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Family Ties: Letting Kids Figure It Out

My kids get along fabulously most of the time. They are at ages where they enjoy each other's company whether they are on outings or playing around the house. They delight in the bizarre games they create feeding off one another's ideas, sharing belly laughs and cracking each other up. Every so often I catch my son looking at his big sis in awe because she colors in the lines or can reach things that he can't. And in that vein she cheers him on and tells him he couldn't be any cuter. Those are the good moments. To see what else they experience,


Then there are the lil battles waged when they both want the same stuffed animal or to watch different movies — when kicking, grabbing and screeching ensues. While sibling squabbles are to be expected, I've noticed that when I am out of the room and late to referee, they figure it out. She's got a couple inches and pounds on him, but physically, they are an even match. When push comes to shove, I intervene, but since it's hard to know exactly what happened, they often take a different route. All on their own, they settle the storm. Sometimes she gives in or wraps him up in a hug. At times, he gets distracted or extends a peace offering. Either way, through these tug of wars, their relationship has turned into more than that of siblings, but friends.

nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 9 years
This TOTALLY validates a theory I've had about siblings (I'm an only child). But watching my hubby and his sis interact while we were in college, I saw what I consider a barrier to a very close relationship between them - Daddy always came to the rescue of the little girl and interceded in the fight. In talking with my hubby, they never really had an opportunity to duke it out and then kiss and make up. As a result, there's some lingering *feelings*. I always thought if they had just been given the opportunity to fight it out (without resorting to physical injury to one or the other) they would also have to figure out how to work out those differences. It seemed obvious that when a parent interjects/interferes in the dispute, one side is feeling like the "winner" while the other feels like the "looser" and both sides see the parent taking sides (regardless of whether it really is happening). Now that #2 is on the way for us, I really hope I can take a step back from time to time when a dispute arises and let them resolve their differences on their own. Not only do I think it will result in a much closer relationship, but I also think it teaches valuable life skills relating to conflict resolution. I didn't get it from brothers or sisters, but I certainly figured it out time and again with my cousins. Maybe I'm just way out in left (or right) field on this, but your observations really seem to affirm my *gut* instinct.
mother2 mother2 9 years
I love to hear this, because I feel the same way about my twins. Sometimes I think it's worse when I am in the room, because they are both looking to me to take care of it, and it seems to escalate the screaming and pushing. But when I am not around and take a peek unnoticed into the room where they are playing, disputes are settled much more quickly. I do always check to see that no one is hurt, but for the most part, my son and daughter come to a peaceful solution. My favorite thing is to hear them laughing hysterically and peek in to find them rolling around on the floor just being silly kids. Like anyone else would, being with the same person every day, they get on each other's nerves at times, but when it comes down to it, they really do love each other.
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