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If your kids get along extraordinarily well or extraordinarily poor, please respond


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If your kids get along extraordinarily well or extraordinarily poor, please respond to this thread.

 

Sometimes we hang out with kids (siblings) in our homeschool group (for hours----not just a few minutes) and I am amazed at how well they get along. Four families come to mind.

 

My two get along OK, but nothing like these examples I'm thinking of. So....what is it that makes kids get along so splendidly? (and I can tell it's not just a put on in these families). And, three of them have BIG age gaps (by big I mean 4 to 6 + year gap)!

 

So, what's the recipe for a good/bad sibling turn-out?

 

I SOOOOO want mine to get along this beautifully.

Mine aren't allowed to be disrespectful to one another, etc. but they just don't DESIRE one another's companionship like these families' kids.

 

If you're one of these who has kids that get along remarkably well, what's your secret? Tell me about it/how they get along/the general dynamic.

What do you think contributed to this?

(Please list genders/ages/etc).

 

My curiosity on this has got me out of lurking....

 

I just can't put my finger on it.

 

By the way, my sons are 5 years apart, ages 11 and 5.

 

~Julia

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I hate to commit this to writing but it is true: I set the tone.

 

When I am grumpy about other things and take my grump out on my kids, they return the favor and take their grump out on each other.

 

When I'm pleasant and energetic and kind, that's how they treat each other.

 

(I hate that this is true. It makes a lot of work for me.)

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My kids are amazingly close. They have always been. There have been some altercations or misunderstandings...some of them very loud especially when they were little, but over all, they are eachothers best friends.

 

I think one of the main reasons is I always valued their time and friendships with eachother. I did not allow play dates or best friends to come before siblings.

 

My number one rule always was...learn to get along with each other or you will not get to see anyone else...and I meant it....stuck by it...and they learned...and then they became great friends.

 

Faithe.

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I hate to commit this to writing but it is true: I set the tone.

 

When I am grumpy about other things and take my grump out on my kids, they return the favor and take their grump out on each other.

 

When I'm pleasant and energetic and kind, that's how they treat each other.

 

(I hate that this is true. It makes a lot of work for me.)

 

I really think this has a lot to do w/ it here, too. Dh and I have to set the tone with each other, with the dc, and they tend to follow. However, I do have one very challenging child and the other one is strong willed, and so they both have their moments where they are just awful to one another or to us. But I think for the majority of the time, they get along wonderfully and do really enjoy each other's company. They can play for hours, just the 2 of them, have have a blast.

 

I didn't have siblings, but always desperately wanted them because I was lonely, so I've always tried to teach them to be kind to one another and how lucky they are to have a sister/brother - that it's a real blessing. We make it a point to give praise to each other and tell each other we're thankful for them.

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I hate to commit this to writing but it is true: I set the tone.

 

When I am grumpy about other things and take my grump out on my kids, they return the favor and take their grump out on each other.

 

When I'm pleasant and energetic and kind, that's how they treat each other.

 

(I hate that this is true. It makes a lot of work for me.)

 

I agree! Not only do I set the tone with my attitude, but dh and I set an example in spending time together, doing things for each other, and laughing together.

 

My dc are a 14 yo dd, 12 yo dd, and 8 yo ds. The dynamic is that the two girls are very, very close; oldest is a mothering figure to ds; and middle is a friend to him.

 

I think the biggest thing is that we teach them to put all others before themselves, and so that includes their siblings as well. We have been careful to make sure that that happens with their siblings, because that is the habit they will have toward others then.

 

Also, we have a "family culture" that we cultivate carefully. So we do a lot of things as a family, and from those we have many inside jokes and shared experiences that create intimacy.

 

We play many games together, and so dc do, too. We have a large home library, and we limit access to other (less valuable) books, so they read and can discuss the same books together.

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My kids are amazingly close. They have always been. There have been some altercations or misunderstandings...some of them very loud especially when they were little, but over all, they are eachothers best friends.

 

I think one of the main reasons is I always valued their time and friendships with eachother. I did not allow play dates or best friends to come before siblings.

 

My number one rule always was...learn to get along with each other or you will not get to see anyone else...and I meant it....stuck by it...and they learned...and then they became great friends.

 

Faithe.

 

:iagree: Mine are 12 and twin 9 yr olds. If my kids aren't getting along then they are not allowed to hang out with others. Our family relationships are our first priority .

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My kids are amazingly close. They have always been. There have been some altercations or misunderstandings...some of them very loud especially when they were little, but over all, they are eachothers best friends.

 

I think one of the main reasons is I always valued their time and friendships with eachother. I did not allow play dates or best friends to come before siblings.

 

My number one rule always was...learn to get along with each other or you will not get to see anyone else...and I meant it....stuck by it...and they learned...and then they became great friends.

 

Faithe.

:iagree: This is us. Our kids love to play with each other everyday! Even the older ones with the little ones. From early on we have told them siblings will be your best friends in life. Sibling relationships are the priority. Part of it could be out of necessity though to. If they can't get along they can't play together therefore they get along.

