“Get Offa Me!”

“Stoooooooop it!”
“She’s touching me!”
“He’s bothering me!”
“That’s mine!”

If you are familiar with these phrases, thank goodness because that means I am not alone. If you are not familiar with these phrases, then it means your kids don’t fight and I need you to please offer me some suggestions today!

My children fight like cats and dogs. I have one boy, almost seven, and one girl, almost five. They have fought like this from the moment my daughter could reach out and take things from my son. It is pretty much all day, every day when they are together. Spring Break gave me a reminder of what the summer would entail – long hot days with sweaty, whiny kids, who are hanging on me and fighting with each other. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I don’t want my summer to be like that! I want us to enjoy each other and have fun-filled days at the beach and swimming pool where my children actually get along. I would love to ride in the car without hearing arguments about why someone is looking at someone else. I would love to sit down to dinner without kids kicking each other under the table. I would love to play a game of Sorry without my children arguing over whether they really moved two spaces or three. Is that too much to ask?

So I am admitting that I have tried and I have failed in the “children not fighting” department. I have tried to intervene. I have tried to ignore. I have tried to stay in the same room in which they are playing in hopes of the fighting not happening as much. I have tried to go in a different room and ignore it. I have tried structured games. I have tried free play and letting them work it out alone. No light at the end of the tunnel quite yet.

The good news is that my children really do love each other so much. They are sad when the other is not around. They stand up for each other around other kids. They give each other hugs and kisses every night. Sometimes I will find my son reading books to his sister as she sits in his lap. They cheer for each other when playing games. So it is definitely not a hatred type of fighting. It is a normal sibling thing where they bicker and taunt daily. I actually think it is Karma for the way my sister and I fought as we were growing up.

I discussed this problem with a friend of mine who also has a boy and a girl, two years apart, who are now 26 and 28. Guess what she told me? They still fight. She told me they just took a family trip to the beach and the two of them taunted each other in the car the whole way, even with their spouses along on the ride!

So do I have any hope? Please say yes. I am so blessed to have these children and I want to do the best I can in raising them to get along. I know there is someone out there who has done a marvelous job of this and I would love to hear suggestions! And of course if your kids are like mine, I’d love to hear about that, too!