Managing Monday’s: Brother and Sister Feuds

Managing Monday’s: Brother and Sister Feuds

I grew up with two sisters. We were very close in age and we could definitely fight.  It was mostly about bathroom time, clothes, an occasional boy and the phone.  I can remember the screaming, the door slamming, and the name calling.  It was part of growing up.  I know my mom did not like it but I do not remember her interfering unless it came to blows or involved family time.

Having three boys and one girl I figured the worst of the fighting would be between the boys.  The three have shared a room from the get go, and with the closeness in age, I expected to be pulling them off of each other on a regular basis.  There has been some of this through the years but really not that much.  John has always been so internal in his anger and when it did erupt it was against authority not his brothers.  Isaac’s sense of humor diffuses most heated discussions and Christian just rolls with the tide, wherever it might take him.

Now enter Jessie.  Christian and Jessie have been going at it for years.  I know being the same grade is difficult but you would think they grew up on opposite sides of rival towns.  I swear if Jessica comes into a room where Christian is he becomes a different person.  Jessie senses this and gets her hair on end and the cat and dog go at it like their life depends on it.  I hate it.  It is one of the biggest causes of stress for me as a parent.

Realistically, I know that I can not have perfect harmony in a home with four teenagers, a dog, a mom who works and a dad who is out-of-town during the week.  I also have a sense of humor, a fairly high tolerance for chaos, and the ability to overlook quite a bit of tension.  Still, I find myself ready to toss them both out opposite windows when they start to go at it.

I see both sides very clearly.  I try not to show favoritism, or side with one or the other.  Christian has it in his head that Jessie  thinks she is always right, always smarter, always knowing how to do everything the best.  Jessica tends to be bossy, usually is right, and often interrupts before Christian can finish.  They are six months apart in age, have no classes together, and do not acknowledge each other in school unless absolutely necessary.  I am sure this is very normal but it breaks my heart.

They both are loving, kind and have a deep sensitivity to others.  Christian has a heart of gold and I am so proud of his leadership and kindness to others.  Jessie would do any thing for anyone.  She has keen sense of others and wants to please.  So why do these two tear each other apart?  I have never seen Christian be more mean to anyone than he is to his sister.  This is not an every moment of every day thing, but it lies just beneath the surface ready to erupt.

My hope is, they will grow out of it.  My dream is, they will have a strong loving relationship in the future.  My question is How do I respond right now?  My dilemma is I don’t know how to help them.  Here we go again, where is that damn instruction book? and google does not have an answer either.

Christian just told me that they are turning over a new leaf, and these days are gone. I asked if I could get a picture of them together and he said “as long as she does not touch me…. to be continued


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I didn’t know this about those two. If it helps, my brother and I were very contentious growing up and I was the completely idiotic, annoying little sister. But once he left home, everything changed and I suddenly became valued and accepted. Go figure.

Comment by Barb Stoefen

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