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Squabbling Siblings

(20 Posts)
redjune Sat 05-Aug-17 09:22:44

I am looking after my two grandaughters twice a week during the summer holiday and am being driven mad by their constant arguing and jealosies. They are age 7 and 5 and on their own they are fine, but together can be a nightmare. On the days I have them I make sure we do things, sewing, painting and craft work, visit the cinema, library, park etc, so its not that they are bored. They do get along ok some of the time, but after a while I hear the usual Its not fair! which is usually the start of yet another argument.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this situation before I go mad?

Luckygirl Sat 05-Aug-17 09:28:31

Sadly no - but if you have any ideas, please wing them my way!

I look after 2 of my GC individually, each one day a week, having insisted that we would only have them one at a time for regular care whilst DD at work. But when the other arrives at pick-up time it is major warfare from the first second. OH and I grit our teeth as it is only half an hour perhaps at pick-up and my DD is there to deal with it. It is however grim to watch.

harrigran Sat 05-Aug-17 11:36:28

DIL only leaves one at a time now, she realises that together they can cause mayhem but as individuals they are no bother. It means that other child has to go to summer club on their own but the youngest does not seem to mind, sorted.

redjune Sat 05-Aug-17 12:35:50

It would be great if I could have just one of them at a time, but unfortunately it's not possible. I will keep hoping that they either learn how to get along, or I find a solution to the problem.

rosesarered Sat 05-Aug-17 14:50:46

redjune many children are like this it seems, including two of my DGC at times.DH does activities with one of them
And I do activities with the other.grin Of course, if you are on your own, that doesn't help.Be stern with them about the bickering.

BlueBelle Sat 05-Aug-17 15:33:02

It doesn't end two grandkids that are now 14 and 16 are still at it We ve watched them walk home from school chatting and the minute they are inside the door the bickering and nastiness starts

redjune Sat 05-Aug-17 16:09:14

My husband does help with them occasionally and sometimes comes to the park with us, but its mostly me on my own. I know it's quite common, but it still makes me feel stressed out after a few hours of hearing it's not fair etc. I hope I don't still have to look after them as teenagers! confused

notnecessarilywiser Sat 05-Aug-17 18:17:03

With only two years' difference between them they really should be able to get along, shouldn't they? I'd be inclined to make a list of potential outings for each week and then let each girl choose one to do. Make it clear that any undue suqabbling makes life very unpleasant for you and will result in immediate cancellation of the day's outing and stick to your guns !

M0nica Sat 05-Aug-17 19:02:46

Are their parents very competitive or do they have favourites? These are two causes of behaviour like this.

Talk to your daughter about it. Are they like this at home and has she any idea what causes it.

I had a sister 18 months younger than me and we used to bicker a bit, which is inevitable and we did fight a lot in our early/mid teens, but apart from that we always got on and remained close until my sister died.

Deedaa Sat 05-Aug-17 21:17:32

I really think girls are worse than boys. I remember some of my schoolfriends used to have really violent arguments with their sisters all the time. My two grandsons aren't too bad. The older one teases the younger one, but the younger one is beginning to realise what buttons to press to annoy his ASD brother. They are both easily distracted though and it all blows over quickly.

dorsetpennt Sat 05-Aug-17 23:09:53

I'm looking after my two DDG aged 5and a half and eight. The phrase "it's not fair" is used constantly, the big one winds up her sister and the younger one constantly snitches on her sister . Plus ca change . For the first week we've been hampered by the rotten weather which has curtailed going to the beach as I'd have liked. Their other grandparents have taken them out twice, my daughter took them to soft play, I've taken them to the cinema . Ive also got craft play and a really nice garden. Children seem to expect a lot of entertainment now during the holidays. My generation were freer to go out and play with our friends from quite a young age. As a divorced mother I couldn't afford a lot of outings so was always glad I live near some great beaches.

Hellomonty Sat 05-Aug-17 23:33:07

Ignore, ignore, ignore. Stop endless activities that YOU have to lead. At that age you can set them off with something or leave them with toys and let them get on with it. Leave the room. If they argue don't intervene. If they come to you with "I did, she did" just tell the that if they can't don't like being together to go into different rooms, and let them. They won't or not for long. Once you have laid those boundaries for a few days sit with them but do your own version of what they are doing and chat with them. If they start take yourself away, "I don't like sitting when people are being mean. I'm going to finish my butterfly (or whatever) in the kitchen. Or can we talk/ share/ take turns nicely?" And then GO if they can't. Seriously, you are the scarce resource and they are acting out in persuit of you. Or if they're not, well why should you be referee? Leave them to it and they will work out their nonsense for themselves. The example given above of siblings who are lovely with each other until someone else is looking is everything you need to know.

redjune Sun 06-Aug-17 09:18:04

I am definitely going to try your suggestions Hellomonty. I dont know if its because I was a primary school teacher that I feel the need to lead every activity, but I do agree they should be able to do things independantly.
I also agree with what Dorsetpennt says, that children expect to be entertained much more these days. In my day we just went out to play and only came back at meal times.

TriciaF Sun 06-Aug-17 09:40:41

It's so normal for sisters to be like that.
Someone I used to know had 3 girls who were always squabbling and fighting.
What she did (and I know some on here will be horrified) was to take the 3 of them outside and made them fight eachother on and on - she wouldn't let them stop - until they were crying with exhaustion.
They didn't quarrel again for a long time.

Nanabilly Sun 06-Aug-17 10:18:37

TriciaF.. That is exactly what I used to do with my sons , come rain or shine if they started squabbling ,fighting, teasing and tormenting ,out they would go and not allowed in until they had sorted it out . I would lock the door so they could not get back in . Sometimes it took 5 minutes and sometimes it was longer but they knew I meant it and it stopped eventually .

Hellomonty Sun 06-Aug-17 11:19:01

That's so funny redjune I teach secondary and found the Primary years of my own kids with the required level of intervention very trying!

meadowgran Sun 06-Aug-17 12:43:34

The popular two year gap is in my experience as a mother of four the worst age gap for jealousy. The two year old is totally bonded to his or her mother but then has the trauma of a new baby on the scene before the emotional and intellectual development to cope with it. My sister and I have a two year gap and my first words on her arrival were apparently "get that baby off your knee". So I was intensely jealous and then she copied me. My dad used to threaten to bang our heads together if we carried on fighting (this was the 1950's). It worked, he only ever did it once. Now we adore one another and are very close. I feel so privileged to have a sister. But I made sure there was at least a four year gap between each of mine!!

Nelliemoser Sun 06-Aug-17 23:37:34

It depends on the level of bickering. I think it is part of being children a lot of the time. With siblings it seems at time as if it is an intellectual exercise because they are bored.

Starlady Mon 07-Aug-17 00:23:08

Love Hellmonty's suggestions! If they get rough or if the fighting gets out of hand in any other way, then you can give them a time out or insist that they play separately. But otherwise, Hellmonty is spot on, imo.

yggdrasil Mon 07-Aug-17 11:22:21

This won't help your problem, but do realise they are obviously very happy to be in your house. All siblings quarrel, but most are only really badly behaved at home, and can be little angels outside in the real world. Even to the extent of defending each other against outsiders smile