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Old 07-24-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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My five and three year old sons seem to fight and argue like crazy most of the time. They are less than two years apart. I naively thought that having them close in age would benefit the family structure because they'd get to experience things together. Not that we can undue their ages, but now we wish we would've waited longer to have the second child, like three or four years in between. There is SO much competition between them it drives us crazy.
Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what do you do about the constant arguing, disagreements, fighting, etc.? I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd have such a chaotic and stressful house. I've always been a peace loving person, but with two little kids, I think I've turned into a horrible inpatient and tempermental person. I've read parenting books, surfed the net, etc. Some things work, others don't.
Any thoughtful and creative tips on how to 'nudge' the boys into cooperation?
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:28 PM
 
Location: State College PA
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We have a 2 and 4 year old, and they are 21 months apart....

and they are TROUBLE together! Pretty stinking cute, most of the time! The four year old gets pretty bossy, it helped a lot when we switched day cares (from an in-home with 6 kids to a large/separate classrooms).

However, when they do have disputes, (and OH! they do!)....it's generally over a toy. So, if they can't come to an agreement, the toy is taken away. It's a trip a lot, because the four year old (male) will want whatever the two year old (female) has, and starts having a melt-down. I'll ask him if he asked her for that item....so he'll ask...."otay"...and she hands it to him. Amazing.

what do they tend to argue about? (or is it easier to say, what do they not argue about?)
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:15 AM
 
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It will settle down. We have 17 months between our children and they are 7 & 8 now. Just keep strong, keep your word with them ; like if you take a toy away, keep it away, dont give it to the one that had it first. They will get the picture soon enough that if they argue, it doesnt do any good. Give them each their space ; one here loves baseball, the other loves harry potter. So we let the baseball nut watch his games, and let harry nut listen to his tapes.
But we do remind them ; they must be friends, they only have eachother, and they will be brothers for life.
What worked also was that If there was an issue like the older one pushing the younger one down ; I would push the older one down and make him realize what he had done and how it felt.(that was a phase).

Also, teach them respect for eachother. Tell them about hurting the other ones feelings. Dont have a competition going ; even saying, oh look how great so and so did. Praise eachother the same.

It does get better. My boys actually miss eachother a lot when they are seperate. They play ball together. Its funny to listen to them chat to eachother.
d
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,348,424 times
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Quote:
It does get better. My boys actually miss eachother a lot when they are seperate.
A friend of mine has two girls about the same age apart as your boys. They are now full adults and one is married. It NEVER got better. What made it bearable was one lives in CA and the other in GA. Liz
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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Maybe its a boything so.
dorothy
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:26 AM
 
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Default boys

Thank you for all words of wisdom. Yes, they mostly fight over toys, shows to watch on videos, and even the quietness of the house. Sometimes they fight over really silly stuff seeminngly just because they are moody. My three year old will tell my five year old "you don't talk to me like that!". My three year old is full of energy and is really rambunctious, whereas my five year old is more quiet, introspective, etc. Many times my five year old will tell the three year old to quiet down, that he needs 'quiet time' and 'settle down' time. This usually is said in the car ride home from preschool. Their personalities are so different that it's hard for me to honor each boy at the same time. It's a constant struggle. I feel like I need to take a referree class or something. The younger one picks on the older one and he's almost as strong so this makes the older one feel weak. The younger one also has a better grasp of language skills...he's quicker on his feet and with his words.

I agree with okaydorothy in that it IS adorable when they have their own conversations with each other. That is priceless. And I especially love it when they DO get along...hold hands in the parking lot, share toys, flip a coin to see who gets to watch their video first.
Any more tips? I'd LOVE to hear more.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 10,997,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summers19 View Post
My five and three year old sons seem to fight and argue like crazy most of the time. They are less than two years apart. I naively thought that having them close in age would benefit the family structure because they'd get to experience things together. Not that we can undue their ages, but now we wish we would've waited longer to have the second child, like three or four years in between. There is SO much competition between them it drives us crazy.
Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what do you do about the constant arguing, disagreements, fighting, etc.? I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd have such a chaotic and stressful house. I've always been a peace loving person, but with two little kids, I think I've turned into a horrible inpatient and tempermental person. I've read parenting books, surfed the net, etc. Some things work, others don't.
Any thoughtful and creative tips on how to 'nudge' the boys into cooperation?
Let me tell you that it doesn't matter how close or far apart they are. My boys are 5 1/2 years apart and they do it too. The added aggrivation of your older one should know not to give in and fight with the 5 year old totally sets me off. I have found that disciplining them as a unit has been helpful. This means that I now don't try to sort out who is to blame for the altercation...they both get punished for not getting along. They have been better (especially the older one) at trying to work out a solution before coming to blows and screaming. I don't know if this will work with such little ones, but I can tell you my five year old definitely understands the concept. Good luck, I hear it gets better when they move out of your house as adults.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:44 PM
 
5,002 posts, read 4,251,553 times
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My younger one is certainely quicker to pick up on things than the older one. But they will praise eachother also.

I,.e ;when they got their school reports, the younger one had higher grades than the younger one. But one would think the older one would be mad ; nope, not at all, he gave him high fives for doing so well. He told him he ws so proud of him.
I agree with if they are both bold, give them both a punishment ; it will help them sort things out before calling the referee.

good luck
dorothy
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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Wow - a thread which really hits home for me and my wife! Two kids, one older boy 3.5 and a younger girl 2... 18 months apart. They fight so much I feel the same exact way as some of you previous posters - it has made me impatient and not nearly as kind of a parent as I want to be.

Like others, I thought it would be great to have kids so close in age - in retrospect, LOL, no!

I can pretty much bet that every 5 minutes there will be an explosion of screeming in my house - usually my daughter. She's an over-reactor for sure by personality but it doesn't help that my son always sets her off by taking a toy or something else she was playing with away - or he tries to force her to do something. Oh it's a circus. And yes, I sometimes wish I had a fast-acting prozac dispensor I could tap into for the times I am just too tired to fix the issue. (I can visualize myself frantically hitting a dispenser-lever like one of those caged mice hooked on opium in science labs.)

Anyone have advice for parents of a child who over-reacts with tantrum like behavior almost all the time (but otherwise seems normal, happy and healthy)? I suppose this is what I could really use... along with a year or two off from being a toddler dad *broad grin* - it is tiring!
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
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Buy 'em gloves and let them go at it. Boys need to be boys, after enough bashing, they'll come to a truce. Worked for me and my two brothers...course, I came out on top!!
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