Sibling Rivalry Kills Parents

I was stumped for a topic for this post so I turned to my most trusted source of material and asked my kids. My son offered up an essay he wrote for class entitled “The Perfect Family”. While it was tempting to share that little gem with you all, it felt wrong. My daughter then said, “Write about how we get along.” And then I laughed until I fell out of my chair because I thought she was implying that they get along well. She rolled her eyes and said, ”No, I meant how we get along …you know, sometimes badly.” That made more sense.

My son is 10 and my daughter is 6 and, though they seem to love each other, they bicker more than seems reasonable for such small people.

  • They bicker over every single game they play because they are both big fat cheaters.
  • They bicker over who gets to brush their teeth first but who gets to take a bath last.
  • They bicker over who gets to pick the first song in the car and then want veto power over the other’s choice. (My daughter vetoes “Thriller” and my son vetoes “We Got the Beat”).
  • They bicker over who gets the jelly jar glass that says “Kerr” on it. I have no idea why.
  • They bicker over the pants of the 10,000 Lego figures we have.
  • Worst of all, they bicker over who gets to pet the cat. We may be the only family in the history of the world that has to set up joint custody visitation rights over a cat.

I’m not gonna lie – there are times when the bickering turns to brawling. You can imagine my pride when I discover that my children have just gotten into fisticuffs over knitting. When it does go that far, you know who ends up crying every time? The 10 year old. The 6 year old is an ass kicker.

Sometimes, I regret that I live in this day and age when we are all so enlightened about our parenting and worry about self-esteem and  peaceful conflict resolution. Why couldn’t my family have lived in the time when parents just let siblings beat the crap out of each other in some sort of cross between WWF and Darwinian Family Feud? WHY?!

I have no doubt that my children will survive each other. I’m just not sure that I’ll survive…unless we keep going to the beach. They are perfectly manageable when immobilized in the sand.

About Vikki

Vikki is a bored social worker by day and a mom/writer/pop culture junkie by night. She writes about GLBT issues and parenting at her personal blog Up Popped A Fox and her writing has also appeared at Grace the Spot and Autostraddle. She also has an inexplicable fascination with marshmallow Peeps. Don't ask.


  1. Diana says:

    My kids got along well, and fought over everything – which is why my rule was – no fighting in the house. Please go outside and off the deck.

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  2. Sarah says:

    My kids are 5,3, and 2. They fight so much I swear I’m going to get a trampoline and they can duke it out cage match style.

    P.S.> Our cat has a restraining order against the 2 year old for stalking and petting with the intent to smooshie face.

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  3. GrandeMocha says:

    There was an episode of Sex and the City , where Charlotte said her parents made the kids settle all their fights on the tennis court. Then she added that they were all really good tennis players. I thought that was an awesome idea. I only have one so I never got to test it out.

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  4. I bet the cat just loves being fought over like that. I’m being sarcastic, based on how I think my cat would feel about it.

    Apparently my sister and I are “freaks” (actual word my husband uses) because we rarely fought.

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  5. MamaKaren says:

    I am dying to know about the fight over knitting. A disagreement about whether knitting is a cool hobby? A tug of war over the size 8 circular needles? Attempted strangulation with some worsted weight wool?

    My sister and I could not stand each other when we were growing up, but now we are really good friends. I try to keep that in mind when I am sending the kids to their respective corners.

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  6. Jennifer says:

    Mine fight over who gets to pee first before they go to bed.

    It is all weird for me because there was a seven year difference between me and my brother so we didn’t really have the fighting that our kids do. My husband on the other hand says it is exactly the same as it was with his sister.

  7. Meg says:

    My sister and I fought so much that we were known for it. I actually thought the way normal families were, was to hate your sister. I thought the siblings who got along were weird. Now that we’re grown, we are best friends ad rarely even have disagreements. I hope that for your kids and mine :)

  8. So funny… Janice’s 9 yr old boy and 4 yr old girl fight tons. My two girls fight more than I’d like, but I’m lucky that most of the time they play quite nicely.

  9. Rosstwinmom says:

    My twins turn roughhousing-type play into blood and tears. They adore each other very much, but they really have little patience for being blocked from their play space for more than 3 seconds. Hitting makes brothers do what you want, right?

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