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My own children had more issues when they were younger. Now they get along fine.

 

But my sister and I barely speak. We're 6 years apart. I spent all my childhood and most of my adulthood trying to win her praise. Now she's the one depressed that we don't talk, but I just lost all my heart being rejected for so long. She told me that she was very jealous when I was born. She was the first grandchild on both sides and when I came along, I got more attention. My mom confirmed that my sister's behavior changed drastically when I was born. My mom's solution was to constantly tell my sister that she was the role model for me and that she needed to take care of me. My sister said she resented that responsibility being placed on her shoulders. She absolutely hated when my mom would force her to be nice to me and play with me. She said things and did things when mom wasn't around that just hurt me so much. I tattled sometimes but most of the time, I didn't want her to get into trouble because I wanted her to like me. Oh well.

 

I don't think there is a nice, neat one-size-fits-all solution. My sister and I are so different in personality that if she wasn't family, she and I wouldn't have had any reason to be together. However, because of that failed relationship, I have never pushed my children towards each other. I don't want them to experience what I did.

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My older two (7 yo son, 5 yo daughter) are extremely close. They rarely fight and will spend entire days playing together. They fight more with their 2 yo sister, but even then, most of the time they are very sweet and patient with her. I've noticed if she's doing something annoying, my 5 yo will actually work to distract her rather than just yell at her. The first time I noticed that, I was astounded, but I've seen her do it again. If either of my older two get something (say a treat in Sunday school at church), they'll save it so they can bring it home and share.

 

Honestly, I have no idea what the variables are that produced this. I love it though! I sometimes think it's just more to do with their personalities. My oldest, especially, is just a kind, helpful little peacemaker. I do agree with PPs that parents set the tone and example in the home, and we try to do that, but I am by no means perfect at that :D. We just do our best to encourage the good behavior.

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DW gets most of the credit for this...she set the tone, yes. And had absolutely zero tolerance for any mean-ness or bickering among siblings. The expectations were set very, very early, that we will not pick at each other or fight or be mean, ever. Arguing is fine, as long as it's doesn't get personal...hurting one another results in monumentally unpleasant consequences for the offender...

 

They all get along fabulously, and are endearingly close. They have friends, but count each other among their best friends...I am a blessed man.

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my boys are 5 years apart and are very close. Part is luck. They happen to find the same things interesting and like to play in the same way. I know others who have kids who are very, very different people. Things are harder for them.

 

I do think the age gap helps. My son was about 5 when his brother was born. He had two parents to help him through the difficult toddler/preschool years. There were no jelousy issues, no problems with sharing mommy etc. At 5 my older son was quite able to do small things for himself when I was busy with baby. When ds2 was a toddler, ds1 had patience for him. He built towers for little brother to knock over, laughed when his little brother didn't quite understand sharing, and could read him books etc.

 

And like other posters have said, parents set the tone. My husband and I have a policy of general respect and kindness to others. We don't shy from our authority as the parents but I think we give the kids a feeling of parthership in the tone of the family. We all see home as the place where we should feel safest and most accepted for who we are. We spent a lot of time when they were younger policing arguments and modeling clear and kind communication and healthy ways of expressing anger. We don't have to do that anywhere near as often these days.

 

Do they have fights? Of course. Right now, they are cleaning the living room and I heard some real yelling and their dad went in to calm it down. But, it never crosses my mind that they will be cruel to each other or hurt each other or plain old mean like I see with some siblings. Bicker? yes, every now and then. Need to spend some time apart? Occasionally, but it doesn't last long. They wake up every day happy to see each other and that is the best I could ever hope for.

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For the most part my girls get along great. There are those days where they fight and argue about every single thing and I nearly pull out every hair on my head, but they really are best friends.

 

For one, I don't push them to have outside friends. They are both very shy and quiet, so that helps. They don't have neighborhood friends....there's really no kids around here. Their only friends are their cousins, whom they see several times a month and both kids play equally with. And their friend who is the same age as my youngest daughter....and again, they all play equally together. I really think that peer friendships can hinder sibling friendships. You get some of the kids who think the younger kids are babies and refuse to play with them. You get kids whose main drive is to be with their friends, which leaves them forming bonds with their friends and not their sibinlings. I think that the young years should be reserved more for family time and not constant time with friends. It's easier for me since there's no kids in our neighborhood and my girls are shy.

 

I don't allow name calling. I know this may sound crazy, but my kids have never called each other a mean name. I don't think they know how LOL. I don't allow TV shows that have name calling....which a lot of kids shows do, so they do not hear it from there. DH and I don't call names. They really don't hear name calling so they don't know that it's really something that happens.

 

I give lots of together time in between school time during the day for them to play together and strengthen their friendship. During a fight, I always have them apologize to each other. If I do catch fights happening often, I remind them that their sister is the best friend they will ever have and that sisters should always support each other and be nice to each other. I've told them this since my youngest was a baby.

