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If you didn't have close brothers and sisters (or none at all) do you find sibling squabbling disturbing?

(16 Posts)
UnquietDad Wed 09-Sep-09 16:45:06

DW grew up in a big, boisterous family and had to fight for her share of everything - the kind of household where time on the TV/computer was blocked out on a timetable to the last minute and a detailed record was kept of who had had the end of the Arctic Roll last time. That kind of thing drives me insane.

(And she now likes nothing better than "family days" where they all get together and talk loudly over each other. I hate this kind of thing with a passion and would rather have my teeth pulled out.)

I grew up with a much older brother and sister who had more or less gone from home by the time I was about 7/8, so I never really had to share anything and had my parents almost to myself, so it was almost like being an only child.

The result of this is that I find it really disturbing, and almost physically painful, when DD and DS squabble and I sometimes can't even bear to be in the room. DW thinks it is all "normal." You do hear stories of people who grew up and "got on fine" with their siblings of similar age, and I often longing wonder why mine can't be like that...

cluckyagain Wed 09-Sep-09 16:47:45

Strangely I am the opposite - my sister is 7 yrs older than I and I felt like an only child. I had 3 under 4 1/2 (much to my mother's distress!) and although it was chaos, I definitely wanted it to be that way.

OrmIrian Wed 09-Sep-09 16:50:20

Yes. I have one DB who is 6yrs older. I squabbled with him but he wasn't there a lot of the time so there was time for absence to do it's thing. Mine are so horrible to each other often ('I really hate you' shock) and it upsets me. DH tells me it's just a sibling thing but I can't help it sad

belgo Wed 09-Sep-09 16:51:25

I remember me and my brother fighting, and we were really nice, well behaved children, so I know my children squabbling is perfectly normal.

I suppose if you don't have that perspective it could be quite shocking - in my experience, siblings behave far worse with each other then they do with other children.

RudyDudy Wed 09-Sep-09 16:55:52

My DH and I fit a similar pattern to you. He is an only child and I am one of 3 with relatively small age gaps. Like your DW I love the hustle and bustle and am well trained in chipping in quickly to get yourself heard. Am also well trained in blocking out things I don't want/need to hear and am much more likely to let a bit of squabbling go on until it hopefully resolves itself. DH will be much quicker at jumping in as soon as there is disharmony as he really doesn't like it and finds it quite disturbing.

I think it depends on your perspective on it all. I don't think it means anything when the kids have a little squabble over who sits where at the dinner table. Me and my brothers squabbled over just about everything from who read the cereal packet at breakfast to who sat in the middle on car journeys. I had a really happy childhood and am still close to both of them.

In short, I think squabbling doesn't mean that they are not getting on fine.

As for you - ear-plugs?? wink

PinkTulips Wed 09-Sep-09 16:57:40

I'm an only child and no it doesn't bother me at all.... although my older two get quite physically violant but neither can take as well as they give so i do get a bit annoyed with the constant 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Mommmmmeeeeee! He/she bit/punched/kicked! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!'

dp is from a family of squabbling siblings (they still do now at 31, 29 and 24 grin) and he actually gets more annoyed by it than me so i think it's just your personality that affects how much it bothers you

UnquietDad Wed 09-Sep-09 16:58:10

Or just walking out of the room - that works fine too...

The "chipping in" thing is a very hard one. I am very frustrated sometimes not to be able to get a words in edgeways in my own house.

It's even worse when all of DW's family are there are they simply SHOUT OVER each other and have several conversations at once. I need a long lie down in a dark room afterwards.

cluckyagain Wed 09-Sep-09 16:59:53

....alcohol helps I find. Sigh.

RudyDudy Wed 09-Sep-09 17:00:26

UnquietDad - my mom had the same experience in our house. She was effectively an only child (herDB died young) and couldn't understand how she had ended up in such a loud household where people didn't politely wait for others to finish before starting talking. She used to get quiet upset thinking that no-one wanted to hear what she had to say. She learned to live with us all in the end, though wink

ProfYaffle Wed 09-Sep-09 17:08:27

I'm like you UQD, I'm an only child and find my 2dc squabbling hard to cope with though I am getting used to it and am now better able to screen out the noise.

dh otoh is the youngest of 3, close together in age, and he's way less patient than me re noise and general small child hassle.

JackBauer Wed 09-Sep-09 17:09:29

If you asked me I would say we all got along as children.
But (serious) injuries inflicted that I can rememerb off the top of my head consisted of
Earrings ripped out
Numerous pushings down stairs
Igloo's being collapsed on person inside
Stabbed with a screwdriver
kicked in ribs (numerous times again)

There were 4 of us girls. My brother was born after a largish gap and we were all sweetness and light to him.
I would say that people have rosy recollections.

DH and his DB swear they were best mates but I was witness to him dangling his little brother over the banister by his ankles when we were 17. And throwing a table at him.

Hassled Wed 09-Sep-09 17:19:49

My DB put earwigs in my bed, and dangled me over the toilet repeatedly. I bit him until he bled and burst open his appendix stitches.

So when my DCs fight it's water off a duck's back. I usually just leave the room, unless it looks like there might be blood.

UnquietDad Wed 09-Sep-09 17:23:50

Blimey. It seems I should be grateful mine are not at each other's throats all the time!!

TsarChasm Wed 09-Sep-09 17:40:55

I'm an only child and now have 3 dc.

I had a tendency to knock myself out treating them all as only children at first, but I realised that wasn't ok.

I don't like them squabbling and tend to think it's more serious than it is I think. A row in our house when I was growing up was serious stuff and my parents made huge deals out of it looking back.

I try to remind myself that vocal differences of opinion are a good thing. Really I think they are. Far better to have things said and the confidence to say them than silences, sulks and stuff bottled up. I have awful, awful memories of that as a child between my parents and also they could be like it towards me when I was young, which I think is wrong. Sometimes it would go on for weeks and the atmosphere at home could be cut with a knifesad

I do sometimes find it gives me a headache bemusing to watch my own dc being noisy and argumentative. They're never been too terrible about it though I suppose. I can see that from a positive pov sibling squabbles (as long as they're not damaging) are a good place to learn how to stand your ground when you're an adult.

Yes, I do find it overwhelming both with my own dc and also dh's big family when they all get together and start being noisy and loud. I feel a bit of an outsider cos I don't know how to do that, but I wish I did.

BoredShitlessbytheDailyMail Wed 09-Sep-09 17:46:37

Me and my little brother faught like cat and dog growing up, I am three yrs older than him. In fact in every photo of him from the ages of about 3 to 9ish he has scratches bruises etc blush

but we are and always have been extremely close, in a I can tell you what he's thinking, finish each others sentences and have on a number of occasions starting singing randomly (as you do) the same song at the same point in the song - which freaks everyone out lol

We still fight - although not physically anymore (I wouldn't stand a chance lol) but we are still close and neither of us would be without the other

My DD is an only, and I'm almost sad sometimes that I don't have the squabbling around me. I associate it with normal and healthy and close sibling relationships.

MrsWuh Thu 10-Sep-09 18:58:03

My brother and I fought like cat and vicious, psychotic ninja dog (that's him, by the way!). We can't stand each other, even now. Haven't spoken for nearly four years. It breaks my heart to think of my two sons ending up like that. Our youngest is only just one, so the sibling squabbles haven't really started yet. But I know I am going to hate it when they do - there's no way I'll be able to ignore them fighting, let alone leave the room! They WILL love each other and be best friends forever, OR THEY WILL HAVE ME TO DEAL WITH!!! grin

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