My Children Never Fight. Here Are 8 Reasons Why


Yes, you read correctly. My two children never fight.

I know. I know. You’re probably thinking I’m a total liar, liar, pants on fire! You’re also probably thinking, if your kids don’t fight, you must not, um, have kids? Yes, my son is only with me and my daughter 50 percent of the time – I have shared custody with my son’s father – so you’re probably thinking that, too, has something to do with it. But they did live together for years under the same roof and I had to teach them, not just to not fight, but to also truly bond.

Because there is an almost ten year age gap, my daughter is soon turning 16 and my son just turned 7, you might think that’s the reason they get along. Nope! Because there is such an age difference it actually sometimes makes it lead to more sibling fights. Do you really think my daughter wants to go to Reptilia for the 14th time because her brother loves snakes? Likewise, do you really think my son wants to see his sister get her nails done? But my children haven’t fought for close to two years.

There is a lot of advice out there about sibling rivalry. I cringe when I read these articles, because, frankly, I’m their mother, not their therapist, so, no. I’m not going to “encourage them to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.” I definitely don’t have the desire, or even think it’s necessary to, “Tell your child to focus on what she is upset about, rather than on her sibling.” Why? They are kids and siblings, not an unhappy couple trying to work on their marriage, so I’m also not going to act like a marriage counsellor either.

But here are some things I have tried.

I Don’t Accept Tattling: I don’t care if my son complains my daughter is looking at him the wrong way. Likewise, I don’t care if my daughter complains her brother keeps barging into her room. As soon as one of them started to tattle on the other, I  immediately responded by simply stating, “I hate tattletales.” Which I do. My kids have learned that tattling on each other actually makes me angrier than hearing about some slight, real or perceived. I have taught them that tattling is an unacceptable trait, at home. Thus, they know to figure it out themselves, because they know Mommy isn’t going to listen to tattletales.

I Encourage Secrets: It is extremely rude to see two people whispering into each other’s ears, right in front of you. But, I actually encourage this, at home. When I see them whispering, in front of me, I do not say, “That’s so rude,” I let it happen. It’s lead them to believe they share something, just the two of them. I’ve taught them whispering is rude, outside the home, but at home, sharing secrets has made them bond. I secretly love when they whisper, because that means they are planning, or rather plotting, something together, even if that means my son will end up pulling down his pants, saying, “Smell my butt, ” which makes them laugh. Whispering has solidified their sibling bond.

I’m Not Strict About Bedtime: What’s bedtime? In my house, I’m not strict about bedtimes or where they sleep. Often my daughter will ask if her brother can sleep in her bed, or my son will ask his sister to sleep in her bed. And, of course, often BOTH want to sleep in my bed (Ask me the next day how I slept on those nights!) I always let them sleep in the same bed, whenever they ask. No, I don’t think they’re getting the best night’s sleep, when they share a bed, but, really, I’m not sure I care that much about the quality of sleep as I do the quality of bonding, which I believe happens, even while sleeping. When I watch them, sleeping with their arms around each other, they are protecting each other. And I’m not getting in the way of that kind of love.

I Encourage Family Sandwich Hugs. Every single day my kids are with me, I will announce, out of the blue, “Family Sandwich Hug Time!” We start with my son in the middle, as me and my daughter hug and dance with him between us. My son loves being squeezed like this and laughs hard. Then one of us will say, “It’s Mommy’s turn in the middle,” and my kids will both squeeze me, so hard that I often can’t breathe, which makes me laugh, which makes them laugh. Then, my daughter finds herself in the middle. Family Sandwich Hugs are a must in my family, especially when they think they’re hurting me. I allow them to believe, in this fun way, it’s them versus me, and I’m okay with that because it made them closer.

I Let Things Slide: Of course, my newly minted 7-year-old’s favourite show should NOT be Family Guy. Have you seen it? I love it, but even I think it’s inappropriate, and I’m in my forties. But, yes, my daughter introduced Family Guy to her little brother, because that’s what she watches. And I allow it. Why? In my opinion, this is the shit that siblings are supposed to do, so why should I get in between that? To me, it’s in siblings job descriptions to teach other bad things. I allow my son to use his scooter around the main floor of the house because then his sister wants to do it too. Trust me, I really don’t want my wooden or marble floors to be scratched, but seeing them bonding over something they equally have fun doing, even if it’s inappropriate, and ruins my floors. Hearing them happy together is far more important to me.

I Just Shut it Down. I really do. It works. When my son used to whine, for example, that his sister’s foot accidentally touched his foot under the table, which leads to a meltdown of epic proportions, or my daughter used to complain it was her brother who left the cereal box on the table, I literally Shut. It. Down. I don’t, as experts say, “Let each child feel like he or she is being listened to, without judgement or interruption“, because in my house, we never got that far. Why? I not only immediately shut it down, I talk to them, not as if they are children, but as if they are just humans. I’ll say to my son, “Are you really going to get this upset because your toes touched your sister’s? Like, really?” It actually made my young son think before he complains, because, guess what? Even 7-year-olds can understand it’s ridiculous to cry over something so trivial, which means no fights! Just shutting them down leads both of my children to think about what they are or were complaining about, and if it is really worth it. Likewise, my daughter has learned to put the cereal box back in the cupboard, even if it was her brother who left it out because she’s learned, too, that she’s going to hear from me, “Like, really, Rowan? Just put the box away. I really don’t care who left it out.”

I Make Them Take Care of Each Other: When my son, for example, asks for chocolate milk, I often say, “Ask Rowan to get it for you.” Likewise, when my daughter is, admittedly, too lazy to put her plate into the dishwasher, I’ll say to my son, “Can you put Rowan’s plate away please?” When he used to complain, I would say, “It will take you two seconds. What’s the big deal?” When I leave my children alone, even if it’s obvious my daughter is in charge because she’s so much older, I lead both of them to believe they BOTH are in charge. I’ll say to my daughter, “You need to make sure Holt doesn’t get hurt,” and I’ll also say to my son, “You have to make sure Rowan doesn’t get hurt.” They both have learned, or I have lead them to believe, they are equals in taking care of each other and doing things for each other. This works for younger siblings too. Even when I leave them in a room together, I’ll say, again, to both, “Make sure you take care of each other,” which has taught them to take care of each other.

Loyalty Is a Must. Or, in other words, family always comes first. This, actually, is the number one lesson I’ve taught my children. I’ve drilled it into both of their brains that family comes first, even going as far as saying, “One day I’ll be dead and you two need to take care of each other.” Sounds harsh? Well, not really. It’s the truth. Because I’ve taught and encouraged them to not tattle, to have secrets, and that I let things slide when they’re having fun, even if it’s inappropriate, that they equally have to look out for each other, that both of them are in charge if Mommy isn’t around, this has made them loyal to each other.

You may like some of these lessons, you may not like any, you may think some are batshit crazy, but at the end of the day, my kids never fight, have an extremely close bond, and are extremely protective of each other, even if it’s at the expense of me.



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