 

My girls love each other to death. Sometimes they fight....sometimes they do hit....but they do get along for the most part.

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My girls, although they have their moments, get along very well. Even through all this hormonal stuff we are going through right now.

 

I think what has helped with them is the way my husband and I treat each other, and zero tolerance for ugly behavior towards one another. Yes, they bicker occasionally, but name calling, hitting, or being purposefully mean has never been allowed. We've also been careful to teach them the importance of being kind to each other.

 

Something that was also a big help (although I wish it weren't so) is that my BIL's kids do NOT get along well. They are nasty to one another quite often, and my kids have seen how miserable it makes everyone around them. We've had many conversations about why they should strive to not be that way.

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My kids get along VERY well. They are far in age (14,7,3), but play well together. They always look out for each other. I think part of it is that my oldest is special needs and the younger two are used to "different" behavior. So, they are very patient and tolerant if one another. I also think part of it is just their personalities. They are all different and just fit well together. The oldest is the mellow, go along with anything type, the middle the leader, and the youngest the follower. It all works out:)

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And had absolutely zero tolerance for any mean-ness or bickering among siblings. The expectations were set very, very early, that we will not pick at each other or fight or be mean, ever.

 

This, and the right personalities. I've never allowed any meanness, name calling, nastiness. Even when disagreeing, they've had to speak nicely to each other.

 

My kids were close until my dd went to ps. When we began hsing in the middle of 1st grade, they regained their closeness within weeks. That was the biggest surprise of our hsing.

 

Dd is now 16; ds, 12. They are still best of friends. They have outside friends and have mostly very different interests. They spend a lot of time together and enjoy each other's company.

 

Perhaps it comes naturally for them as we tried to not be overscheduled. We've spent, and continue to spend, a lot of time at home. We've moved a couple of times and were recently pretty isolated for three years. My dd is much more of a homebody than ds, but he looks up to her (haha, now he looks her in the eye), and he responds whenever she's reached out to him. He's always been more rough and tumble, and ever since he was little, we've impressed upon him the importance of watching out for girls, that God's gifted him with being a male, a protector. We have no family within 3000 miles, and my kids have no first cousins. I've always told them their relationship is the lifetime one, they are the only two who will share the same memories throughout their lives.

 

It's not always perfect. Dd used to get competitive with ds with schooling, who could answer more questions, who did better on spelling evals, or standardized testing, who could run faster--silly things that were not worth comparing based on their age differences! Then there was that time that dh and I went to the store and came home to a hole in the wall where they'd had some sort of scuffle.:glare:

 

I sometimes forget just how truly well they get along, and I've gone through phases where I'll read parenting books on sibling relationships. It's then, or when I see other families, that I realize how blessed we all are.

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My kids are too young for me to really say if I'll be successful with fostering good sibling relationships or not. But my theory is this- I'm going to heap so much love on each of them that it becomes their natural inclination to heap love on each other. I hear a lot of people saying that the parents set the tone with how they treat each other, but I'm not sure I agree with that. I only remember my parents having one disagreement my entire childhood. They treated each other with much love, kindness, and respect. My sister and I did NOT. I feel like we (sis and I) were competing so much for attention/affection/love from my parents that we viewed each other as rivals instead of partners/friends. My goal: so show so much love to my kids that they're thrilled when I'm showing affection to a sibling- because it means I'm leaving them alone!!!

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And, three of them have BIG age gaps (by big I mean 4 to 6 + year gap)!

 

So, what's the recipe for a good/bad sibling turn-out?

 

I SOOOOO want mine to get along this beautifully.

Mine aren't allowed to be disrespectful to one another, etc. but they just don't DESIRE one another's companionship like these families' kids.

 

 

My two get along incredibly well, but I think there are two things. One, they get time apart. Dd gets to go out all day on Saturdays with her grandma, so the return to her brother is joyous. Remember, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." ;) In other threads I've seen people mention a daily quiet time for 1-3 hours, same idea. Gives them time by themselves. This is especially important if you have an introvert. Have you studied them to determine if they are introverts or extroverts? The one could be aggravating the other.

 

Two, and I hate to even mention this, they talk to each other the way we do. The way we handle them is they way they will act. The words we use and our aggravated tone of voice carry over. Our selfishness gets role-modeled for them. But that's good, as it gives us the chance to SEE and change, kwim? It's always something we can grow in, modeling a home of hugs not hits, frequent hugs, kind words, etc. We're pretty physical in our house (lots of hugs, co-sleeping, etc.), and I do think it all goes together.

 

Mine are 9 1/2 years apart btw. It's an easy gap and has been joyous. I can imagine with kids closer in age you might have more competitiveness creep in.

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My children are very close. My older two, now grown and living away from home, are absolutely the best of friends. They were always close but somewhere around ages 16 and 14 they truly developed a deep connection. My younger three, ages 13, 10 and 10, are also close. The other day one twin was saying how her twin was her best friend. I said, "well, she's your twin sister". She responded with, "yeah, I know, but she's my best friend."

