You had more than one child so they could grow up together. A live in best friend. A perfect playmate.

Instead you have two beings that despise each other. Your playroom is a war zone.

So why don’t they get along?

So many reasons. Here are a few possibilities.

  • Too big of an age difference (I don’t want to play with them, they’re too little)
  • Too close of an age difference. (I haven’t had enough time with mom and dad and now a new baby is moving in!)
  • Very different personalities (they don’t have a lot in common)
  • One is an introvert, one is an extrovert
  • Parents give more attention or spend more time with the better behaved child
  • Parents give more attention or spend more time with the child that struggles with behaviour.
  • Do they struggle with social skills, self regulation, poor tolerance (or all of the above)?

Can you say yes to one or more of the suggestions above?

What do you feel is the issue? Are your expectations too high? It’s not normal to get along with your family all the time.

Did you introvert child have any down time after school? If they are over stimulated at school and then they are expected to come home and play with their very active sibling, that can be hard. Some down time can help them gain back some energy and then they can go play with their sibling.

Do your children know how to compromise, to take turns, to talk it out instead of physically fighting it out?

These skills need to be taught and then practiced. If you’re too tired or frustrated yourself to work on this, the children will pick up on this. Is it really a priority?

I’m asking you questions because I’m not in your home. Step back and see what is really going on. They may need you to role model how to negotiate or be a good loser.

You may give in to one child all the time, because you don’t want to deal with the fight or the meltdown. This gets very frustrating for the children that do well. These feelings of anger and resentment can lead to sibling conflict.

Lay down the foundation. They may not be best friends, but it can get better. Be patient, this can take some time.