My boys fight. A lot. I don't know how much of it is "normal". They are boys, who by nature are competitive. I get this. To some extent. And there are often times when they play very well together. Lately, though, it's been very strained at home. I know I am partly to blame. We are so busy these days. Too busy. Tempers are short, people are tired (exhausted on some days). The weather is changing and it is getting dark earlier, which means more time stuck inside. Both boys have a lot of energy, but my youngest (Cameron is 6) has even more energy and needs to have a release or he becomes very obnoxious and annoying and difficult to be around. They are loud and messy. Sometimes careless. They are both very loving big brothers.
So, after consideration of all these factors, I know I have to do something to remedy this situation. For starters, I need to learn to manage my anger better. I am a yeller. Always have been. I yell at the kids. I yell at my husband. Yes, I know this is a problem and it is time I work on it. I do a lot, too much. And it wears me out. From the minute I walk in the door at night, I start picking up, cooking. We have homework, dinner, chores, and bath time. Then all I want to do is sit down and play on my phone or watch my t.v. show. Relax. Some of my friends say they are very strict about bedtime, that they put their kids to bed by 8:00 so they can have "me" time and unwind. I have thought about doing this but because we do get home pretty late sometimes, it seems
almost cruel to send my kids straight to bed. They need wind down time, too.
Last night, we tried to play a board game. I hate to admit that we haven't done this in a while. But, in our defense, winter is the time for things like board games. Because during the summer, we spend most of our time together doing outdoor activities. It went ok but there were times when I wanted to throw in the towel and quit. It was very frustrating. Cameron, who again is only 6, has a hard time losing. Jackson is a bragger. I never realized how bad he was until last night. Even Josh asked him, "Is this how you act at school?". We had to constantly remind him, it's not your question, it's not your turn, let him (your brother) figure it out. The game was called Math Ninja and it required each of us to answer math problems and word problems, some were pretty difficult. Jackson is very strong in math. And actually Cameron is too. But there is still a 3 year age difference. Jackson would not cut Cameron any slack. Here I am thinking all this time, Cameron is an instigator and now I'm
beginning to wonder if Jackson is as much to blame. Does he try to make Cameron feel inferior to the point that he has to act out?
Another problem we face is that Cameron is a very mature 6-year old. He prefers to play with kids Jackson's age (9-10). Our neighbor is 11, and both boys spend equal amounts of time playing with him together and individually. He doesn't like most things kids his age like. I agree they need their separate friends. They need individual time to play with their friends. When I tell Cameron he can't go over to Chase's house, how do I make Cameron understand why this is? If I tell him, it's because he's older, he responds with "But that's not fair". How do people with twins cope with this?
Both Jackson & Cameron have very different personalities and I have to consider this as well. Yet, both are very
competitive and I feel like they are constantly battling for our attention. I feel like we give them each undivided attention, together and individually. I don't compare them, especially since they are so different. We've tried reward boards in the past. My newest tactic is sending them to their rooms. We've also decided to start
taking away privileges & "grounding" them. But this results in them walking around whining about how bored they are and ultimately getting into more trouble for being obnoxious. Cameron, for example, likes to throw or kick a (soft or rubber) ball against the wall in my den. Or he will swing a stick, any type of stick, like he is practicing swinging his bat. Both of these things drive me crazy. He isn't doing it to annoy me. It's just fun. He's all boy. He loves sports. He needs to stay active. He doesn't play very well by himself. He likes to play with friends, even his brother. Jackson can spend hours on the computer playing minecraft. He will read even or play with legos. He is more quiet and plays well on his own. Always has ever since he was a toddler.
Bottom line is this. The fighting/bickering/tattling/whining - it has got to stop. For my sanity. For my children's. And for the sake of our family. I understand that it may not all go away. That some arguing is normal, healthy even, for families. Conflict is going to occur. Disagreements about toys, games, friends, girls even. Especially when you have two differnet individuals. Yet, I have to get some control and get a handle on it now.
I read a very good article today on sibling rivalry. A lot of things I need to put into practice. Starting today. I like the idea of having family meetings and setting very specific ground rules. I will try to work on this and update on here with the results and how things are going. In the meantime, I will pray. More than anything else, I want my boys to be friends. I want them to be close when they are older. I know these times are difficult. But, I'm going to do my darndest to keep this family tight and close.
My name is Kaci. I am a working mom of 3. Wife to Josh. Mom to Jackson, Cameron & Isabella. My life is dinner, homework, baseball, basketball, grocery lists, laundry, wine, video games, and bath time. I started this blog because I am passionate about photography and journaling, and because I wanted a place to write it all down, to rememeber little details so easily forgotten in the mad rush that is the life of a family of 5. Through my photos and words, I endeavor to capture our story.