The following picture of my kids was taken after Kate’s piano recital this past Tuesday, while I was saying, “Can you just act like you like each other long enough for me to get a good picture?” Cam pulled it off, but can you see the “okay, let’s just get this over with” look on Kate’s face?
Why is it that my children are so kind to everyone else, but so mean to each other? Lately, it’s like a war zone in this house!!! I am constantly asking, “Can’t you two get along for at least 5 minutes?” or saying “Just be nice to each other, is that so hard?” When did I start sounding so much like my own mother?
When Kate was a baby, I couldn’t get Cameron away from her. He doted on her for the first four years of her life. He would stand in front of her and make funny faces or push her on the swings, and now he either calls her names like freak or dork and I pretty sure he would love to just push her off of the swings. I’m not saying that she doesn’t antagonize him sometimes, but for the most part, she is really sweet to him. I have had talks with him about being nice to her, and it may help for a day or two, but then, he goes right back to acting annoyed if she so much as utters a “hi” to him.
Recently, I sat him down and asked him why he couldn’t be nice, and boy did he let me have it! He explained to me that he feels like everything is always about Kate. I know for a fact that this is not true, but I remember feeling the same way about my sister. Being the older child myself, I could totally understand what he was saying. We baby her, we can’t do certain things, because she isn’t old enough, she whines and ruins things for him, she interrupts any conversation that he is trying to have with us, if he tries to spend time with us, she gets right in the middle….and on and on.
On the flip side, she has started to complain, because Cameron gets to do so many things that she can’t. I have heard the phrase, “It’s not fair!” about eight thousand times just this week! ”It’s not fair, Cameron always has a friend over, it’s not fair, Cameron gets to go to the mall with his friends, it’s not fair, Cameron gets to go outside without an adult!” My only rebuttal is, “Well, he is thirteen, and you are only eight, you will get your turn soon enough!” How lame is that?
Oh, the joys of sibling rivalry! As a parent, you can love both of your children the same, and constantly try to reassure them of your love for them, but I am not sure there is much you can do beyond that. I am stumped!
So, what can we do to get them to be nicer to each other? We are trying to spend quality time with each of them separately in addition to spending time together as a family. We are also insisting that they speak to each other nicely, even if they have to repeat what they say to each other in a nicer manner. Other than that, I am one clueless mama! I just hope some of the niceness kicks in before vacation next month…otherwise, it’s gonna be a long ride!