Siblings Fighting – Bull

Siblings Fighting – Bull

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

~ Losing it in Louisville


Siblings Fighting – Hyacinth

Siblings Fighting – Doodle


Dear Losin’ It,

What a predicament for the ages! And one that is cramping my style at the moment as well. The bad news is: I don’t think there is an answer. Egads! Not what you hoped to hear from an advice guru, I know…. but I’d rather give bad advice than flat out lie. As Dood pointed out, sibling warfare isn’t a particularly recent phenomenon. And I’m afraid we could spend years trying to unearth the deeply rooted psychological reasons for the chronic bickering between siblings only to be left with yet another fire to extinguish.

So let’s deal with this head on: kids can be jerks. They can be jerks for no good reason. And they can refuse to express an ounce of remorse for it to boot. Why? Because they’re jerks — someone isn’t paying attention here. If you prefer church lady lingo, simply replace jerks with sinners and proceed. I’m going out on a limb here, but adults think the same thing kids do. The guy who pulled out in front of you in traffic is a “cutter.” The friend who didn’t invite you to her cook-out is a meanie doo doo head. The scarf you gave Aunt Edna is a tag, you’re it, no tag backs gift. The difference between us and them is “socialization.” We know better. We were taught better. And on our good days, we behave better. How, exactly, you teach your children to behave better is entirely up to you so long as it doesn’t involve child authorities. Every household employs different techniques. Maybe you make the juvenile offenders do hard labor in the vegetable garden. Or perhaps they give each other simultaneous foot rubs until they display a suitable degree of remorse and swear on their no-good honor to abstain from further squabbles. Use your imagination — you’re the parent for crying out loud. I personally try to enforce consequences that will keep my children’s future therapists entertained for hours. But I’m sure you’re a more civilized meanie doo doo head than me.


Looking for more answers????

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In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

I feel myself burning out, what do I do?

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