Sibling Rivalry: How to Stop it?

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To say my 10 year old and 8 year old fight is the understatement of the year.  Not a day goes by when my boy didn't cross my girl's space or why one got the better looking egg (yes as trivial as that) and a long string of others.  There was and there will always be one complaint or another.  And no,  they won't complain silently.  The whole universe has to hear it!

Sometimes I try to be an arbiter.  I try to find out who started it first but that takes me to the eye of the storm so I try to stray away from that.  One time I tried to have them say one thing nice to the other "I like you because ..."  It started out well.  Until it has lost its novelty and they say the nice thing while gritting their teeth or rolling their eyes.

Now I just count.  It's amazing what counting has done to my sanity.

I count 1-10 to stop the incessant whining, decide who gets to use the toy first or else I get the toy they are squabbling about.  I count 1-10 to the offensive child to say sorry or else she sleeps in her room by herself for the night.  I count your turn today to get the perfect egg and the other's turn the next day. Heck, I even count myself as a wall in between them inside the car.

I know this isn't exactly the model method since it doesn't address the root of the problem.   I'm crossing my fingers they will outgrow it but according to Dr. Sears, of, a father of 8 and a pediatric doctor, sibling squabbles should be properly monitored and reduced at an early stage.  He said that according to research and experience,  siblings who often clash in childhood are likely to fight as adults.  Uh, oh.  To quote him, "Being complacent and concluding that the childhood relationship will naturally grow from sour to sweet is being naïve. It doesn't. The relationship is likely to get more sour when children grow up being deprived of the brotherly and sisterly love that is the birthright of being a brother or sister. "

Jaw drops, heart thumps and a cloud of worry dawned on me.  So when,  my kids came home last night,  I was policing every nudge and snide remark.  My husband said OA (over acting).  Yep, I have a tendency to exaggerate things to the dismay of my kids. So, don't be OA like me.  Choose your battles, they say.  So, I'll limit it to physical hurting and no put downs.

For now, I'm calling upon the forces of Momdom at Seriously FunMoms Facebook Pinoy Mommy Community to help me out. Instead of how to stop sibling rivalry I think the better question should be how to foster good sibling relationships?  Any tips?:-)

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