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Sibling Rivalry: A Parent’s Role

mom with duct dape zip itMany parents suspect that they have something to do with all the fighting, but they simply can’t figure out what that something is. If they knew, they’d avoid it all together.

Well, here’s the deal. Your kids are often fighting for you. Hard to believe, but true. Think about it – how many times have you left the room when the kids were fighting and they were kind enough to bring the fight to you? Exactly. They fight for you.

And as they follow us around the house, the fighting escalates, and as a reaction to the rising level of agitation, our (likely unconscious) idea of the “right” parenting strategy is to start talking to them about stopping. And because they generally ignore us, we start to get frustrated and then angry and then downright ticked off at them and before long, our voices have escalated into a scream (and, huh, that sounds just like their fighting, doesn’t it?). Exactly. They wanted us to join the party. And here we are wearing a party hat, waving our hands at the tiny little hosts.

And so we go from wanting nothing to do with this little shindig to dressing up and responding, YES! When we join in like this (even though we didn’t want to), we say “I will give you my undivided attention when you fight. I will stop what I am doing, start yelling at you to stop and even allow my emotions to get the best of me.”

What kid wouldn’t fight for the chance to control mom or dad— not only into attending but becoming the entertainment? Silly right? Ready to RSVP “No” to the next invitation?

One Comment

  • Kristin Beltaos 4 months ago Reply

    I had to giggle while reading this. I have a 5yo and a 9 yo and my husband and I have privately dubbed them “The Bickersons.” We always pray The Bickersons stay is short…now I have a new strategy to try. ; ) Thanks!

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