That seems to be my current occupation.
I have a younger brother. I can remember, being at home, alone with him, while our parents were at work. And hating him. Not just being annoyed or aggravated but hating him.
I remember how my mom would say "just ignore him" or "you're older, you should know better". I vowed that when I had kids, I would never say those things. I would always try to be fair and just.
Famous last words!
My kids have been fighting constantly. Over every. little. thing.
It's driving me bonkers!
I do try to be fair. I know how annoying Josie can be. I know she pushes Jayce's buttons on purpose. I know that Jeven loves to destroy Jarrett's art projects and Josie's Barbie house. I know Jarrett keeps Jayce awake at night signing. I know these things but for pete's sake does it mean world war 3 must break out?! Every day?
We punish. What we think is appropriately. We make them apologize. We separate them. We threatened for the fighters to have to sit together with their arms around each other. But, I don't want to force "love". I want them to love each other because they do, not as a punishment.
I know with 4 kids, a small house, and different temperments that fighting will happen. I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the viciousness and meanness behind it all.
And, when confronted, they never, ever, ever take responsibility for their part. It's always the other child's fault.
"Jayce made me kick him!"
"Josie asked for it!"
"He hit me first!"
I just don't know what to do.
For the record, I do not hate my brother. Not at all. I can remember falling to my knees and weeping when he boarded that plane for basic training. I cried at his wedding. I cried when his babies were born. I love him and miss him. (his family lives out of state). I would give anything to have those years back, when we did nothing but fight. We could have had so much fun.
I hate to think of my kids regretting their times spent fighting. But how do I explain that to small children?