Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Sibling rivalry. Ugh. It's high around here, people.
In case you're new around here, my boys are 6 months apart in age. Since J-Man joined our family as a toddler, he and E have sort of been twins, but sort of not. I think over the years they have come to sort of view themselves as twins, they think they're the same age, they do everything together, they are always with each other. People used to ask them so often if they were twins that they went through a phase of telling people they were. When we met someone new they'd say, "We're twins!" J-Man gets very upset when E's birthday comes around because E turns the next year older before he does and I think that shocks him every year. It's a reminder that he's younger when he forgot he was.
So with E starting kindergarten this year we've had our share of jealousy and rivalry. We decided to start J-Man in kindergarten next year because we feel like it would be nice for them to be in separate grades and to sort of have their own thing. We're hoping that eventually it will cut down on their sense of competition with each other. (I know some adoptive families choose to go the other way with this and "twin" their kids and I think that's a wonderful way to go, too! This is just what we chose for our family.) Also, because of where J-Man's birthday falls, he could start "transitional kindergarten this year, but he could also wait until next year.
The school year started with a lot of jealousy from both boys. E was jealous that J-Man got to stay home with mom. J-Man was jealous that E got to go to school. So I switched things up a bit and started really emphasizing to J-Man that we would get to have super special Mommy and J-Man time while E was at school. I started planning park trips, letting him get treats, etc., just trying to get him less jealous of E.
I think it worked too well! Now J-Man loves our special time so much that he doesn't want to pick E up from school each day. He wishes E would be gone more so we could have more special time. And he's quite vocal about it! Lord have mercy!
So what are your fabulous anti sibling rivalry strategies? How do you appease your kids when they don't get to do the same things?
I could use some help!