Not all siblings are happy to date each other on a daily basis. Is it a question of education or personality? What does this love-hate relationship depend on?
Siblings, from a parent's point of view, are partners who can support each other for a long time, even when we are no longer there to do so. They are forced friends, people who have everything in common and people brought up the same way who will have stories to tell for years to come. We like to believe that our children will love each other… like brother and sister, but should we impose it on them? What should we do when they don't get along as well as we would like?
In some families, it is the age difference that is at the root of the conflicts. When the children have a good age difference, you sometimes wonder if they will find common ground on which to agree. We say to ourselves with good reason that they will not have many games that will interest them both. When this is the case, it is up to parents to use their imagination to find games that appeal to all ages and quite honestly, it is not easy. Without intervening too much, you can give themideas for games that won't bore the older child without being too difficult for the youngest: board games, construction games, visual arts, video games, it's a question of finding among all these the activities that adapt well to several age groups.
When the parents came home with the little brother or the little sister, the oldest had barely given up on the bottle and changed beds than he was already being replaced by another that everyone finds cute and endearing! For some children, this state of competition for attention and property makes the relationship very difficult and some may have to wait until adolescence and beyond to fully understand the value of having someone. one with whom to share the daily life. For others, fortunately, this observation will happen immediately (or almost) and the protective instinct of the parents will be transmitted to the children who will love their little brother or their little sister instantly.
When two children have diametrically opposed personalities, there are also clashes, especially growing up. They don't want to do the same activities, find that their brother or sister "doesn't understand anything", that he is really baby lala and that baby games "I don't care, good!" They sometimes become jealous of what is granted to the other and perceive it as if it were a waste of time. When the difference is very marked and thechildren go through a slightly more susceptible phase, even compliments given to the other child are seen as a personal attack that underlines that he is not like that. It's as if he temporarily forgets that he has other amazing qualities every time the other child does something good.
As a parent, remember during these times that everyone is different and you love them all equally, because they are both your children. It will be a little frustrating to share the love for the one who would have liked to keep everything for him, but it will be a good base to establish a solid family nucleus. But, yes, it takes patience and a lot of understanding from the parents to manage to reconcile all that.
Emphasizing the importance of family
Our children did not invent bickering between brothers and sisters: they have existed since the beginning of the world. But although they have always existed, we still wonder as parents whether to intervene or not. According to Donald W. Winnicott, pediatrician and psychoanalyst, children should be allowed to learn from their conflicts. “The mother should prevent the 2-year-old child from hitting the newborn with a mallet on the head, but she should not worry about his destructive and aggressive ideas. The pediatrician explains that children actually need to build their boundaries through their innate guilt.
The well-known psychoanalyst, Françoise Dolto, affirms for herexcept that one should not intervene in a dispute between brothers and sisters on the sole pretext that one of them is the smallest or the weakest. By intervening in this way, you will only distribute the roles of victim and aggressor. She believes the best thing to do is to let them bicker, making sure, of course, that the fights don't endanger anyone.
These conflicts between siblings are part of their relationship. Their good days, like the bad ones, will make them understand each other better and better. So you don't have to intervene every time they raise their voices and don't want to see each other, otherwise the relationship with the parents will suffer. In your interventions, think about emphasizing the importance of the family and the fact that you will never let go on the way. If the family is a solid whole in their eyes, your love will be harder to lose than if they see themselves as an individual. This way, they will feel more free to express their emotions and take their place and the other family members will be part of their group and not an “enemy team”.
Free family time
Just because we're brothers/sisters doesn't mean we always have to be together and do everything together. Despite this extraordinary family that you will have "sold" them, the children will also want to spend time with friends, alone or simply play without being "encumbered" by their brother or theirsister.
If these moments of independence can hurt those who do not want to be alone, it is still better to respect everyone's space if we want them to appreciate each other rest of the time. Encourage each child to have solo time, reading activities and solitary games, and take advantage of this time to do an exclusive activity with the other child. This way all children will feel respected and you will have a better chance of building a family that will still be important and relevant 10, 15 or 20 years from now.