I didn't think sibling rivalry would be such an issue. But boy, do my boys fight. I remember my oldest child's first negative comment to me about his little brother. "I remember when I was the only child...I was happy then." Of course he was! The world revolved around him. He didn't have to share his parents' attention or affection.
My younger son had his turn too, telling me earnestly when he was three that he didn't want Colin to belong to our family anymore.
They would argue over the silliest things. I remember the time we were driving in the van, and Ryan was beside himself because Colin was looking out 'his' window. I was outraged. How dare he??
My boys beg me to let them wrestle. They literally plead with me, saying they both like it, and they promise not to really hurt one another. Once they even bargained with me to let them wear all their hockey pads so they could wrestle and not hurt each other. What is that? It's obviously a boy thing. I let them wrestle that day, with all their hockey gear on, and my daughter and I sat on the couch and watched them roll around on the rug in amazement. They're very physical and they have so much energy and it needs to go somewhere, I guess.
I know it's not only boys; I've heard of girls wrestling too. I think the worst sibling rivalry is with two children of the same gender. That seems to be my experience, anyway. I guess there is more of a competition factor.
I've tried several different ways of approaching the fighting.
The other day I made them hug each other, hoping this would help. They hugged each other, all right. Like the 'entertainers' on Wrestle Mania! I had to break it up. So much for that plan.
The best thing to do seems to be to send them to their rooms until they can work out a plan together for them to get along.
Now that my youngest child is three, she is also getting into the rivalry with her older brother. For example, my five year old usually always races my three year old to our van and then yells that he won, and my daughter cries because he always wins.
The other day he was letting her get ahead of him, and I thought, "Wow, what a nice brother! Things are really turning around. He cares about his little sister; he's being so unselfish..."
He said, "Ella, you were first. FIRST IS THE WORST!"