Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fighting means they'll be closer, right?

I've heard kids who fight grow up to be quite close. I hope so. I've also read that the best response is to not get involved. I admit I was the wussy middle child who rarely fought, while my brother and sister fought like cats and dogs, much to my parent's dismay. On the other hand, my sister was an amazing debater and now a successful lawyer, and both have wonderful marriages even thought they seem to disagree with their spouses quite a bit. I, on the other hand, was the kid someone grudgingly had to have on their debate team, and pride myself on occasionally not just giving in at the slightest hint of an argument.

My kids, well, they can fight over literally anything. It can drive me crazy although I really try not to step in until one starts pummeling the other or I can't take the yelling any more. 'Round these parts it's almost always the younger, bigger, and less controlled kid hitting his older brother. He's not even four so I hold out hope he's going to grow out of that response to not getting his way, although he does get an immediate time out. And while I hate to "blame the victim" I do wish K would learn that yelling, even if you can't get a fricken' word in edgewise and that was your toy (and even if mommy does it sometimes also to no avail), just ends up in pain.

Here's a snapshot of their weekend arguments.

  • Whose plate is bigger (they had the exact same plate)

  • Whose piece of toast is bigger (these kids have never managed to finish even the smallest serving of cinnamon sugar toast)

  • Whether the juice is called "cranberry-grape" or "cran-grape" (hey, just like the tastes great/less filling commercials, only one wanted me to actually punish the other for calling it the "wrong" name).

  • One was exaggerating about never getting to do something or other, the other used the "bad word" exaggerate (that's partly our fault, in that my husband thinks they learned to exaggerate from me, and he never lets them get away with it)

  • Whose turn it was to "read" which book to each other (impressive two non-readers could turn reading into a contact sport)

  • Who got to hold the dog (they usually just wander around and never offer to hold the dogs)

  • Cold versus warm water in the bath and who sits where (you'd think the kid who hates baths would just want to get in and our as quickly as possible)

  • And we always have the standard fights over the carseats, sippy cups, certain chairs, sleeping with mommy, which book to read and of course most of the toys.

Warning, little boy violence coming up.
My funniest documented fight was when one got mad at the other for not falling down dead when "shot." Mom, he didn't fall down and I shot him. Surprisingly, not a punishable offense in our house.

Cross-posted at Silicon Valley Moms Blog.


  1. Oh boy I hope it'll make them closer eventually. My older two fight about everything! :)

  2. It's funny as I had a very similar comment over at SV Moms. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and I completely agree with teaching them how to work it out. What I found is when I used to stop it every time - when they both got old enough to "fight" but were still babies in my eyes, they ended up just running to me about everything.

    When I gradually stopped, and was able to leave them alone they actually got past it and started to play. And there is hardly anything more exciting than listening to siblings play together. But now that my younger is FINALLY obtaining some reasoning skills, I will occastionally (like 1 out of 5 arguements)step in with a "how can we solve this problem" and whenever one of them cries unless I'm in the shower or something I'll step in.

    But with the whose plate is bigger argument, now that I just chuckle to myself cuz it's just rediculous and I think deep down they know that :)

  3. Just for clarity, this is the comment I'm responding too, for some reason it didn't carry over.

  4. When we were little, my sister and I would fight about major issues like Barbie Dolls and EZBake Ovens. My dad would say: "You two, act like sisters!" Of course, we would say, "um, we are!" Now, my sister (and the tag-along who came much later) are my best friends!

    -- LTV Mom