 

I always assume it has something to do with homeschooling. I never forced them to be friends, but I did insist on respectful behavior. I didn't force them to play together much - sometimes - but not constantly. We're close as a family and spend a lot time together having fun. Other than that, I don't know. I feel very, very fortunate that they are close, especially since I don't share that type of relationship with my only sibling.

 

eta: I wanted to add since I saw you had an age spread between your two, that my older two (8 and 6 yrs. older than the younger group) love their little sisters. They take them to lunch, have them over to their places for the night, watch movies together. It's not the same type of relationship the older two and the younger three have because of the age difference but as they get older, that will fall into place, I believe.

Edited by Ishki
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I hear a lot of people saying that the parents set the tone with how they treat each other' date=' but I'm not sure I agree with that. I only remember my parents having one disagreement my entire childhood. They treated each other with much love, kindness, and respect. My sister and I did NOT. I feel like we (sis and I) were competing so much for attention/affection/love from my parents that we viewed each other as rivals instead of partners/friends. My goal: so show so much love to my kids that they're thrilled when I'm showing affection to a sibling- because it means I'm leaving them alone!!![/quote']

 

But your parents did set a tone by accepting that type of behaviour. They gave it tacit approval. Oh, I am sure they asked you to stop but did they ever think about how the family system was contributing to the behaviour? Many people think that cruelty and bickering are the norm. That is it how kids behave and you just have to accept it. Or, that sibling competition is the norm, that all siblings feel the need to compete for parental affection. But, there isn't a 'norm'. Expectation and acceptance play a large part.

 

Personalities clashing/mixing also have a great deal to do with it. I get complimented frequently for how well my boys get along. I always chalk it up to luck. They happen to be compatable personalities. That did three quarters of the job for me.

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My kids are way too young for me to claim any sort of parenting triumph (or failure, for that matter) but one thing that has struck me from watching DH and his brother -- who have always been and continue to be extremely close -- is that there's something to be said for parents modeling close relationships with their own siblings. MIL is very close to one of her sisters and FIL is very close to his brother, and DH and BIL grew up seeing those strong sibling relationships being modeled all the time.

 

That said, like everything else, a lot has to do with the luck of the draw. My parents did everything 'right,' but my brother and I just don't have much in common. We were close as children and get along fine now (after a period of not having much to do with one another) but it's nothing like BIL and DH. I know my mother wishes that we were closer, but in the final analysis it's up to the kids, you know?

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I have three boys - 14, 11 and 7. They all get on really well. They share a room, which was their choice. They all have their own space within the room (600 sq ft finished basement). They play together really nice most of the time.

 

My oldest babysits if my husband and I need to go out. My oldest plays games with the 7 year old even if he really isn't interested in the game. He just makes it clear and says, "Hey Sam, I'll play whatever you want for the next 30 minutes but then I'd like to go and do my own thing."

 

If they do have their occasional disagreement I will intervene and talk to them about the proper, expected behavior.

 

I also try and talk to them really nicely, setting a good example on how we talk to each other even if we have a problem.

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We tell our kids constantly "is that the way you should treat your best friend for life?" We also set a rule that states that you cannot have friends over until you treat your sibling as well as your friends. We do not allow tattle taling. Unless someone is about to seriously hurt someone or themselves, they are not allowed to tell on their sibling. We expect them to "spur one another towards love and good deeds". If they want to tattle tale, I have a statue of a chef that I call George that they can tattle tale to. I know tattle taling is not good for sibling relationships. We are still learning though...

 

cabreban

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zero tolerance for any mean-ness or bickering among siblings. The expectations were set very, very early, that we will not pick at each other or fight or be mean, ever. Arguing is fine, as long as it's doesn't get personal...hurting one another results in monumentally unpleasant consequences for the offender...

 

They all get along fabulously, and are endearingly close. They have friends, but count each other among their best friends...I am a blessed man.

 

 

It's the same at our house, too.

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Mine get along. When they were smaller (and fresh out of ps), I had to point out to them that long ago (like in Little House on the Prairie) siblings used to be friends. It took a little bit, but they finally got the message. I did have a rule about they had to take up for their siblings if someone was being nasty to them. Family comes first. Now, they are best friends.

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Well, I don't think there's a "recipe" that always makes the brownies come out perfect. And I don't know that I'd really jump in and say my kids get along "extraordinarily" well, but they are good buddies. The older two are 2.5 years apart, girl/boy, and they get along quite well. Both the older two are usually pretty good with the little guy, who is 5 years younger than his brother.

 

I do think the parents set the tone for what the household will be like: what level of talking goes on? Is yelling and disrespect common or rare? I've also put a lot of emphasis on doing things together and supporting one another's interests. They each come to the others' games and events unless it's physically impossible in their schedules.

 

Lastly, I do think the simple fact of homeschooling and being around each other, doing sometimes the same things, sitting together in the same room or table, and having each other as their main "friends" to play with daily has contributed a lot.

