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How do you deal with bickering/arguing between siblings?

(29 Posts)
kimlouiseb Wed 30-Dec-09 17:35:04

My DS's are 3 and 5 and just seem to argue constantly at the moment. I know this is to be expected to a certain degree but it is driving me mad!

They can play nicely together for about 10 mins then it will kick off and all i get is 'Mummy, F did this ......' 'Mum, H pushed me' etc - to the point where I feel like sitting in my room with door closed and leaving them to it. They do love each other and are fiercely loyal if anyone else is concerned. They are also gentle, kind boys who always behave very well at school/nursery.

The eldest is getting better with not telling tales for every little thing and I am hoping that they will play better together as 3 yr old gets older and learns how to share, compromise etc.

But I could really do with some strategies for dealing with them now if anyone has any? Please for the sake of my sanity!

Bleatblurt Wed 30-Dec-09 17:37:51

I ignore it. grin

Mine are 5 and 2 so it will only get worse. [cries]

I shout random things like, "Be nice to your brother," so that I don't have to work out who did what - it works for both of them. grin

I shall be taking notes from this thread once the clever people come along and answer!

kimlouiseb Wed 30-Dec-09 19:12:54

Thanks Butterball - glad to know its not just my boys.

RubysReturn Wed 30-Dec-09 19:17:33

I tell them that one of them has to go if they keep fighting

KristinaM Wed 30-Dec-09 19:19:47

i try not to intervene unless there is blood

nappyaddict Thu 31-Dec-09 11:04:10

kimlouiseb Sorry to hijack your thread again (you really must start accepting CATs grin)

Remember I was asking if you thought black jeans were too grown up? Do you think grey jeans are as well? And what about waistcoats with tshirts and jeans?

kimlouiseb Thu 31-Dec-09 12:17:01

My 5 year old son actually has a pair of grey jeans from Monsoon which I love - but its not the kind of thing I would normally buy.

Waistcoats with T-shirts and jeans - I like the look but again for older boys, not my 2 at the moment.

What is a CAT by the way?

LoveMyGirls Thu 31-Dec-09 12:20:04

I say play nicely, share, don't wind your sister up then leave it until I can't put up with it or 1 starts to really whinge or cry then I sit them in seperate places until they are ready to apologise and play nicely. If they are arguing over a toy I give them once chance to share or have it taken off them and both go without.

OrmIrian Thu 31-Dec-09 12:22:08

Ignore, ignore, sigh, ignore, growl a bit, ignore, grit teeth, sigh, ignore, IGNORE, ask them to stop, IGNORE, take a deep breath, ask them to stop again, dig nails into palm, SHOUT!

notnowbernard Thu 31-Dec-09 12:26:30

"I feel like sitting in my room with the door closed to let them get on with it"

Yep, that's my strategy grin

Either that or send them to their (shared) room to squabble away from me

I ignore most of it because I believe they have to sort the really minor stuff out for themselves. And at their ages (6 and 3) a lot of it is REALLY minor - "She won't give me the green pen" etc etc

Harriedandflustered Thu 31-Dec-09 12:31:53

You've articulated the solution already. Close the door and let them get on with it. Don't for goodness' sake start intervening. That way lies madness.

The thing to worry about IME is silence. When they are being silent you know there is big trouble afoot. I left DD (then 5) with a playdate of the same age and DS (then 3) in the playroom once. It all fell mysteriously silent. I found they'd sneaked upstairs, gone into the spare room, from thence out onto the pitched roof of the attached garage. All three of them sitting in a row. I nearly died. Silence is the killer worry.

kimlouiseb Thu 31-Dec-09 13:01:12

Thanks for advice everyone - no intervention then, let them get on with it seems to be the way to go.

Does it get better as they get older?
(Please say yes!)

nappyaddict Thu 31-Dec-09 17:37:09

CAT is the way MNers can contact each other without having to publish email addresses on the board. If you look on the blue bar at the top of everyone's posts there's something that says "contact poster" If you click that you can send people a message and MNHQ pass it on to your email address.

nappyaddict Thu 31-Dec-09 17:37:36

BTW what do you think about tank tops. Do you think those are too grown up or not?

kimlouiseb Fri 01-Jan-10 20:18:06

No, I like tanktops - although again have seen some very grown up trendy looking ones which I would avoid. My boys have a few plain woollen ones.

BrokenArm Fri 01-Jan-10 20:27:17

Hang my head in shame & nurse my headaches.

nappyaddict Sat 02-Jan-10 01:55:09

Is it just black jeans you think are too grown up or any black trousers in general?

kimlouiseb Sat 02-Jan-10 20:56:09

My 3 year old has a pair of black cordruoys which are v cute but generally yes I would avoid black trousers.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 02-Jan-10 22:04:49

kim - My boys are 6 and a half and 9, and YES, it does get better (IME wink).

Mine were a nightmare at 3 and 5. Could not leave them alone for more than 5 minutes without a fight. Now they mostly get on well - can play together for quite long periods.

I agree about not intervening too much, separating them when it gets too heated.

Also, and I can't quite remember when I started doing this, but I think it was around when DS2 was 4, I sometimes catch them before it's got too hysterical, go in, and say "I know you can sort this out without fighting. I will give you 5 minutes to sort it out WITHOUT shouting, or I'll come in and sort it out myself/take the toy away that you are arguing about". The first time I tried this, I didn't hold out much hope, but it worked a treat ......

Another thing. If there has been a big blowup and one or both are very upset/angry. I separate, give them 5 mins to calm down, and then do a family discussion. Basically, each of us gets a turn to say how we feel, without shouting, and we hold a wooden spoon to show it's our turn to talk. No-one can interrupt while someone else has the spoon. Again, sounds unlikely, but this really works to get them to feel that they are able to have their say. I have used this since DS2 was about 4 as well. Obviously, ou can't use this all the time, as it's a bit time-consuming, but it's useful if the same arguments keep recurring.

Also, praise them for negotiating with each other or playing nicely.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 02-Jan-10 22:06:23

BTW, I was forced to these interventionist strategies because real violence was happening a lot - biting, scratching etc

Heqet Sat 02-Jan-10 22:08:27

I ignore it. Break them up when the blood hits the ceiling.

Seriously, imo, you can't keep wading in. They need to sort it out themselves. If it is bullying, or one of them really hurts the other, then of course step in, but normal sibling bickering and fisticuffs - stay out of it. They learn conflict resolution skills themselves grin

My mother always used to break up me and my sister. It never did any good. It always seemed like she was taking sides. And we just carried straight on anyway.

threetimemummy Sat 02-Jan-10 22:58:04

By OrmIrian Thu 31-Dec-09 12:22:08
Ignore, ignore, sigh, ignore, growl a bit, ignore, grit teeth, sigh, ignore, IGNORE, ask them to stop, IGNORE, take a deep breath, ask them to stop again, dig nails into palm, SHOUT!

You just summed up my days!!!

Rubyrubyruby Sat 02-Jan-10 23:00:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cat64 Sat 02-Jan-10 23:06:40

Message withdrawn

ShinyAndNew Sat 02-Jan-10 23:15:36

Mine are aged almost 3 and just turned 6. I generally just leave them to it, unless it starts getting too violent.

As for getting any better? When I was pg with dd2, I wanted to literally kill my sister.

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