it feels so different! I hate the bickering!!

My kids are pretty well behaved and don’t physically fight with each other. But the bickering over books, car seats, chores, etc is almost constan. The do play together too but lately there is more bickering and then choosing alone time activities than playing together. Could I be doing something to help the situation? In addition to pray that the Holy Spirit would bring peace to their relationships!?!?

I just feel discouraged tonight that they don’t seem to have a very deep reservoir of kindness or patience for each other and I’m wondering what to do about it as a mom.

My husband and I are close with our siblings although certainly have annoyances and ups and downs with them. But I don’t remember this level of bickering. Am I just seeing it with different eyes?
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:44 PM   #2
OnAMission
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

Some of it might just be their current ages. Mine are 9, 8, 6 and 4.5. We go through phases when one pair or another just doesn’t get along as easily and it is usually a phase. Ages that are a multiple of three tend to be extra tough. That said, it might help to identify what you are hearing at a neutral time. They might have some insights themselves about what some of the specific issues or triggers are. You can also model scripts or role play for how they can handle those situations differently.

Another idea is to try to find things to do as a group (you too!) to reset those relationships and give them something positive to work off of. Sometimes we fall into bad habits of relating to each other and need to be reminded what kindness and graciousness look and feel like.

My kids think it is great fun to name three things they like about each of their siblings (sometimes Mom and Dad too!). It makes for a fun mealtime discussion. Another fun activity is to get a journal like this It says it is for three years, but we just assign each kid a space on the page and enjoy hearing each kids’ answers.

It is so stressful when relationships are not as smooth as we would like
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:07 PM   #3
MerryTex
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

Thank you! I really like the idea of naming 3 things you like about each family member. And yes, having all 3 big kids at those particular ages all at the same time probably exacerbates the situation.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:09 PM   #4
Sweet Life
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

We have a ton of bickering and rudeness. It breaks my heart. But for now our current rhythm is a theme of the month literally given to us by the Lord. March was 'Relationships Matter'. and April is 'Communicate with Kindness'. I love these themes because they offer us talking points beyond what I want to scream in my own human-ness. I am excited to see what May brings. LOL. So much of parenting is adaptive leadership! you can do this, keep talking and loving on your babies.
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Last edited by Sweet Life; 04-28-2018 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

I’d love to hear how you use your themes!
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

Some bickering is normal, but if it seems too much to you then there’s no reason not to try to improve it.

Have you read Simplicity Parenting?It is one of my favorites,and great for helping kids start from a better place so they have more emotional reserves to handle things.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

My children go through bickering periods. As in they will be bickering with each other non-stop for days and then will go days with minimal bickering.

Like pp has mentioned my kids need to reset. Not only does that include saying nice things about each other, but I often suspend joking around each other and generally limit their time together unless I am present. Which usually ends up with them begging to be together and promising they will be kind.

Dh thinks they should work it out on their own. Which I just cannot do. My siblings are significantly older than me, so I didn't grow up "fighting" with siblings so their fighting ends up triggering to me (like a pp said it breaks my heart) and I end up yelling, so it's not good for me and they can't do it around me.

I love the themes of the month! What a great idea! STEALING
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

If there is any preventive things you can do about more common triggers like chores.have things that only they do rather than taking turns.Something they kind of like doing and or are good at. I dont know f they are in boosters still but have assigned boosters or seats.No bickering about who sits where. Balance things they might enjoy as a group with protected time and space they can work on something like a lego w/o a toddler or baby being able to get to it. having their own quiet retreats - a corner of a room where the door can be closed is also key for kids the older 2s age.Having talks about kindness and validating you are a family and love each other and sometimes there will be times things will bug you and talking about solutions (like going outside or to their quiet spaces
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bickering siblings — how much is normal?

I think a lot of bickering can be normal. People who live in close proximity can get on each other's nerves. Especially when that person is exhibiting childish behavior that you've just outgrown. But like Aerynne wrote, we can do something about it. I am continually teaching my children that they need to take time to get away from their siblings whether it's in their room, outside, whatever. When their childishness is getting to you, take a break from them. Also finding activities that they enjoy together. Getting out of the house seems to be the best thing. They can bicker in the backyard but get along at a park.
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