Sandra Dodd

-=-Does anyone have any advice on sibling fighting? It's usually the
story my older son picks on the younger one until he gets mad and
pounces on his brother. It doesn't seem that anything we try is
working. Today the older one woke up with a black eye and scratches
all over his face which was the result of Starwars play gone bad.-=-

If your child had a black eye and scratches on his face but he didn't
have a sibling, would you still blame Starwars?

Would you let a neighbor do that to him? A stranger?

If the older one is picking on the younger one, intervene in some
subtle way. Separate them without them feeling like mom stepped in
and separated them.

You might call the older one away (with a nice voice) and ask him to
help you do something really brief, like give the dog water, or take
a bag of trash out--something that makes him feel bigger, not
smaller. It might be all the time he needs to calm down, and if it
involves physical activity it will help him breath a bit and see a
different scene.

I don't konw what you've tried so far, but each of your children
needs to feel safe in his own home, and "letting them work it out" is
cruel, even if nobody's getting a black eye. There are deeper scars
than bruises that some people carry through life because of things
siblings said or did, while the parents didn't even know.

Here are some ideas I've used with my three kids, who are 2.5 and 3
years apart:


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