 

I went to a private school open house for my dd, who will be in high school next fall and a lady said, "Are you homeschoolers?" When I said yes, she said, "I could tell by the way your kids were all talking and playing together, and the way your daughter was helping her little brother draw on his sketchpad." I think that says a lot! :001_smile:

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My kids really are each other's best friends. There are times of course where they argue or get annoyed, but it is far and few between.

 

What I think has contributed to this:

 

1) close in age---not planned on our part--but our 5 kids are 5 years apart

2) limited screen time

3) family always comes first---we support each other's activities, interest, ect

4)we have moved quite often, so my kids learned to depend on each other

5)all but one of our kids has had to share a room always!---this has forced my kids to learn how to compromise

6)we do not tolerate unkindness, raised voices, ect

7)we spend time together

8)we pray and read our scriptures together as a family

9)we set goals together as a family

10)we don't focus on who is right

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Mine are five years apart in age, and different genders. They both have pretty easy-going personalities, which helps, but I think a lot of it just has to do with the our (extended) family culture. I'm from a large family myself, and we see several of my siblings, cousins, extended family every single day. I model "sibling" behavior every time I buy my collegiate sister groceries, or take leaves from my paying job so I can help my widowed brother raise his own kids during his busy work season. My siblings model it back when they spend 3 years (and counting) coaching my son's sports, or changing my car oil without fail, without being asked. I grew up in a multi-generational home with a revolving door of cousins living with us on and off; my cousins are just as close to me as are my siblings. We've all been raised together, half of the time under the same roof.

 

I spend more time with family than with outside friends; my social needs are completely met through my family. Naturally, this extends to my kids and a great deal of their social time is spent with each other and their own cousins. The kids notice, perhaps passively, but the message is clear. For example: When I can't possibly listen to my son's tenth, high-pitched exhaustive dialogue of the day on his dream line-up if he were coaching our local pro sports team ... I have several other adults immediately available to take a turn. I don't get frustrated and snap. When he's tired of hearing his little sister sing her tenth round of ABC's off-tune and in the wrong order, he has other people immediately available to take a turn. He doesn't have to scream at her to shut up, because he's learned from us how to gently direct the 'offender' towards a new audience LOL. He's never been told to put up with it because she's younger, so she's never learned to use her babyness to her advantage. And he's never learned to resent her for being a normal little kid whom he perceives as getting away with acting annoyingly because of her age. Another example - the kids see my siblings and I split up screen time because there are more of us than there are electronic devices; no fighting, just working together to make everything work out for each of our needs. The kids learn to do the same. There just aren't a lot of triggers for them to fight each other. What triggers are there, have been modeled so often by us that they're intuitive to the kids. Those were modeled to us when we were kids living in a multi-generational home with a revolving door of extended family staying off and on ;)

 

[just have to say that I'm completely and unapologetically biased against the American concept of the modern family: nuclear, or bust. I think the rest of the world, including Europe, has it right. Extended family is where it's at.]

 

We're Asian. Our families have a definite hierarchy, assumed and understood (if unspoken). This is also an important factor, though perhaps unpopular with more Western thinking. My kids (and their cousins, and we, too, when we were children) have an expressed responsibility towards one another, and we take that seriously. It's more of an endearment towards one another than it is kids on equal footing simply choosing/deciding to get along. My kids also get treated according to their rung in the family ladder. Not everything is fair, or is otherwise presented as or implied to be fair - this includes everything from responsibilities to privileges, from weight of 'say' in family decisions to how many or much is spent on holiday gifts. Everyone knows their place; there's no need for unnecessary competition. My kids aren't simply people bound by shared DNA and parentage; they're bound to each other through everyday interactions and filial expectations unique to their relative positions in the hierarchy. Use of titles is included in this. My kids don't call each other by their given names; each has a title (nickname) relative to his position. Same as my generation - I only call my siblings by their given names when I am talking to someone who only knows them professionally. Much of this isn't ever discussed, it simply ... is. It's not like we tell my elder that he can lord over his little sister, it just falls into place that he's able to discipline her if he sees her doing wrong. She expects that from him and doesn't fight it; she obeys him. He's never taken advantage of that role because he's younger than his cousins, to whom he's obliged to obey. She listens to her older brother because she knows he isn't taking advantage of his role - again, there is no need for competition or for her to feel she has to prove something to him (biting, hitting, yelling, whatever.)

 

Not to say we're all frolicking through the daisies with one another every day :) but by and large my siblings and I get along very well - so well that we're all still living within minutes of each other (save for those currently in the military or college!). That's by choice; we've taken career risks by choosing to stay local to one another, but ultimately we place family above everything. My kids are just following suit based on what their everyday 'normal' is. It's certainly nothing I'm doing as a parent!

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My boys are a year apart, and they are best buddies. Part of it, I think, is that I have always told them since day-one that they are each other's best buddy in the world. That no matter what, "your brother will always look out for you". And they really do look out for each other.

