Things my Children Fight Over

Things my children fight over - rare picture of the children smiling together

As an only child, the sibling relationship is alien to me. My own two children are my first real experience of it and, while I knew they would argue, I have been amazed by the extent of it. There are some days when I feel like it’s only my children who are like this. At school pick up time, I see other children rushing to greet their older siblings with a hug. My newsfeed often features photos of siblings snuggled up together, happily enjoying each other’s company. In the case of my children, Girl Child complains bitterly about the fact we have to pick her brother up at all and the only time they “snuggle” is when one has the other in a headlock. However what has really amazed me are the things they fight about. Here’s a run down.


I don’t mean the “plastic tat” that parents often refer to as rubbish, I mean actual rubbish. Empty toilet roll holders, cereal boxes, yoghurt pots, junk mail. Basically anything I intend to throw away and have only one of. My personal favourite was the fight that broke out in my car over a pay and display parking ticket last week.

What to watch/play/do

The first fight of the day is usually about which cartoon they watch before breakfast. A fight I am in no way ready to deal with because I haven’t had any tea yet. This theme then carries on throughout the day with fights about who gets to choose the game, who get to choose the story and who gets to use the big table. Each of these is also followed by its partner argument about who’s turn it is. I particularly dislike this argument as they seem to expect me to know who’s turn it is. Inevitably, I never have any clue. The argument about who’s turn it is to go in the front seat drives me particularly nuts. I regularly solve the problem by banishing them both to the back.

Who goes first

One of the first things they started arguing over was who gets to go down the stairs first. They where about 2 and 4 when it started and it is one of the hardest for me to get my head around. The urge to scream “Who the f*** cares” is almost too strong to resist. This argument has now expanded to include who washes their hands first, who goes to bed first (although for this one they are both fighting for last place) and on a really bad day, who goes through the door first.

Who Has More

Again, this one usually starts early in the day with the cereal and carries on at each meal time, with added fights over who’s meal is “better” (measured by some standard I am not clear about). There are also regular fights about who has more toys, more Lego, more stickers, more friends and more adult attention. The last is particularly evident anytime a grandparent is visiting. Poor Grandad has on occasion ended up in the middle of an actual tug of war between the children.

Who Did It 

Also known as she/he hit me first, this is one I never really know how to deal with. This fight only ever starts when I am out of the room. Both of my children have been known to lie to avoid getting in trouble, I never know who is telling the truth. As I rule I refuse to intervene when the complaint is along the lines of “He stuck his tongue out at me”, “She called me a poo face” or, the perennial favourite “He looked at me”. I also don’t intervene in accusations of physical harm that haven’t resulted in tears. Claims of “She pushed me” when he is still clearly standing on his own two feet are obviously exaggerated. I have had to accept that, short of installing CCTV, I will never really know “who did it”. Nor do I really care.

I sometimes ask Chris, who has a younger brother, if all of this is normal. He assures me that it is and in fact tells me that he and his brother were sometimes worse. It makes me feel really very sorry for my mother in law and endlessly grateful to my Mum for keeping me an only child.

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Things my children fight over - I,age of two smiling children



  1. April 23, 2019 / 11:16 am

    With four and six year old boys I totally get this! We experience all of the above on a regular basis, and I can add to that fights over who has the most toys in their end of the bath, who has more cheese on their spag bol, and who has finished their dinner first (amongst many others!)

    • Jo
      April 24, 2019 / 6:43 am

      Oh yes, I totally forgot the who finishes their dinner first fight!

  2. April 23, 2019 / 1:29 pm

    I’m gearing myself up for all of this. Our boys and 6 and 2 and so currently the older one is fairly tolerant and kind to his little brother however I’m sure when his brother is more articulate the bickering will begin!

    • Jo
      April 24, 2019 / 6:44 am

      Good luck! 😂

  3. Jo | My Anxious Life
    April 23, 2019 / 8:42 pm

    Haha, oh I did honk at the fight over the parking ticket…! Mine are 4 and nearly 2 and so far they’re not tooo bad. They fight when one has a toy the other one thinks they want, and over my attention, but they do miss each other when eldest is at pre-school, bless them.

  4. April 24, 2019 / 1:47 am

    OMG! The who gets down the stairs fight is REAL! Almost every single day at my house! And mine are 3 and 6. They also fight go gets to the car first and who puts on their coat faster! I’m just glad mine are not the only ones 🙂

  5. April 24, 2019 / 3:34 pm

    My three are fighting all the time already – it drives me mad and I wasn’t expecting it so early. The twins kick, push, hit, pinch and even bite each other – and they’re not even two yet! I have an older brother and we were exactly the same til really late on! Thanks for linking up again – a great post. #ItsOK

  6. April 24, 2019 / 8:02 pm

    I rember my best friend at school fighting her sister incessantly when they were young, as an only child I was relieved I didn’t have that. but now they are adults they are best friends

  7. April 25, 2019 / 6:40 am

    I’m sure as soon as my son can talk (or inflict pain, whichever comes first) we’ll be in exactly the same boat. He already pulls his sister’s hair and he’s only 6 months old… #itsok (sort of)

  8. April 27, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    EVERY . DAM . DAY!!!!

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