Siblings Fighting: What’s Normal?

Dear Reader,

So I have 4 kids, two girls and two boys. The boys are 3 years apart. And I would say, I have said many times, that most of their interactions end in fighting. Though in our defense, this is a little like saying you found a lost item in the last place you looked, It is the last place because when you find it, you stop looking. Similarly, my boys can at times play legos for hours together in their room. But unless I call them for dinner at the right time, the end is often a squabble.

I began thinking more about this recently when a friend commented to me that it is too bad my boys can’t get along. Which of course rubbed me the wrong way. I wouldn’t really say that fight more than other brothers. Now my friend only sees them in situations where her boys are also present so there is always an added element. Plus she is only going to hear me talk about the negatives. I don’;t think I complain about them too much but there is never a context to say “Oh, my boys played so wonderfully together today.”

My own brothers are less than 2 years apart in age. They are older than I and by the time I have memories of their interactions, they really didn’t interact. They are very different people and they didn’t get along well as older kids, though my mother tells me they were best friends when they were little.

I guess I am just wondering if I am justifying something that isn’t normal. So if you have 2 boys close in age, I would love to hear from you. Do they wrestle constantly? (Mine do; it starts out consensual but always ends badly.)  Do they squabble a lot? What is normal? Or perhaps not normal, but healthy?



3 responses to this post.

  1. My experience is similar to yours. My brothers, two years apart wrestled and fought quite a bit. My sons, fifteen months apart, like yours sometimes play for hours and often end up in a fight. Being teens now this can get quite physical and a little beyond my control. I depend on their obedience to break it up. Dad on the other hand will intervene.
    Is it normal? Not sure. Some people do just get on better than others. In our homes the children are together every hour of the day which for most families is not the case. The boys would have different out lets during the day with school mates etc. I keep this in mind and encourage the boys to not have all of their friends in common, though with homeschooling that often happens too. I also have them in sport where they are in different teams.
    Whether normal or not I don’t think it is good. Anger, jealousy, are sinful. I try to pray and talk about this during the day in hopes of reminding them that we are the Lord’s people and should be known by our love for one another.
    I am encouraged that as men my brothers do get along, though I might add they live far apart and don’t see one another very often.

    I hope your sons headaches continue to improve. Maybe the fact he doesn’t feel good a lot of the time is agraavating the situation?


  2. Oops …didn’t tick the box!


  3. Ruby,
    Thanks for your comment. You are right that I sshould not ignore that there is a sinful aspect here. But overall I don’t think I am too concerned about the squabbling itself.

    Thank you for continuing to remember my son’s headache’s. Acupuncture is still helping. On a pain scale of 0-10 his headache was a 3 for ten months. In the past week and a half it has not been above a 1. But we are still praying for 0’s every day (it will be a zero the day he has acupuncture but will be back up a little the next day).


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