Last Friday, I took my sons to be tested for ADHD/ADD and anxiety. One of the funnier things that came out of the day was when the therapist asked if the boys had different relationships with their sister.
My reply. “Yes, definitely. The oldest gets along with his sister and the younger one is exactly like his sister, so they butt heads all the time.”
“That’s what I gathered,” said the therapist. “I asked your older son if he fights with anyone and he said, ‘no except for my brother’.” She then said she asked, “What about your sister?”
My oldest son answered. “No. If I had to fight her, I would do it in the gentlest way possible, so that she wouldn’t get hurt.”
“That’s about right. They play together well,” I said. “So, what did my younger son say?”
“He said, ‘we fight all the time and she’s always getting me in trouble,” said the therapist.
That about sums it up their relationship. My youngest, the only girl, is 4 years younger than the oldest, so there is really little competition between them. They can play together without fighting. My oldest is also very good at “negotiating”. Usually to his benefit, but as long as he isn’t taking too much advantage of others, I’m not going to fret over this potentially beneficial skill in his future.
Like I said, they can play together without supervision for a few minutes. He’s still learning the boundaries of the human body, so I don’t leave them alone for long or else I’ll find her being drug around the basement from the back of the motorized four wheeler or holding on to it while sitting on a rolling mechanical seat! Of course, she would be laughing.
Not that I would really worry too much about that either, but my husband would have a meltdown if Princess got a scratch.
Seriously, this post is not about him, but it has taken until now to get him to see that he has taught her to be overly dramatic when hurt to get his attention and sympathy. My point, “It’s a scrape for God sakes and if you would have listened to me in the first place, it wouldn’t have happened. You aren’t bleeding and no bones are protruding-shake it off!” Cue the Taylor Swift music.
Okay, back to the point. My daughter is 3 years younger than my middle son and they are exactly alike: dramatic, hyper, charming, cute, emotionally driven, and exhibit behavior externally. When they try to talk to each other, they have to correct each other, talk over each other, and when that doesn’t work, bite, push, shove, or punch each other. Granted it has greatly improved over the years and I feel in a couple of years they will have enough coping skills to handle each other without fighting. But, until then, I can’t leave them alone together and keep my husband’s sanity.
So, they don’t play together much and when they do, I spend lots of time explaining to them how to get along, modeling ways to work out their issues, and running interference.
If daddy wasn’t so hung up on boys hitting girls, I’d let them work it out and figure out how to get along, because Princess packs a mighty punch. She is one tough cookie!
What sibling rivalries do you have to deal with?
p.s. One other side note to the trip for testing, one of my sons managed to shatter a lamp cover from a hanging down chandelier and they both got put in time out by the therapist. Thankfully, daddy stayed at work!
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