My older sons are five years apart. I had such high hopes that they would get along due to the age difference. I worked at a law firm when I was pregnant with my second son . One attorney there had two sons with a five year age difference. He told me several times how well they got along because there was no competition due to the age spacing. His sons were best buddies and he just knew I would be as lucky. Unfortunately, that imagined scenario went to heck in a hand basket!
My eight year old and three year old fight all of the time! There is a shriek from one of them at least every other minute. I can hardly complete a task without having to stop ten times to referee. I can only imagine what it is going to be like when my youngest boy gets in the action too.
iVillage’s Parenting Secrets with Dr. Michele Borba has an article "Sibling Rivalry: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?". Here is one tip from her article:
"Don’t be too involved in those squabbles. The less involved you are in those sib tiffs the better. Your kids won’t use you as negotiator, rivalry will decrease (since they won’t accuse you of “taking sides”) and your kids will learn to rely on themselves to solve their own squabbles. While it’s absolutely fine to step in when you hear a blood-curdling cry (take it from a mom of three boys — it cuts down dramatically on emergency room visits so please do) research also shows that kids see our involvement as “showing favoritism.” So step back."
That sounds like some excellent advice but it can be really hard not to interfere. The yelling will continue if I don’t step in. Do you have any tips to share that have worked for you???