When siblings do fight club

‘No one talks about fight club’? Nah, I’m pretty sure the first rule of fight club should be ‘Don’t beat the crap out of your sister’.

I swear this blog sometimes likes to play havoc with me – how ironic that as I hit publish on a post about how we have hit a new dawn in independent play; the girls sweetly playing together last half term, when the tides turn suddenly, in an ironic twist of fate  my role has suddenly become referee.

Sisters are going to fight, I get that, and as a little sister myself once, I remember the hours of fun spent pushing my brothers buttons, over and over until he finally snapped.

But boy it’s been H A R D W O R K seeing the girls in a constant cycle of playing, screeching, hitting, crying, being told off, making up, then starting all over again.

Of course there is variation between the intervals. The good days the scraps are few and far between. Conversely, on other days it’s relentless. It’s actually really upsetting seeing them swing from one extreme to the other – true love and hate, with a beautiful scene of role play or craft suddenly derailed by a car crash scene of the pair of them scuffling on the floor. Shrieking and crying, glasses being flung, hair being pulled out in clumps and nails gorging through skin.

2 Horned Animal Crashing Each Other

I guess like all other things it’s a phase – the first lesson in negotiation and self defence; in standing your ground and taking no crap. But boy are those high pitched screams and interventions wearing thin in this household.

I used to naively think it was just brothers who could and would tumble around the floor in headlocks with wrestle mania  moves on a daily basis. Smugly believing I was winning with two girls who preferred tea parties and colouring in, to suplexing and leg dropping off the sofa. I guess I should have paid more attention to all those Instagram Meme’s about girls giving as good as they get, because BOY do those girls give as good as they get.

As I have frantically switched from one technique to another of dealing with all this, I’m still at a loss. I’ve tapped into the positive parenting course notes, shown them my upset, taken away their tablets and even (for the first time ever) sent them to bed without a story.

I’ve tried letting them work it out without getting involved, told them the story of the boy who cried wolf, and of course, more often than not I’ve given them a right telling off.

And yet, as another person asks Tigs what she did to get yet another scratch across her face, it’s hard to believe that the tiny little mouse, who looks like butter wouldn’t melt could be capable of such a thing. And as Tigs shoves her sister away from her or her things, it’s frightening to see how much damage she could unintentionally do to her tiny framed sister.

It’s not even as though it’s clear who is the culprit in all of this – perhaps both sides have a part to play. Who is really pushing whose buttons here, or are they both as guilty as each other? So easy to pounce onto the older one who should know better, or the little wind up who has a penchant for doing the opposite of what you’ve asked.

The only thing keeping me level headed through this is that the fleeting moments of ‘slam my sister’ are sandwiched by a clear display of absolute adoration for each other. As they play games, cuddle and laugh together most of the time, it’s thankfully reassuring that any scuffles are mere surface wounds on the outside of a very deep and loving bond. Primarily a very motherly figure to her sister, Tigs only has as much patience as expected for a six year old. And her three year old sister can’t be compared her to her older sibling who had free reign of the house at that age. Their boundaries will be crossed, as they share so much of each others space.

Two Women Sitting Near Green Tree during Sunset

I guess it’s an innate reaction to lash out, and one we need to provide guidance on what is and isn’t acceptable. Sibling rivalry is after all the beginnings of a lifetime of social interaction skills, so I think we just need to intervene in a calm way that doesn’t fan the flames.

Or should we just sit back and let the Hunger Games begin?

2 Girls Hugging Each Other Outdoor during Daytime

Any advice – how have you dealt with siblings fighting?




