We’re still visiting family in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. We awoke to some beautiful (and freezing!) snow, but my half Yooper (half Indian) kids were excited! After getting dressed into the warmest clothes they had, it was time to head out in the snow! It was perfect snow man snow – wet and above freezing!
So, what does this have to do with National Sibling Day?
My kids have full-on sibling rivalry at times.
See the lovely snow men?
Well, my daughter found out the hard way that too big of a stick will impale and snow man may crumble. Well apparently that was her brother’s fault. And then since it didn’t “fix” very well (Snow man surgery is hard!) and he threw a snow ball near her, it was his fault…
So she HAD to destroy his.
Which mean he HAD to attack her.
And after separation, they took hours to be cordial again.
I know many of my contemporaries will say showing these photos is child shaming, but it isn’t. It is honesty. All kids fight. Fun afternoons can change in an instant, but we need to keep our cool as parents. We need to give them an opportunity to fight a bit, work things out, and, intervene without bias.
As parents we have opportunities to teach and to learn. I try to let my kids work things out, even if it means they aren’t gentle. I’ve learned that kids DO fight, no matter what “we” try to do as parents. They sometimes need space from each other. We can’t FORCE kids to say sorry, and expect them to be happy when we make them say something they don’t feel. So I do PROMPT for feelings. I ask (once they’ve calmed down) if what they did was right. If they’d change anything. If they are still angry, I wait and ask later.
I’m not perfect, that’s for sure. But sibling rivalry definitely happens in all homes. All.
What do you do when you see fighting or other forms of sibling rivalry?