Games in the Garden

Coping with sibling rivalry is something all parents of siblings have to endure. For me, well you know I have two boys and let me tell you boys are competitive!!! Oh my goodness me, they are competitive. They never stop trying to best each other; trying to get one up on each other. Through every aspect of their life, they manage to always find ways to be the “winner”. I’ve learnt to just roll my eyes at their competitive behaviour and go with the flow. It never stops so why should I expect it to.

I suppose some small part of me hopes that one day they will make it to the front door, without pushing the other under the bus to get their first. Everything is a competition. So, if they choose to live their lives in this manner, how can I make it so that it benefits me? On that note, these are my tips to coping with sibling rivalry. For more advice please see ‘Dealing with Sibling Rivalry‘.

Eating Habits

Meal times are always a challenge. My goal is to make it through as quickly as possible without giving them indigestion. The last thing I need is 2 little boys spewing their loads everywhere. Been there! Done that! Bought the ugly t-shirt! Ruined a Hoover!

Most times I end up losing my patience trying to pick them up off the floor. You know, because meal times are the perfect time to knock lumps out each other. Although, according to them, anytime is the perfect time to batter your brother.

So, if they insist on making everything a competition, why not try to make it work in my favour; suggest small bribes to get through without an altercation. If it prevents World War 3, then why not? If is helps you in coping with sibling rivalry, then why not? Although, most of the time you diffuse one situation to then have to replay it at a later point with something else. It becomes a never-ending cycle. A battle of wits!

Life with Boys

The same applies to other parts of life:

  • Who can get dressed first
  • Who can get their shoes and coat on first
  • Who can brush their teeth first
  • Who can reach the next lamp post first
  • Who can put their seatbelt on first

When you are a mum to any child you need to think outside the box. With these 2 little hellions I always need to be several steps ahead of the game. Life with boys is a rollercoaster; one minute you’re up, the next you’re crashing back down to earth. There may be a lot of friendly competition between the two but as boys they are also extremely physical. It takes a split second for one to lose his temper and then the fighting ensues. Part of motherhood is pre-empting this and attempting to detain it before it gets out of hand.


Physical Activity

One way in coping with sibling rivalry has always been to make sure there is as much physical activity in their day as possible. Tink attends karate, swimming and football. Pup was due to start all 3 shortly; he is desperate to get his fists into karate. However, the covocalypse has interfered with this. We now have to make the most of the outdoors.

Walks in the Park

All children’s clubs have temporarily been put on hold, although, swimming is due to start back this week much to my dismay. Bare feet, communal showers, gungy changing rooms, all give me the major boke. As a parent you always put your child’s needs before your own.

With options limited I feel quite grateful for the school and nursery. If we enter into another lockdown, which currently seems probable, it is unlikely that the schools will close. The prospect of this doesn’t seem quite so daunting now.

Life goes on regardless of what happens in the world around us. Despite war! Despite politics! Despite Covid! Mothers and fathers still have to parent. We still have to raise our children to be the people that they are meant to become. At the end of the day, a little competitive behaviour and sibling rivalry is needed in life to teach strength and independence, just as long as no-one is seriously hurt in the process.

If you are expecting a second child and are worried about sibling rivalry or jealousy, babycentre UK has some good guidance on this subject.

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