Maybe I should mind my business and just let my kids fight. According to psychoanalyst Erik Erikson by parents butting into the business of their children’s squabbles turns it into a triangle. “When children get into a struggle and underlying guilt makes parents feel that they must protect one or the other. The children’s rivalry is fueled by the goal of getting parents involved. “
Actually we parents started the whole thing by having another child and allowing them to invade on the space and love we have with our 1st child. How dare us!
It all started when I said I’m having another baby. The tears welled up in my sons face and he cried out a big ole WHYYYYYYY! He felt his world was crumbling down right before his 5yr old eyes. He was a great help throughout the entire pregnancy. We were very close. When the baby was born I was careful to give him his own quality time as well as time with the baby being my big helper. Now let’s fast forward to the present day.
Dealing with the age difference of my kids!! Argh! You have no idea or maybe you do. One is 10 going on 5 and the other is 5 going on 10.
My oldest wants to at times be the baby or too much of an adult or authority figure over his brother and even me! Oh, the power struggle! Clearly, he is confused.
Not saying my oldest is a bad kid. Ooh no not at all. He is an amazingly great big brother and son. He helps around the house. He is super intelligent. (He is a history buff) He helps with his little brother he guides and teaches him. He is simply amazing until something happens and sibling rivalry begins.
My youngest seems to be the one to remember every single thing you ever told him in his 5years of life and won’t let you forget. He loves to remind you of the rules you set for them. Not myself because of course I’m the parent. (I know you must lead by example for the most part I do until I don’t feel like it.) So when I say wait 5mins I really mean I’ll get to it when I feel like it. Don’t tell that to the 5yr old that can tell time because he will come back to you in exactly 5 minutes telling you” But you said 5mins at 11:55 it’s 12:00!!” My youngest listens and follows rules and is the understanding kid. He too is a great little brother who helps around the house. He is also very intelligent. Just as his big brother helps him he helps his big brother. He is also simply amazing until something happens and sibling rivalry begins. I hear only one thing…or may a few things.
You can’t touch my stuff!
And so on!So the question is how do I be fair and avoid favoritism? How do I avoid creating the triangle that Erik Erikson speaks of? It’s almost unavoidable. Almost because I usually say to my oldest is older he should know better. My youngest is not as innocent as he big eyes and pout lips make him appear either. So I came up with the solution if you cannot solve it together as a team you both are in trouble suffering the same consequences of my choosing. Now you boys decide. They both look at me with a blank stare than to each other and walk away. Problem solved. No favorites over here.