And now this message from two little kids

Because it’s Friday, that’s why.

I consider myself to be a fairly tolerant parent. I don’t mind spoiling. If my kids don’t want veggies on their plate at dinner I don’t force them to eat it. And I don’t limit their television viewing all that much as long as they read just as many books. There are a handful of things, however, that can tip me over the edge into that dangerous place of rage, sadness, and self-doubt. Not listening is a big one. Whining is another. But nothing frustrates me more than when my kids fight with each other. They fight over whose turn it is with the iPad, who has more time with the iPad, and who is better at whatever game they are currently playing on the iPad. They fight over who got the bigger piece of cake, more frosting, the better plate. They call each other names and dole out insults like “you’re a butt” and “no YOU’RE a butt.” Sometimes the fighting makes me want to scream or cry, or both. I wonder what I’m doing wrong as a parent, and I lament the fact that two of the people I love the most don’t seem to like each other at times. There are days when it seems like the vast majority of their interactions are acrimonious, hostile, and exasperating. But every afternoon at 4:04pm when my son gets off the school bus from kindergarten, this happens…….they greet each other with hugs, kisses, and walk home arm and arm saying things like, “Your my favorite person.” “Thanks. Your my favorite person, too.” As a parent that’s the best I can hope for. That my babies will fight and forgive. That they will practice what it means to be a human with each other. That they will learn when to stand their ground and when to let something go. That they will learn to be siblings, maybe even favorites. ❤️ #Love

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  • John

    I’ve been thinking about siblings a lot lately. I have two. Each of my kids have one.

    The dynamics are complicated and challenging. For my children (9 & 12), they spend more time with each other than they do with anyone else. Mostly they get along okay, nothing too explosive. It’s not surprising that by Sunday afternoon, when they’ve been in the same area for a couple days, they’re getting on each others nerves. It’s pretty clear to me that a 3rd grader and a 7th grader are at fundamentally different points in their lives. Time will tell if they stay close or drift apart. My money is on stay close, but we’ll see.

    In my own case, my brothers and I are very different people. They’re sports guys, I am not. One is an engineer, one’s a business guy. I’m a scientist (sort of – these days I’m more of a manager of scientists, which is cat herding in its finest, most exciting human form).

    I can’t think of a single thing that all three of us have in common (outside the obvious genetics). Different hobbies, different philosophies, different religious outlooks, different politics (apparently the bellwether of our times). We get along all right. We come together when it matters, and treat each other with respect (which was not the case when were were 14, 11 and 8).

    I don’t remember where I was originally going with this, so it has gotten a bit rambling. I think the point is it’s possible to treat each other with respect and humanity – even if the other person chased you across the yard with a snow shovel 25 years ago (I probably deserved it).

  • Bridget L.

    I don’t know where I would be in this life if I didn’t have my brother and sister.

  • Brian Simon

    I feel like I could’ve written that…

    Their relationship can be so exasperating, yet so satisfying too.