 

Another thing I do, is I try to foster their own separate interests. For example, DS7 is a huge Lego maniac. I allow him private time to play with his Legos by himself. DS6 loves to cook, so I allow him time away from his brother do follow that pursuit. By the time they're done doing their own thing, they're happy to see each other again. I think it's important they have time apart from their sibling too - especially since they're with each other all day and night.

 

DD has always been more of a 'mothering' type of sister to the boys. And now that she's away at college, she's transformed into the 'cool big sis'. LOL

 

I'm big on being respectful, so we don't allow being disrespectful to anyone in our home. If someone is having an 'off' day, then they are permitted to cool off in their room until they want to rejoin the family. It's ok to be angry, it's not ok to berate or degrade your family.

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If you're one of these who has kids that get along remarkably well, what's your secret? Tell me about it/how they get along/the general dynamic.

What do you think contributed to this?

(Please list genders/ages/etc).

 

My two sons, ages 8 and 10, are best friends. They do have their moments of fighting, sometimes physically, but they are together almost 24/7, sharing a room, going to church, going to each other's basketball practices and games, piano practice, plus homeschooling. They have learned to get along because of proximity, partially. We also have four kids, and they have learned to accomodate their younger sister. The three littles get up much earlier than dh and I do so they have learned to get up, turn on the TV upstairs and not cause too much ruckus. They are allowed to stay up a bit later than their little sis but must play quietly in their room so they don't disturb her or the teenager, who goes to be early and has a room next to theirs. Their personalities are very different, which helps them get along. Neither of them has too many impulsivity issues, which can cause problems between kids. They are both pretty kind hearted. They truly do enjoy each other's company.

 

I would say that your main issue might be the large gap in ages between your dc.

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My kids all get along extremely well. They are 9 (boy), 6 (girl), 6 (girl), and 3 (girl). We have 6yrs between my oldest and youngest and those two are really sweet together. I sometimes wonder if they get along so well because the middle children are twins. We don't really have any of that "middle child" syndrome here. Other times, I think it is because of my oldest's personality. He really seems to set the tone for the group and is a wonderful brother. He has always been gentle and attentive to his little sisters and when the littlest came along, they followed his lead. He has always loved and played well with younger kids and he says when he grows up, he wants 100 kids. I can't take credit for his personality- I don't think it is anything we have done or not done.

 

One thing I have noticed is that they play a lot better when we don't let them watch tv or play video games during the day. They play together all day long and rarely fight. When the tvs come on and the video games come out, they tend to fight about who gets to pick what to watch or who gets to play. I also have a rule that nobody who wants to play gets left out. You can play by yourself if you want, in your room, but you can't team up with a brother or sister and not allow another sibling to join you. The newcomer can't dictate that everyone play something else or follow his or her rules, but the other kids also must be flexible and let the person who comes late to have some input. When they were younger and I would go to take a shower, I would sometimes set them up with some big floor puzzles and tell them if they could work together to finish them by the time I got back with no crying or fighting and everyone having a part then they would get a prize. I try to have them working as a team to do something at least sort of fun regularly and I have a chart that they work together on to earn a trip to Chuck E Cheese. It is sort of like a marble jar teachers at school have for compliments. Any time they are especially nice to each other, or so well behaved (as a group!) in public that someone compliments them, they will get a marble colored in. If anyone is being crazy, we won't get complimented, and they won't get a marble. You don't get marbles for minimally obeying- it must be beyond my expectations or well enough that someone else says something. They love earning marbles!!

 

My kids also do have outside friends and don't only play with each other but I think they truly enjoy each other's company and want be together. I hope that their friendships grow and last forever. I would be so sad if they drifted apart. My brother and I fought all the time and while we occasionally got along, my DH talks to him now more than I do. He's only a year and a half older than me but, while I'd consider our relationship good and not strained, I have a hard time thinking of anything to talk with him about. I hope my kids will be closer than I am with my brother.

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Thought of more...I require them to work things out between themselves. If they need me to get involved, then the activity ends, the toy is put away, etc. That requires them to learn to compromise. Like many, we also do not allow ugly talk to or about your siblings.

 

My boys are so close that when one was in children's church and one was with use in our service, the one with us cried and wanted to join his brother. He just missed him, he said. So I took him to join his brother.

 

My teen is very sweet with the younger siblings and although she is sometimes annoyed by them, she has come to see the benefit of siblings and of caring for youngeer kids.

 

They all look out for the five year old. When my boys were younger, the older one was somewhat jealous of the younger one, but when our 5 yo dd was born, he was incredibly sweet and patient with her. He will still do whatever it takes most of the time to try to please her.

 

Because of personality and other factors, my two boys, though two years apart, function more like twins. I have found that playing lots of card games and board games has helped to increase their bond.

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Four kids here boys 14, 12 and twin girls 11.

We force them to be friends.

