How much aggression and sibling rivalry is normal? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My step-children are 6 (girl) and 8 (boy).  Since I've known them they've been very aggressive with each other.  It's become worse as time goes on.  I'm just curious how much of it is normal.  I have two younger sisters, and I remember arguing and taunting each other, but we never physically fought each other.  Is physically fighting normal behavior?  Especially between a girl and boy?  I'm talking about punching, kicking, pinching, choking (!!!), etc.  Is any of that normal?


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#2 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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I'm hardly the expert on "normal", but I do have two girls (4 and 8) who seem to spend more time arguing and screaming at each other than I really have the patience for! They often lash out at each other with hurtful words, but aggressive physical contact between them is rare. When it does happen, the consequences are pretty serious.

 

Growing up I was the peaceful child who simply walked away from conflict. When my siblings were fighting over what TV show to watch, I was in my room reading. My siblings fought a lot too, but I don't remember there being too much physical fighting.

 

I have heard other parents talking about their kids physically fighting, especially if they have boys, so that may be a factor. Sister may simply be defending herself. I'm no sure how normal this behavior is. I know that in my house it isn't, and I couldn't stomach it whether they were boys or girls.


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#3 of 6 Old 10-16-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PoetryMom View Post

I'm hardly the expert on "normal", but I do have two girls (4 and 8) who seem to spend more time arguing and screaming at each other than I really have the patience for! They often lash out at each other with hurtful words, but aggressive physical contact between them is rare. When it does happen, the consequences are pretty serious.

 

Growing up I was the peaceful child who simply walked away from conflict. When my siblings were fighting over what TV show to watch, I was in my room reading. My siblings fought a lot too, but I don't remember there being too much physical fighting.

 

I have heard other parents talking about their kids physically fighting, especially if they have boys, so that may be a factor. Sister may simply be defending herself. I'm no sure how normal this behavior is. I know that in my house it isn't, and I couldn't stomach it whether they were boys or girls.

Thanks. I can't stand the fighting.  Arguing is one thing but physically trying to hurt each other is on a whole different level. 

 

For a long time we thought little sister was defending herself, but she's not.  She starts it just as much as he does.  Maybe even more.  He has no control over his emotions and his first reaction is violence, but she's very manipulative and exploits that.  :\  She'll push him to the edge and when he lashes out she plays innocent.  :\  It's pretty disturbing to see such calculating and manipulative behavior in a child.

 

They live with mom most of the time.  Over 6 hrs away, so we only see them on holidays and during the summer.  Let's just say they haven't been raised with love and kindness.  Spanking, CIO, yelling, etc.  :\  I don't know how to reverse all that in the short periods of time they're here.  I feel like it's a lost cause.  I'm worried it's already hard wired in their brains.  :(


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#4 of 6 Old 10-16-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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My sister and I had physical fights as children, I'm talking about real fighting, purposely trying to inflict as much harm as possible. My two girls, almost 6 and 9, also physically fight. Not quite at the level that I remember my sister and I doing but it is more then I hear about with most other siblings. I can't stand it but every time I turn around, something is going on. Frankly, I think that some children simply do  NOT get along, sometimes they are classmates, sometimes they happen to be siblings! We actually spilt up the girls often so Dh will take one and one boy and I'll take one and another boy because family time with all of us and the girls is just downright painful.  


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#5 of 6 Old 10-16-2012, 09:52 PM
 
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Right now there is a lot of Anti-Bullying focus in our society. Must learn to use words. My children argue and scream at each other more than I'd like too but I try to step back (walk away....ok hide lol) to give them a chance to work it out. Sometimes I do try to "teach" better negotiating skills etc but most often I don't have the time, patience or energy. *If* they are doing something physical (hitting, slapping etc) I *always* intervene and redirect, tell them to walk away, tell them we don't hit in our family, go do something else, cool down, etc. Or if I see it in the aftermath, I always hug and soothe the crying party. Often dd2 gets really angry easily and lashes out, so dd1 hits her back, and dd2 runs to me crying bloody murder. So I comfort her and tell her to stay away from dd1 or go do something else or learn to deal with the problem differently, or walk away when SHE feels herself boiling, etc. Just some ideas. It is really really really tough. I grew up with spanking, beating in the home, and physical fights with my brother. I hate violence. HATE IT.
 


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#6 of 6 Old 10-17-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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The most my kids do are yell at each other, they threaten each other with things like "now you made me mad and I won't let you go to your birthday!", but that's about it. I'm not sure if it matters how close of a relationship they have though, my kids are quite literally each others best friend. I know my ds(5.5) will get physical with some children if he feels they aren't respecting him, but again this is usually not the case with friends.


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