Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Sibling Rivalry September 3, 2012

I know that I cannot force my daughters to love one another and that to a certain extent their rivalry is perfectly normal. But am I horrible for saying that it drives me CrAzY?!

I cannot stand their bickering.

“No I didn’t!”


“Aaugh! Sister hurt me!”



And the crying. There are so many tears that I think I’ve figured out why I hardly shed them in my adult life. I must have used them all up between the ages of three and five.

I cannot believe some of the things they’ve done to one another. Hair pulling, kicking, punching, spitting, purposely urinating on the others belongings, stealing, biting, lying, crying wolf, and breaking toys among other things. I often wonder if the negativity of my marriage influenced these behaviors, or if this is just the way of young siblings. It bewilders me.

I try so hard to teach them how to show one another respect. I try to wisely choose the battles I step into. I try to lead by example, to explain how valuable a sister can be. I pray that they will outgrow their disheartening rivalry, but at the moment I am annoyed beyond belief.

I want to scream with them. I want to run away. It’s extremely difficult to handle these days because of my severe lack of patience. I am too tired and stressed and borderline depressed to deal with such insensitive unnecessary madness. I just want to tell them to shut up and shake hands and show love, but that would be inappropriate.

I am trying harder to not not play favorites. To not compare them to one another. To let them be who they are trying to become and encourage them to express their individuality while showing them that I love them unconditionally. I try to make sure that every one is well fed, well rested, and working as a team. Still it seems that they are constantly competing.

I am counting down the days until they start school. I imagine that having more than one playmate will cut down on their constant battling. I fear that they will both be their class’ bully, but I’m hoping that once there are other children around, and more than one authority figure, they’ll straighten out.

Or, at least they’ll practice being kind in public and save all of their negative energy for me. I’ll work on finding solace in the breaks in between.


3 Responses to “Sibling Rivalry”

  1. so much respect for you. parenting is such hard work. my sister and i were terrible rivals growing up. we would play together but it would often end in huge fights. much of the behaviour you described between your girls was regular with my sister and i. we were in a war. if it’s any reassurance, i’ll share that as a adults (from our late teens on) my sister and i have become extremely close and have an unbreakable bond. we’ve lived on our own together for six years and would have each others backs through anything. i think sibling rivalry is totally normal. but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. sending many blessings your ways.

    • Jet Says:

      I hope my girls turn out like you and your sister! I keep telling myself that no one ever died from a little spit in the eye, but then I haven’t researched it so I’m not 100% comforted 🙂 My sister and I didn’t fight much, not really at all that I remember until junior high/high school, but I couldn’t EVER imagine living with her as an adult. Maybe I should think on their rivalry positively then? You’ve given me hope (as always). Thanks!

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