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to lock my children in a room together until they get on

(23 Posts)
notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 09:29:39

My DS are driving me mad. They are 11 and 8.

Home is a constant source of bickering, arguing, teasing.

I can't cope.

If one is happy the other is kicking off about something.

I want to live in a pleasant house and I think it's actually making me depressed.

DH says all siblings behave like this but I don't think that's true. I think he just thinks it's normal as that's how he was with his sister.

I'm an only child so have no idea.

I've tried everything, time together, time apart, telling them off, leaving them to it. Nothing halts it for more than about 30 minutes.

I'm shattered.

Help - what do I do?

Hassled Tue 04-Apr-17 09:36:07

You've just got unlucky. I was in the same boat with my older DCs who just never got on. They're in their twenties now and love each other, I know, but they still don't really like each other. They can still wind the other one up almost instantly with just a look or a comment - and this will be even after months apart.

In the end with my oldest two I'd walk away - I worked out that me endlessly trying to resolve the rows was achieving nothing and that actually they had to learn some conflict resolution skills of their own. And I spelled out exactly how much it upset me, which did make them stop and think a bit. Apart from that - give them separate activities as much as you can, distract as much as you can and pick your battles. I do sympathise.

Rainydayspending Tue 04-Apr-17 09:37:57

11 is apparently when a lot of mothers can experience negative emotions about parenting (too young to just leave them to it, old enough to be properly hurtful, manipulative etc).
Sibling bickering and tag teaming is awful and a common experience (probably normal).
Get some time away from it for you to relax? Send them to the park?

StarryIllusion Tue 04-Apr-17 09:39:21

One of these perhaps? grin

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Tue 04-Apr-17 09:39:59

Parent induced power cut. .
Snacks and a board game!!
Worked for us more than once in a mad household!!
Last one was over 3 years ago and the dc still remember it being a great adventure!!
Was dark and we had candles and fun!!

Lovelilies Tue 04-Apr-17 09:42:28

That's good to hear Rainy.
My 11 yo DD is very trying at the moment. She's horrid to her 3 yo brother and attitude most of the time.
I could strangle her sometimes. I look at pics from a couple of Years ago and wonder where my lovely little girl went sad

grannytomine Tue 04-Apr-17 09:43:03

Having spent some time last night clearing up the blood from a nosebleed when GC were fighting you have my sympathy. I went to the loos, you would think at this age they could be alone for a few minutes, my GC are a year ahead of your two so I think you might have more to come. At least I can send them home.

Believeitornot Tue 04-Apr-17 09:48:41

Read siblings without rivalry.

Excellent book.

And if your DH says it's normal then he's probably right. I used to argue a lot with my brother but we also got on very well. My two dcs argue a lot but they also get on well.

They are young and haven't learnt the art of negotiating- this is what being a sibling is about. And the job of the parent is to help them.

Seriously, read the book. My main tip is to never take sides and listen to both sides even if you think one is more at fault.

wintersdawn Tue 04-Apr-17 09:54:42

At that age the only time I got on with my brother was if someone was mean to him. I was allowed to tease and fight with him but heaven help anyone else that did.
I think some sibling rivalry is normal as it's learning skills for life. When we got over the top we used to head outside anywhere that allowed us to burn off energy.

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 10:07:44

Thanks everyone.

I think I would be OK with that winter but apparently it is carrying on at school with both their friendship groups getting involved too.

That seems to be crossing a line for me!

Believeitornot Tue 04-Apr-17 10:09:01

That's unusual tha it involves friends as well.

I'd sit them both down together and let them each have their say with no interruptions at all. Then ask each other to come up with a solution.

noisewithdirton Tue 04-Apr-17 10:20:10

If it is any consolation I have an 11 year old and an 8 year old and they are exactly the same. Although they can also be best of friends at times. It drives me up the wall.

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 10:34:47

It's not helped that DS2 is much better at handling things. He is a master at looking sweet and innocent and doing what he needs to get his way.

DS1 goes the other way and strips/sulks/is rude.

DS2 manipulates this situation to maximum effect but it's hard to acknowledge that without rewarding DS1's bad behaviour.

CauliflowerSqueeze Tue 04-Apr-17 10:36:45

Get "Mercury's Child" - excellent book!

AuntieStella Tue 04-Apr-17 10:42:17

My younger two DC are at each other's throats what seems like all the sodding time.

I have found that leaving them to get in with it produces faster and better outcomes than my intervening (or interfering, as they see it).

So yes, getting out of earshot can be the right step for a frazzled parent.

But you do need to be reasonably sure that there is a bedrock between them that means they won't hurt each other or destroy each other's property. And I do think that a change of scenery does help when things are tense. So going outside for exercise works, possibly not because of the exercise but because it breaks he pattern.

TheClacksAreDown Tue 04-Apr-17 10:44:45

Some siblings get in very well but many don't. Just because you came from the same gene pool as someone else doesn't mean you are going to be best buddies. TBH I don't particularly like my sibling. I don't actively dislike them but aside from DNA we have little in common, we are different in aims, values, interests. My mother used to wail at us "but why can't you be friends?" I wouldn't pick them for a friend so why would we be? Recently a friend came to visit with his two kids who are just a little younger than yours . I remember he said "the thing that will make one of my children's day is a bollocking by us (parents) of the other one".

I think you need to consider what is the realistic baseline. So no violence, no making unpleasant remarks etc. Expect them to live side by side in the same house and be civil.

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 11:12:39

Sometimes they get on well - they certainly have in the past.

They are very very different personalities though.

Yes, some house rules seems like a good idea.

I've downloaded that book CauliflowerSqueeze and if that fails I'm going with starry's T shit option!

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 11:18:38


Otherwise that would be rather harsh smile

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 15:49:26

Right. I've booked them on different activity days in the holidays.

Hopefully that will help.

MadamPatti Tue 04-Apr-17 16:00:30

I feel your pain! My 2 boys (7 and 11) do nowt but wind each other up and fight. Theyre both bad in equal
Measure and are both thin skinned with respect to tolerating each other. Yesterday was the first day of the holidays and I spend half an hour in tears after yet another fight. (Hormones a bit rubbish at the mo!) Theyve been a bit better today, just back in after a nice day out with friends. Will be taking in any suggestions!

notmywords Tue 04-Apr-17 16:36:45

Have a gin gin

megletthesecond Tue 04-Apr-17 16:38:31

Can I put mine in there too?

So lovely individually but they come to blows within minutes of arriving home.

prettywhiteguitar Tue 04-Apr-17 16:41:05

I would just repeatedly separate them, they have to be in different rooms, even eat at different times. Make it obvious that it is ridiculous, but at least you I'll get some peace and they might take then hint and ease off.

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