Family is first. In the past if I see one being mean to the other, that one is out for a bit, and if it is with another friend, that friend is not coming over until the attitude changes. They are not allowed to belittle each other or gang up on one. Apologies are a must and forgiveness is given out freely.

They do chores together and have to inspect each others work, encourage and help them if they finish theirs early. No one goes out til all chores are done. Seriously, the music is pumping and giggles as dishes are done!

We limit computer time, have no tv, so they don't see the sitcoms where kids disrespect each other or their parents. It is not allowed in our home.

We eat dinner together every evening and laugh and talk.

We are more of a team, and Dad and I are the captains or coaches. If they lag, the others encourage them.

My husband and I never EVER fight in front of them. We disagree, but if we are mad or angry, it is not drama for kids to see. They know I am mad, or Dad maybe upset, but we treat each other with respect and they see that.

 

We recently had an episode that one was believe to be lying, but we could not find evidence, but wanted the guilty party to come forward. They sat in the living room talking it out and came to us, and said, "We think there is a missing part, because none of is guilty."

They were right!

More evidence came to light and it was a freak thing. That is how they work, and as they have grown older we give more freedoms as they grow more responsible.

 

I can pick up when one is tweaking a bit in attitude and I look to see what is the major influence in their life. Friends, books, or hormones? Friends can be limited, books removed and a talk with Dad or me on a one on one dinner can ease the hormones into balance with direction on how to handle it!

 

I babbled and please I am NO expert, I love my kids, as I know everyone of you do, so a lot of this is from what I believe is prayer and stopping the bad attitude immediately.

hugs from a mom is thankful for the joy in her home!

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Mine are 16 months apart and they get along extremely well. Te main thngs I think contributed to it are

 

personality - sometimes you just really don't like a certain person or type of person through no fault of your own or theirs. I am very thankful that my two kids' personalities mesh so well

 

Age - they are so close and into the same things so naturally they have a built in playmate.

 

1-1 time And alone time - we do our best to make sure they have adequate time with us without their sibling and also enough time in solitude. There. Is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Every day they have quiet time for an hour and this is their time alone without sibling or any other interruptions.

 

Setting the tone/modeling behavior - not only in the moment, but in every thing you do. If you are kind, compassionate, patient, and understanding towards your spouse, your friends, relatives, even people you don't care for and most importantly your kids, they will in turn pick up on that and subconciously model that behavior.

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I hate to commit this to writing but it is true: I set the tone.

 

When I am grumpy about other things and take my grump out on my kids, they return the favor and take their grump out on each other.

 

When I'm pleasant and energetic and kind, that's how they treat each other.

 

(I hate that this is true. It makes a lot of work for me.)

 

:iagree:

 

And lots of feeding b/c we all go crazy when we are even nearing mealtime. Before we feel hungry, we hit grumpy. Otherwise, I dunno, dd5 is mellow & just accepted her sister without reservation when she was 2 & they did the same with ds. I don't know if our expectation of that good behavior affected it or not. :confused: Mine are 2 & 3 years apart. We also have quiet time now that naptime is right out--each one takes a turn in their room playing alone while the other has mommy time.

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My kids are amazingly close. They have always been. There have been some altercations or misunderstandings...some of them very loud especially when they were little, but over all, they are eachothers best friends.

 

I think one of the main reasons is I always valued their time and friendships with eachother. I did not allow play dates or best friends to come before siblings.

 

My number one rule always was...learn to get along with each other or you will not get to see anyone else...and I meant it....stuck by it...and they learned...and then they became great friends.

 

Faithe.

 

For the most part my girls get along great. There are those days where they fight and argue about every single thing and I nearly pull out every hair on my head, but they really are best friends.

 

For one, I don't push them to have outside friends.

I don't allow name calling. I know this may sound crazy, but my kids have never called each other a mean name. I don't think they know how LOL. I don't allow TV shows that have name calling....which a lot of kids shows do, so they do not hear it from there. DH and I don't call names. They really don't hear name calling so they don't know that it's really something that happens.

 

 

My girls love each other to death. Sometimes they fight....sometimes they do hit....but they do get along for the most part.

:iagree: Also, we don't watch a lot of cable T.V. there is so much junk, kids not being respectful toward others. I also think the literature that we let into our house comes into play as well.

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:iagree: Also, we don't watch a lot of cable T.V. there is so much junk, kids not being respectful toward others. I also think the literature that we let into our house comes into play as well.

 

Oh, that too. No cable here either, just DVDs.

 

ETA: The girls also share a bed, but I don't know if that helps their relationship or happens because of it... hmmmm. (They have two beds, but sleep in the same one 90% of the time.)

Edited by LittleIzumi
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My oldest & youngest have 9 years between and are very similar, so found it really easy to wind each other up, even unintentionally. We've alway encouraged respect and thoughtfulness, but the thing that was pivotal for their relationship was when I paid DS to tutor DD in astronomy. DD then realised that her big brother is actually pretty cool, and her respect for him grew. Focussing DS's attention for 1 hour a week gave him a framework to redefine their relationship and a new role to live up to.

