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Sibling rivalry

(14 Posts)
motherofboys Thu 21-Apr-05 16:17:21

I am new to Mumsnet and joined looking for advice on how to handle rivalry between my boys. As I type i can hear DS1 (9)n have a right go at DS2 (7) because he won't kick the ball exactly the way he wants him to. DS2 has now come in upset and DS1 is kicking his anger out on the ball whilst shouting to anyone who will listen how rubbish his brother is. This is typical and I try really hard to ignore the negative and sympathise with the "victim" but it does not get any easier. The two of them are united in their affections for DS3 (4) but even this gets competitive. Any advice from anyone please?

Kayleigh Thu 21-Apr-05 16:36:35

Oh dear. My ds1 is nearly 7 and my ds2 is nearly 4. This sounds so much like them. I was hoping they'd grow out of it soon .

My two do spend 50% of their time cuddling and playing beautifully but the other 50% they drive each other nuts, call names and generally wind each other up.

Do your boys have times when they do get on ok motherofboys ?

aloha Thu 21-Apr-05 16:39:15

I think I would have some kind of punishment, such as loss of privileges for shouting about his brother being rubbish. I think that's unacceptably unkind. Yes, he can think it, but he can't shout about it. It's not fair.
I think the book Sibling Rivalry/Sibling Love seems good. My two are only 3 and 10 weeks so can't offer any practical help.

motherofboys Thu 21-Apr-05 16:47:30

For about the last half hour before bed they do sometimes play nicely together, but generally it is only if the eldest wants to. I have tried financial rewards/punishments but they don't seem to work for long. Playstation bans work but they are a bit extreme. I have read a book on Sibling Rivalry which talks about focussing on the good and ignoring the bad behaviour but it is very hard. I do quite well but then usually end up loosing my temper!

motherofboys Thu 21-Apr-05 19:17:39

Just wondering, having come back from a friends house where she has the same issues as me - where all you guys out there are? Maybe my kids are too old for this chat room?

Kayleigh Thu 21-Apr-05 19:22:06

Your kids are definitely not to old for this chat room. There are quite a lot of mums with kids same ages as yours. Hang on in there

motherofboys Thu 21-Apr-05 20:19:51

Thanks kayleigh I will - the house is nice and quiet at the mo as DS1 is out !

Kayleigh Thu 21-Apr-05 20:25:57

My house is nice and quiet too. But that is 'cos both boys are asleep and dh has gone out for a drink after work

Have a glass of chilled white wine and my computer for company - bliss !!!

flashingnose Thu 21-Apr-05 20:54:16

I don't have any advice, just lots of sympathy as I've watched a number of friends try to cope with this. Is there anything that ds2 is better at than ds1?

motherofboys Fri 22-Apr-05 10:22:05

DS1 is very bright - top at school in almost everything whereas DS2 is struggling with almost everything - this does not help! DS2 is less confident and I am sure a lot of it is becasue of the way his brother treats him. He does have a better imagination and can invent and draw better than DS1 so we do encourage this. He is a much kinder person too. When DS1 is in a good mood and plays 'teacher' DS2 responds so well. If only I could find the right button to encourage this?!?

oops Fri 22-Apr-05 10:28:16

Message withdrawn

loretta1 Sat 21-May-05 22:51:52

How do you help a bright younger female sibling (7) cope with a struggling 9 year old brother. She is good at lots of things and he stuggles. She is very frustrated by him as he is slower and has attention problems and he is very hurt by her. They fight most of the time. It's very sad as he adored her and she him until she was 3 and a half.

ghost Sat 21-May-05 23:43:12

loretta, perhaps if you try to find something that they can both do well, or not not so well and have fun at the same time. My older two (only two and three - so younger than yours - but same issue want to play together but that year is a major difference interms of understanding and ability - receipe for combat at short notice) of three hate not being able to do something well, and also both want to lead. So I am normally on a mission to find things that are easy to implement as short notice and that their individual abilities won't frustrate the other. When they are in a really good mood I try to get them to do things that require co-operation and patience, taking turns etc. It take a great deal of patience on occaision but I am already seeing the benefits, listened outside the door the other day as I heard them telling each other your turn as they were playing at jumping off the toy box!! on would wait patiently whilst the other climbed up and jumped then they would swap over, whereas on a bad day they would be killing each other to be the first up. As one of four very different siblings with drastically different personalities and abilities I honest believe this would have prevent a few arguments in our house. I know its harder with older children to find things they will both like but there will be a few things.

tiddlypom Sun 22-May-05 00:49:04

I think you do have to be relentless in praising both kids for helping each other, playing well together, getting on beautifully, being kind, etc. I also give spontaneous rewards (eg small toys to share) for instances of being nice to each other.

I read somewhere that squabbling at home is actually practice for real life, so it's definitely worth working at. And in the long term, it's definitely in their interests to get on well, so they can support each other as grown-ups.

Having said that, I often think I have it easier than most, because I've got a ds and a dd (different genders), with 4 years between them, so it's much easier not to make comparisons. I'm always rather taken aback that ds can still feel threatened by dd. We put a lot of emphasis on the fact that they're "different" not better or worse, and we try to discourage them from thinking in comparative terms, which also applies to people at school - no point in seeing if someone got a better mark.

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