Julia Cook - Boys Town Press Author
“Give it back!”
“He won’t share!”
“I had it first!”
“She kicked me!”
“That’s not fair!”
Sound familiar? Oh, when your kids just can’t seem to get along… GRRRRRR!
I vividly remember fighting with my older sister over who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who got the last pudding cup and what show we were going to watch on TV. She always felt it was her job to tell me what to do, what to say and, especially, how to act. So I made it my mission in life to find every way possible to embarrass her in front of everyone! The only thing we shared was genetics. I’m pretty sure she hated me most of the time we were growing up… and I didn’t care much for her either.
Fast-forward 45 years, and hate is the last thing that would be part of our relationship. My big sister is the only person on the planet who grew up in the same world as I did. Although we are polar opposites in many ways, the bond that we share is immeasurable. Friends have come and gone throughout our lives, but my sister has been my lifelong constant, offering unconditional support, understanding and acceptance. I know that she is forever in my corner, and I am in hers.
Sibling rivalry is frustrating and upsetting, and it can create a household full of conflict that is very stressful for everyone. Siblings fight for various reasons, including ever-changing personal needs, differences in temperament, stubbornness and selfishness, and having poor conflict resolution skills.
On the flip side, however, sibling rivalry does offer kids problem-solving practice for life. Thanks to the challenges my big sister presented as we grew up, I consider myself an expert in this area!
Here are a few tips that might be helpful the next time a sibling war breaks out at your house:
Today my sister and I have much more in common than just genetics. We may share differing views of life’s memories, but the bond that has grown between us will never be broken.
It’s never too early (or too late) to start teaching your children how to build that bond.
“Siblings are a priceless gift, but you must endure time to open it up.”
Get Julia Cook’s new book on sibling rivalry I Want to Be the Only Dog available from the Boys Town Press.
Originally posted on www.boystown.org.