Monday, February 13, 2012


I have to admit that I'm completely baffled by physical sibling fighting.My sister and I are almost 7 years apart. As far as I know there was one physical altercation between us. She was 2 or 3, which had to make me somewhere around 9. This is my recollection of that incident:

I pushed/hit/smacked/physically harmed my sister in some way.

My parents:

And that was pretty much the end of that. It wasn't that we always got along, but because she was so much younger, she was more of a nuisance than a real object of anger (I love you Peanut!).

I know most siblings fight. My husband,who has a sister 3 years younger than him, admits to lots of physical shenanigans, including vacuuming her hair. Now, of course, he's one of the gentlest men I've ever met.

Our boys are currently at a peak of irritating each other. To be fair, the physical pushing/hitting/smacking is mostly coming from Cheeky Monkey right now, because, well, he's two. Gummy Bear plays the role of the instigator. Rarely an hour goes by without them squabbling over a toy or annoying each other such that it ends in tears and/or time out. I am praying that they'll outgrow it at some point. Until then, here are the new household rules:

  • If you fight over a toy, it becomes Mommy and Daddy's toy.
  • You must make some attempt to solve your problem before turning it over to a higher authority.
  • Any physical altercation or tantrum results in immediate corner/time out time.
  • Further inability to get along means you get to play by yourselves. In separate rooms.
Because seriously, I'm tired of this. But mostly, just tired.


adenine said...

My son was four years older than his sister, so he was never allowed to put his hands on her in anger or even rough play. In my case it was easy because he was big/she was little, him a boy/her girl. But i have known plenty of families with two or more boys with less of an age gap and they allowed brutal altercations. I have always wondered what is an appropriate amount of physical roughness because my kids got none. Men are expected to be dominant, masculine and aggressive but how do they get that way without the small backyard scraps with brothers and neighbor's boys? How does a parent teach a boy to defend himself physically without encouraging anti social behavior? . . .
Good topic
good post

Cathy said...

I do have vacuum trauma scars... We're not talking the hose suck it up and it comes right back out vacuum either, I'm talking vacuum head with rotating bristles and long ponytail. Did Ry also tell you that he used to make the dog attack me by holding down my arms and getting Heidi to think we were "playing"? Since Mom never had a close in age sibling she used to think it was funny when we fought. At least I always had fingernails to defend myself, he definitely had the size advantage. On the flip side, i'm pretty lucky to have such a great brother, the good times far outweigh the bad and we laugh about them now.

Jo said...

Does Ryan still have the mark on his arm where you bit him?

Jason said...

I specifically remember all kinds of fighting with my brother growing up, as well as tons of fighting between all of the pairs of brothers that I was friends with.

Lets just say that I'm very glad to have a daughter and would be just fine with more girls.

I know this helps about as well as the last comment :(

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