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16 thoughts on “When siblings do fight club

  1. pamsbakeandbabyblog Reply

    My brother was 8 years younger tgan me so I missed out on any sibling fighting. I have a 2 year age gap between my kids and they get in great some days and literally pick a fight about everything the next. Its so hard not to get involved every time and trying to let them solve disputes themselves. Great post and one I can totally relate to this week! #coolmumclub

  2. Soffy S Reply

    I use to fight with one of my brothers who is 6 years older than me but it wouldn’t ever get much physical, it was just me annoying him really. I don’t have a sister and always used to ask my parents for one and my mum who has 3 sisters of herself use to say to me ‘at least you can keep your hair’ I never use to understand but now I do! I don’t really have any advice, sorry, but hopefully it’s a phase (doubt it though ) #coolmumclub

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

  3. franbackwithabump Reply

    No advice I’m afraid, I think it’s just a sibling thing. Even with nearly 8 years between my two they still squabble and wind each other up! I’m sure it’s just a phase and although they’ll always bicker it’ll get easier for you. #coolmumclub x

  4. Helen - cooking with my kids Reply

    If there’s an answer to sibling fighting i’d love to hear it! I love it when mine play nicely together, but the fighting/screaming I could certainly live without. #coolmumclub

  5. minihumanresources6 Reply

    My girls don’t physically fight (yet!) but my middle daughter is constantly winding my eldest up by hiding her toys, using her things and altogether being an annoying (but smart – she always manages to do it when we are not looking!) little sister! this invariably causes lots of screeching and yelling from my eldest. Sometimes I honestly feel like a referee! Some times if I’m involved with the baby I have to just let them get on with it though. Well until I hear the sound of toys smashing! Great post #coolmumclub

  6. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    My sister and I were at odds all growing up. I had to go away to college to learn how cool she really is. Now we are the BEST of friends! She is my rock. I can not imagine not talking to her daily. It will get better! #coolmumclub

  7. Life Love and Dirty Dishes Reply

    My two boys are exactly the same. It’s either love or hate. I actually felt quite smug the other morning that we had got out of the house without any fighting. Only to then have Big inform me in the playground that he had just sold his brother to one of his mates for £1!!! #coolmumclub

  8. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I hear sibling fighting can be pretty relentless. I guess I will never have to deal with that being a mum to only one but it sounds pretty painful! May the #coolmumclub force be with you hun xoxo

  9. Navigating Baby Reply

    I am not sure there is an answer, but it has been driving me insane recently so I am on a zero tolerance kick at the minute. If anyone of my 4 physically touches one of the others it is straight to their bedroom for time out. Don’t know if it will make any difference, but I was worried someone was going to get hurt and I just can’t stand it anymore!! #coolmumclub

  10. Sophie Reply

    They fight because they can and they can because they love each other. At least they are communicating! #coolmumclub

  11. emptynestmummy Reply

    I have a boy and a girl, aged 6 and 4, and they hardly ever fight. (…..at the moment). However, as one of 4 girls myself, I can remember all the times we girls fought. Especially my big sister picking on me and fighting with me. (See how I make it sound so one-sided, butter wouldn’t melt here). She was bigger, stronger and meaner than me but I always won out with sneakiness. Not sure if that’s helpful advice for you, but I did really enjoy your post! #coolmumclub

  12. Sleepingthroughyet Reply

    I know how you feel but have no advice! My daughter (just turned 6) and son (3) were like this just before the Feb half term. It was soooooo draining being referee all the time. Think my daughter gets tired at the end of term and doesn’t cope with tiredness so well. Then we went away for half term and they were the best of friends again. I can see the same brewing before the Easter holidays again. When they are getting on they are lovely together. Hope this phase passes quickly for you! #coolmumclub

  13. Emma T Reply

    I have an only child. But my brother and I used to fight physically even until we were later primary years, mostly because he would antagonise me. My mum would despair, and worry we’d not get on when she was gone. But actually we got on fine when she wasn’t there, and now we’re adults, he pops over all the time and we only live 2 miles apart. #coolmumclub

  14. Mrs Mummy Harris (@mummyharris86) Reply

    I’m dreading the boys getting to the age of fighting. Three boys getting into fisty cuffs and me playing ref? dont think so!!! My brother used to make me “peck” where he’d push my arm behind my back so far i had to lean forward and then he’d push me down to make me kiss the floor…. he wasnt very pleasant!! #coolmumclub

  15. The Queen of Collage Reply

    My sister used to hit me and then blame me. Sadly my parents believed her! #coolmumclub

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