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Siblings: Bringing Out the Best (and Worst?) in Each Other

siblingsA while back, I wrote a post about raising siblings as a parent who is an only child.

Update: I still don’t know what I’m doing.

This past Summer, I decided to take a low-key approach and play Camp Mommy. With the exception of a sprinkling of activities, we had no plans.

Things went swimmingly for the first few weeks but went downhill (quickly) from there. The problem? Too much time together. Needless to say, by the time late August rolled around, Mommy was on the brink, and the kids were ready for a little routine and a little time apart from each other (even if they didn’t know it).

My kids are best friends and have a fierce love for one another. But with that fierce love comes an acute knowledge of what can drive the other up the wall. 

Watching my kids forge a relationship as siblings is my favorite part of parenting. They do most of everything together, and they bring out the best in each other. I give credit to my daughter’s sharing with her brother, her fierce love of books for my son’s starting to read letters and numbers. And I give credit to my son’s sharing with his sister his natural extroversion for my daughter’s recent coming out of her shell in social situations. At every turn, I am astounded by their positive impacts on each other.

But, they get sick of each other, even if they don’t yet know what that means. And when siblings need a little space from each other, behavior reaches an all-time low, and we all know where that leaves us as parents.

Siblings fight. That’s normal. Sharing your time, home, and belongings with another person is hard. If my husband and I never spent time apart, I’d venture a guess that we’d be at each other’s throats too. And what parents don’t need a little adult time away from their kids?

So when your kids are at each other’s throats, and you’re at your wit’s end: pause for a moment and think of all of the ways your kids bring out the best in each other. You might find that your mood changes.

Or, separate them and walk away. That works too. 

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