My daughters are now at the stage where they have started to bicker, fight and sometimes hit each other. I know that this will happen sooner or later. As Fathini is 4++ and Hafizah is 2+, they constantly try to grab my attention when they are fighting over the same toy, claiming who is better at something (F:I'm a good girl mama! H: No!me mama!) or just fighting over something silly. I would be torn in between. I don't want to choose any side as as a parent, we shouldn't do that. There's a term for this;"siblings rivalry". Based on what I've read, this is actually normal in a fully functional family. They fight because of several reasons like:
* They fight because they want a parent's attention, and the parent has only so much time, attention and patience to give.
* They fight because they are jealous.
* They fight over ordinary teasing which is a way of testing the effects of behavior and words on another person.* They fight because they are growing up in a competitive society that teaches them that to win is to be better.
Why does this thing exist? Well, according to many experts, having a sibling/s has created a competitiveness. They want to compete in getting the parents' attention. It's a healthy thing as in the real world, we always have to compete with other people. So, it's up to the parents to teach them how to handle the situation.
What should I do? I can't help myself but to think of my past when I always argued, bickered, fought or even started kicking and hitting my younger siblings especially my sister who is 4 years younger than me. I realize now that I did all those things just to make sure my late mum noticed me as her first born. I have 7 younger siblings and it was not easy to have the attention all to you. I hated when my late mum reminded me that I have responsibilities as the eldest in my family. However, I slowly started to change when I grew older (and perhaps wiser!hehe) by playing my part as the eldest and tried to help my parents whenever possible. I had become my sister's best friend and until now we always share our highs and lows. I wish that my daughters can have the same relationship when they grow older.
At the moment, whenever they start to fight, bicker or shout to each other, I would do these things:
- Remove the toy from them if they are fighting over the same toy and ask them to take turns or both of them choose other toy.
- Ask them to say sorry and hug each other if they start hitting or shouting.
- Ask them what's wrong and hear first what both of them want to say before deciding what to do.
- Give positive reactions.
- Be a good example to them.
- Treat my daughters individually as each if us is unique. It's not fair to compare your children abilities.