3 sometimes leaves odd man out - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-20-2002, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello. I'm looking for suggestions on helping our 3 boys get along better as a group. (5.5 yr old twins and 3.5 yrs) Two together is usually great, and even all 3 is more often than not pretty good. But lately we've been getting into a ganging up type of scenario, leaving one of them frustrated, angry and feeling entirely left out. Surprisingly, it's not always the twins that stick together (they're fraternal); most often it's the little guy whose left out, but it can go any way, and it just breaks my heart for the odd man out as well as the thought that they could be so mean to each other.

I try hard to create a very cooperative, non-competitive atmosphere and praise them often for their kind deeds. I tell them when they've hurt one another and we stop to talk about it, but it seems to start all over again a short time later. They are generally very sweet boys, and this is a fairly recent problem, but I'm afraid it may get worse before better.

Any ideas? (Aside from having a 4th!)

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#2 of 5 Old 05-20-2002, 12:33 PM
 
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Just keep encouraging them to work together and pointing out what the ganging up does to the odd man out. You may want to get them playing some cooperative games to help stress the point (you can turn any game into a cooperative game by taking all but one marker away, and shaving them all share it) Hope this helps, you're doing the right stuff.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-26-2002, 12:03 AM
 
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nope. just have the fourth and don't look back...
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#4 of 5 Old 05-26-2002, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Khrisday, thanks for your advice. We have some cooperative games that we haven't played in a while, and now I remember how nice it was to see them all helping each other as a goal . . . and now that I think about it, our twins have started playing soccer -- I wonder if that could be creating some competitive feelings (even though they don't keep score officially, the kids do in their minds). Some food for thought . . .

Sunmountain, I had to show your post to my dh, because we've just decided (after much agonizing) that we are not going for #4, so we had a private chuckle! Honestly, we would love to have another baby but I'll be 40 this year (dh will be 41), and having had 3 kids in 2 years a little later in life, as wonderful as it was, was also pretty tiring -- I'm not sure we have the energy. It feels, at this time in our family's life, that having a baby might not be the best thing. But I do appreciate the advice!
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#5 of 5 Old 05-26-2002, 12:39 PM
 
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We have the same situation at our house. My guys are 11, 8 and almost 5. It is usually the middle one who is left out and he is very sensitive and easily hurt by it. Talking to them about it seems to help temporarily - none of them wants to be mean, it's just that the oldest and the youngest are the most alike and seem to gravitate to each other. They also seem to go through phases of getting along just great and then wanting not much to do with each other...usually it's somewhere in-between. I just keep preaching kindness, empathy and the always popular "you have two brothers who love you, not just one!" speech to whoever seems to need it at the moment. Family life is (in my experience) always a little bit sticky.
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