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Mine got on really well from ages 7/4 to 12/9. We all spent a lot of time together because we lived overseas and travelled, they had similar enough interests and we had a family tone of peace. Now, Hobbes is mourning as Calvin grows away from him: starts to think about girls, begins a volunteer job, talks about going away to university.

 

Laura

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I read a study once that said that the highest predictor for siblings being close friends as adults was shared good moments as children. Even if they had a high number of fights, the high # of good emotion memories was what mattered. I am very grateful that although my boys are very different, they have enough shared interests that they are creating happy memories together.

 

I think setting the tone and making sure they treat each other with respect are essential as previous posters have mentioned, and also related to having good times together now. But having common interests and creating those good memories gives me peace of mind for their future... when I'm not around to police how they treat each other.

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I don't know if mine are extraordinarily well and it's too early to really know yet, but I am so pleased with how they treat each other. They all choose to sleep in the same room at night, and I smile when I hear them playing word games together and chatting after lights-out. My 8yo wants to sleep with her 2yo sister, and my 6yo wants to sleep with the baby when the baby is old enough.

 

I emphasize doing things together and helping each other. We talk in terms of "the girls," "the boys," "the littles," "the bigs," "the team", etc. We have also limited outside activities and influences so they have to spend a lot of time together.

 

Personality certainly has a factor. My #3 can be very challenging for all of us. I strive to get him through childhood in good standing with the other dc.

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I hate to commit this to writing but it is true: I set the tone.

 

When I am grumpy about other things and take my grump out on my kids, they return the favor and take their grump out on each other.

 

When I'm pleasant and energetic and kind, that's how they treat each other.

 

(I hate that this is true. It makes a lot of work for me.)

 

Spot. On.

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Mine got on really well from ages 7/4 to 12/9. We all spent a lot of time together because we lived overseas and travelled, they had similar enough interests and we had a family tone of peace. Now, Hobbes is mourning as Calvin grows away from him: starts to think about girls, begins a volunteer job, talks about going away to university.

 

Laura

 

Poor Hobbes.

 

My youngest is struggling with everyone (siblings & cousins) being older than him and not doing "kid" things anymore.

 

My kids were closer when they were younger. I remember when they'd cuddle with each other in the backseat of the car and pretend they were kittens. I miss those days. :crying:

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my kids get along wonderfully. i wish i could say i did "xyz" to make this happen. honestly, i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they dont have friends in our town, so they make do with one another. they are sweet friends though, and will even sleep in the same bed sometimes giggling themselves to sleep and talking. they really love each other. it's nice. my daughter is 9 & my son is 6.

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I have six kids that came in three sets of two. Every child has traditionally been pretty close to their age mate although they also fought more as children. The age mates spent the most time together so they played together and were best friends but thay also bickered more probably due to spending so much time together and being so close.

 

Then I have some kids that are just close due to compatible personalities. One of the girls had some bickering with her age mate when they were younger but has since then gotten along with her as well everyone else. The oldest dd had little patience for some of her younger sisters as a teen but now gets along with most of them. One was a real pain before puberty but now gets along with most everyone (except some bickering with age mate still as they are the youngest).

 

Finally, some of them have developed closer relationships as they have gotten older simply due to proximity. My eldest dd left home when the youngest was about two or three so she hasn't spent as much time with them. However, my 17 year old is currently living with my 25 year old so they are closer now than they have ever been. The 18 year old also lives in GA so I have three there and two here. We visit GA frequently and the girls spend a lot of time together so now they are closer and all pretty much get along very well.

 

My son doesn't really get along with everyone else for a variety of reasons. My ex had custody of my son so he has for the most part spent very little time with the rest. He is close to his age mate because they actually lived together when they were younger and spent the most time together. However, I don't think it would have made much difference if he had been around the rest more. He has always been been in some sort of trouble or another. He has had problems with drugs and alcohol, done some really bad things, then disappeared for three years and now lives in AL. He has kind of alienated himself from the family.

 

I do have two girls that are not getting along very well right now but it is mostly due to life circumstances. I hope that their relationship will improve soon. So even though they were all raised the same way and pretty much together, how they get along is fluid and changes depending on the circumstances.

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I don't solve their disputes.

 

I will referee or coach their conversations if necessary but I don't get in the middle of it.

 

When they come, "Mommmmmeeeeeeee, Johnny is doing ______!!"

 

I say, "That's interesting, have you told that to Johnny?" Or I'll call them together and say, "Johnny, Toby has something he'd like to say."

 

After both parties have had a chance to say their piece I'll ask if they feel like it's been resolved. If it has cool, we're ready to move on.

 

They do the talking, I'm just there to do the coaching and help with the wording. They start this when they're old enough to tattle on each other and it usually only takes a couple times for them to be confident confronting each other and resolving their woes.

 

It always takes two to fight/misunderstand (whatever you want to call it). It takes two to listen to each other so they can come to a resolution.

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