Tired of your children fighting from dawn till dusk? Want a quieter life so you can drink your tea in peace? Perhaps even have a wee alone without someone visiting you to tell tales? Check out my tips on how to avoid sibling rivalry and with a few changes you too can have peace and quiet in your home*.
*Disclaimer – You really can’t.
Never offer a choice of activities, they WILL choose different activities and there WILL be tears
When you have a toddler, the parenting advice all tells you to give them choices. If you don’t want sibling rivalry, don’t do it! It doesn’t matter if your son is desperate to go to the skate park. If your daughter has said she wants to go, he will refuse point blank. You can test the theory by suggesting they choose between a trip to the supermarket and a trip to the cinema. Suddenly, the child that hates the supermarket will be fighting to the death to go shopping because their sibling managed to choose cinema first.
Never ask your children if they love each other. You won’t like the answer
Boy Child doesn’t remember a time before Girl Child came along but he still regularly tells me he wishes she hadn’t been born. He’s always quick to clarify that doesn’t mean he wants her dead. Just that he wishes she had never been here in the first place. Charming.
If you only have one of something, just throw it in the bin
If you can’t give them the same, it’s really not worth the indignation when one decides they’ve been given the lesser item. I could give one of mine a pretty rock I’d found and offer the other a tenner in compensation. I’d still have them storming off to their room complaining I love them less. Winning the sibling rivalry battle is worth much more than a tenner.
Consider weighing out all of their food so you have evidence IT IS EXACTLY THE BLOODY SAME!
Count out the sweets, weigh the cereal, measure the juice. Better still get them to do it and call it maths homework. This is the ONLY way they will believe they are not being short changed changed.
Never suggest they take turns without a fool proof system for recording whose turn it is
If you don’t have a system, they will lie. Two children shouting “It’s my turn!” At the top of their voices is really not what you need. Mine used to take turns to go in the front seat of the car. I was incapable of remembering whose turn it was and they were incapable of agreeing. Now they get a month in the front each because even I can keep track of that.
Ignore the fact that one child has holes in their shoes until they both need shoes
Child A having wet feet will not be deemed a good enough reason to buy shoes for Child A and not for Child B. If you do, you’ll be accused of loving Child A more. If child A’s feet are really wet I recommend just cutting your losses and buying Child B shoes too. Anything for a quiet life.
Just have one child
I was an only child, I highly recommend it. The only downside is you’ve got to play with them ALL THE TIME so you may, like me, decide the sibling fighting is worth it.
So there you have it, apply my tips today and sibling rivalry will reduce by around 5% (maybe).
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