Sibling Rivalry

Do we ever outgrow sibling rivalry???  I have 4 girls and it seems like they are always questioning how much I give the other one.  Whether it’s money, attention, shopping, love, etc….They just don’t ever stop.  I feel like I can’t win.

Everyone keeps telling me to get used to it, it only gets worse as they get older.  They will fight over your attention, how much you help the other one over them and oh wait till they have children.  It will then be you give more, or more help, to the other grandchild.

Oh how I don’t want it to come to that.  Any ideas on how I can stop it now?  They range in age from 3-17 so they all have different needs, wants etc.  So they don’t always get the same.  I keep telling them it’s because they are all their own individual person. 

The 17 year old just got her belly button pierced, now the 3 year old asks to get it done.  The answer is NO.  Yes I let your sister but you are only 3!! BIG DIFFERENCE.  Understand what I mean?  How can I make them understand it now so I don’t have bigger problems when they get older???

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9 Responses to Sibling Rivalry

  1. Tosha says:

    I don’t think you can make them understand.. I fight my 4 every day with this and the 2 girls (9 and 5) are the worst ones! The boys (7 and 1) aren’t so bad yet but i’m guessing that may change as the one year old gets older..

    I can tell you that as a child my sister and I were like that.. I think we even really disliked each other at one point but as adults we aren’t like that anymore.. Its not worth it to be like that..

  2. SKL says:

    It will come with maturity. And I am the first to admit my surprise at how long maturity takes!

    In the mean time, with the older ones, you could ask them to see things from your perspective. You can’t do everything for everyone all the time – it just isn’t humanly possible. And you don’t want to say no all the time either, just because a “yes” for one child will lead to a disappointment for another child. If they’d feel better about it, you could switch to saying “no” to every request for a while and see if it makes them any happier. I guess that’s the speech I would give. And I’d remind the complainer of the last time she got something her sister(s) didn’t get. That won’t always work at the moment, but hopefully they will internalize the logic over time.

    I am the 3rd of 6 kids so I pretty much heard “no” all the time. Even when my mom meant “maybe,” she said a preemptive “no” to avoid getting complaints later. It sucked, but I can understand the position she was in. I was very competitive with my sister and vice versa. In my mind, my sister got the most and best of everything, probably because our minds tend to remember the negatives more than the positives. My mom didn’t try to get into the “your needs are different” stuff – probably because that would have put my sister in a negative light, since she had health, learning, and behavior issues that I didn’t have. She generally just said “too bad” if I didn’t like her choices for whatever reason.

    I honestly can’t think of a great way to prevent kids’ jealousy. I’ve heard all kinds of suggestions – get them involved in each others’ stuff, etc. – but the reality is, kids live in the moment and at the moment one girl is bound to be getting something the other isn’t getting. And I do think girls are more prone to jealousy than boys.

    In some ways, I have it even tougher because my kids are almost the same age. When one needs to be held, the other wants the same and will sometimes try to climb into my lap and “share” it. The one I’m holding doesn’t want to be put down because that would mean the other will get mama hugs, and at times, every single mama hug is coveted. They are too young to understand anything beyond “take turns” so that’s what I use, but it doesn’t always work well. This is just a reality we have to work through over time.

  3. nikki says:

    Tough one!! 4 girls?? I’d say you’re screwed!! J/K. You are going to run yourself raged if you even attempt to make them understand. It’s just a part of maturing and finding they’re part in this world. And they will find it. And too I think girls can be worse than boys but I think girls grow out of it faster than boys so at least you have that on your side. I have an only child so the sibling rivalry is not an issue. I’m thankful for that, it is not fun. When I was younger my brother, 4 years older, always got me into trouble and he “could do no wrong.” I still feel like she “loves” him more. I keep it to myself, except for Jason, he knows how I feel and he sees’ it to so it’s not my imagination. I think it has something to do with the fact that she was completely in love with his father and he died, and my dad was the alcoholic cheater who left us willingly.

  4. Sue says:

    To this day my sisters keep tabs on one another!!! One tried for almost a year to get pregnant, finally did only to find out my other sister was knocked up so sister #1 felt like sister #2 stole all her thunder!!!! To top it off, sister #2 had her baby 2 days before sister #1, so sister #1 really felt jilted. Get over it. Life’s not fair and you get out of life what you put into it and that goes for the relationships you have with your family and friends. My mom watched my neice every other weekend for sister #2 for about 1 year so when I’d ask if my mom could watch my kids I, 99% of the time, got the answer no. Their arrangement kind of shafted everyone else, but oh well. My sister needed help and my mom was willing, what can I say about that? Sister #1 still is mad about that!

  5. K. Trainor says:

    I have no answers, but if you finds some please oh please let us know! Two dd’s here–9 and 13. They are extremely competitive, so I know exactly what you’re saying! Four kids instead of only two…I can’t imagine. I’d be saying No to everything just to maintain my sanity. lol! Good luck and let us know if you find the answers!

  6. joanharvest says:

    That must be difficult with 4 girls. You’ve got your own “Little Women” going on. I just had one boy and one girl and every one knew the girl was the boss. My son just followed her around like a puppy. I never had to go through the rivalry thing. Good luck with that. I guess you must need a lot of patience.

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I feel your pain! I have a 16 year old and a 9 year old daughter. The little one is definetly tired of hearing when you get older you can….

  8. Candi says:

    I have a 18 years old sister, i do not belive that we ever went through this. We were best friends from the time she come home from the hospital. So It may never happen to all sisters. I have 3 kids age 4 7 and 9, and they go through this from time to time, but nothing big. They are all very close, and are there for each other. They fight, but nothing, big.

  9. kweenmama says:

    Our’s is a slightly different problem. My husband’s ex has hooked up with a millionaire and so is able to shower her kids (my step kids) with money and every gadget imaginable. My own kids don’t get all that stuff but have to see their step siblings enjoying all their toys. There were times that it seemed the step kids were rubbing it in the faces of the others. It seems to have calmed down though, thankfully. We try to teach the value of a dollar here and the value of work and then we hope the kids all “get it.”

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