we are not new or immune to the tension between the boys.
as of late, our house has become a popular place for sibling squabbles and brotherly fury! bear has become verbally quite aggressive towards his little brother saying things like “you’re garbage” or “you’re the worst brother ever” or “you’re stupid”. lion understands that these verbal attacks are exactly that, attacks, and responds by pushing his hand at his brother screaming and repeating “no garbage”. (on a side note, it is shocking how many kids shows say the word stupid! have you noticed?)
it’s exhausting and so upsetting to me. i get pretty mad when i hear bear say mean things like that, and now i just resort to immediate consequences, instead of dishing out any warnings. i’ve decided i can’t tolerate that kind of intentional meanness, even if it’s expected and normal between brothers. it’s not ok. and bear knows it. so does lion, even though he’s barely 2 years old. but, it’s not just about what someone says, it’s how they say it and their body language, which i think is why lion gets so worked up.
we talk a lot about being mean around here. because, being mean is behaviour that is purposefully hurtful to someone else. bear tells me that some kids at school are mean, providing a platform to talk about the feelings surrounding meanness; those belonging to the attacker and those of the target.
about two weeks ago bear told me he felt bad that lion gets to stay home with me, while he goes to school. bear’s mean behaviour has exploded and coincided with the start of school this fall. this new boom in his meanness has led us to talk about jealousy as well. it’s a tricky conversation to have with a four year old, but one that i think i’m getting better at. since bear has verbalized feeling left out, i have tried to make a conscious effort to spend a little bit of one-on-one time with him every day. even if it’s five minutes, because i think that’s better than nothing. sometimes we just chat about life, other times we’ll work on a craft, or watch a little tv and snuggle on the couch.
dear hubby and i are on a learning curve as parents when it comes to dealing with sibling rivalry. as long as we are consistent with our expectations and with the discipline equally with both kids then i think we will be able to cope with things better. it’s tough tho, it’s survival of the fittest and each child is fighting to be seen and heard, while knocking the other guy out of the game!
it’s all about even-steven around here; note that for this post i have included the same number of photo’s of each boy, just in case they check!
most importantly for me as their mama, the key is to recognize each child as an individual with different interests, different ways of learning or achieving things, and acknowledging that they express their needs in their own unique ways. it’s so easy to lump the boys into “the kids”, while forgetting they are bear and lion.
i missed blogging yesterday, i know. i’ve been at it daily for almost two months, and although i love my time blogging, i do get tired and feel like i need time away from this space. it’s not so much a question of writer’s block, but more about laziness!
hope you had a wonderful weekend!
we sure did. lots of visiting with all sorts of family and friends!