Siblings: Must they Rival?
I had it. Bad. Sibling rivalry was very much alive in my childhood household. We got physical. Often.
Now that I have my two girls, I don't just don't know. Is it normal? Will even two saints of children encounter sibling rivalry? What can we do to dissipate the aggression and frustration? I try to stay calm, using a cool tone to repeat things like, "Respect your sister", when Philly tugs at Tati's hair just to annoy her or when Tati swats at her sister's face. When one child is clearly in the wrong, I try to break it down for the one who's made the mistake, make her understand why what she did may be hurtful to the other. I try to encourage apologies and kissing and making up. But, will we ever have a fight-free day?
Sometimes Philly says things like, "But you always let Tati do X or do Z," which makes me think, "am I favoring the younger one disproportionately?" I am figuring that, to an extent, it's only natural to nurture the younger one more and for the older one to take more poignant note.
This all mostly started when Tati was around 1.5 years old, when she started asserting herself, having an opinion, wanting things that her sister also wanted. I started trying to have two of everything - two dollies, two strollers (well, I convinced Tati that the toy shopping cart actually doubles as a stroller), two balls for the yard, two identical backpacks, two fruit leathers at one time (a single fruit leather is pointless if both girls are present). The 1:1 ratio is golden.
Share your tips, please! What are your golden rules, great phrases, that I can use when there is turmoil betwixt my two little princesses?
Of course, the most lovely thing about having a sibling is having an instant playmate. Of late, the girls beg me to let them stay home all day so they can play. I have no idea what they do upstairs, but they are increasingly spending more and more time in their imaginative play zones together. As they get older, they are playing more and more together.
But, still, they fight. Sometimes. And, it can get ugly.