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Sibling rivalry - how do I prevent DSs 1 and 2 killing each other, or me murdering both of them??

(12 Posts)
PacificDogwood Tue 25-Aug-09 17:38:45

DS1 and 2 are 6.5 and 5.5, exactly 1 year between them. DS3 is now 17 month and is much loved and protected by DS1 and mainly ignored by DS2 although he does find him funny (when he is funny IYKWIM).

Seperatly both DS1 and 2 are a delight to be with, bright, funny, articulate kids that I proud of a really feel it is a privilege to be their mother. No behavioural problems in school.

However, as soon as they are put together all hell breaks lose: name calling, niggling ("nehnehnehnehhh"), hitting, punching, kicking, pushing. DS2 provokes, and DS1 engages dispropotionately, and everything escalates from there.
We have tried separating them
, "Siblings withough rivlary" type "I can see that you are v angry", rewards for good behaviour, consequences for bad, but it is just no fun anymore.

I am of course aware that having added DS3 to the equation is very likely to have triggered there fight for my/dad's attention.
As I am now expecting DS4, I am already getting worried about what the future holds...

Any suggestions/solutions/waves with magic wand would be much appreciated.

thirdname Tue 25-Aug-09 17:43:53

are you dh, writing about our children?????

Pielight Tue 25-Aug-09 17:47:47

Oh the more you have the better it'll be. Though those two might always be set on a collision course. I BET YOU that ds2 takes up with dc4. That's how it goes.

They'll get better in time. Try not to get too involved - I'd drop all the rewarding, consequences stuff.

Put your nose in the air. Say 'if you want to fight, take it OUTSIDE'

don't get involved
don't say 'did you say that to him?'
don't get dragged into it
don't give it fuel

say, 'that enough fighting, I don't want to know who said what to who, go to your room if you can't be normal in this room'

walk away

PacificDogwood Tue 25-Aug-09 17:54:51

thirdname, as my DH is currently in the garden, I don't think I can be your DH <<confused>>grin

Pielight, yes, hm, walking away, I do that quite a lot but I do get worried about the level of physical violence. There is a "no hitting" rule (they do not get smacked) but they are just absolutely without mercy with each other. Thank goodness, they are physically v evenly matched...

Because they are clearly doing all this for attendtion they will not leave when asked.

<<mutters to self: walk away, walk away, walk away - must walk away>>

Any other strategies?

Pitchounette Tue 25-Aug-09 19:12:58

Message withdrawn

Pielight Tue 25-Aug-09 19:16:12

Honestly, over-involvement will be your undoing. If it's VERY violent, then haul one of them away. but don't get into the whole 'but he said, I SAID, he stole my shoes' debacle. Just say 'no hitting in this house'.

Is attention. Is boredom. Is just because. Is something to do. Is because they annoy each other. Is because you turned the telly off. Is because. . .

if anything like mine they'll be tearing each other apart one minute, then the next they'll be lying on the floor laughing about something.

notnowbernard Tue 25-Aug-09 19:18:46

MIL had 3 DSes close together (3 in 4 yrs) and said she only got involved at the point of bloodshed. Seriously!

They all get along great now, and did so from adolescence, apparently

PacificDogwood Tue 25-Aug-09 19:43:07

Well, there seems to be a clear consensus emerging: Don't. Get. Involved.

It's just not much fun <<sigh>> living in the middle of a battle field.

They were just so impossible to each other/to us at dinner that we have after a couple of warnings stuck them to bed "because you will find it easier to behave nicely when you are well rested". And I am less likely to stangle you when you are in the safety of your own bed....

Pielight, exactly like yours, they can play really great together and often do. And, yes, boredom defo makes it worse. But then, do they not have to learn how to deal with being bored as well?? <<gazes in puzzlement at house and garden filled with toys>>

It is adolescence that worries me, to be honest. What if their relationship does NOT mature to some kind of civil/friendly arrangement and they grow strong enough to actually do each other harm? Getting ahead of myself maybe ever so slightly.

slalomsuki Tue 25-Aug-09 19:58:32

I have the same with my ds's at 8 and 6.5. Its starts with a shout, then a name, follwed by a push and then some hitting or kicking. Its every day and I was beginning to think it was me on my own. They don't play up for my mum etc just dh and I

Mamulik Tue 25-Aug-09 20:22:47

I dont know how you manage all of them? what is your secret ? I only have 2)

PacificDogwood Tue 25-Aug-09 20:43:58

Mamulik, weeell, I think you might have put your finger on the crux of the problem: one me, 3 soon to be 4 DSs.

What is interesting is that the older 2 were absolutely fab right after DS3 was born: we had spend quite a lot of time telling them about how useless and boring tiny newborns were wink and how great if was when you could do things yourself rather than wait to be fed/changed/played with etc.

I wonder whether DS3's increasing independence is "allowing" them to kick up a stink, if that makes any sense?
So what will I do next year when DS4 arrives?? I would really like to avoid having feral children or turning into shouty mummy - I hate how shouting makes me feel AND it does not work.

Pielight Wed 26-Aug-09 20:05:05

No, agree shouting doesn't help. And often just adds grist to the mill and ups the excitement by about 10.

Actually you know what, there's nothing like being pregnant to make you think 'god, how will I cope when THIS one is born when everything is so crazy now?'

but usually, when you think about it, it's easier out than in. grin It's hard when you're pregnant and tired and two of them are having a go, just for the hell of it.

It'll be fun, I bet with your four ds's. Don't panic. Don't despair. Don't expect perfection. Don't get involved in their fights beyond a 'stop fighting'. You can do it, you'll have a ball.

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