Your thoughts needed ...

I had this comment on an earlier post on sibling rivalry and I thought it might be interesting to hear what people's answers to this question might be.

"ok so having more than 2 leads to too much fighting? I'm trying to decide on whether to have another one (my current two are 3 and 1)...would rather avoid the constant refereeing if at all possible"

I have to say in answer to this question that I think my younger two (two years apart) would fight the way they are at the moment regardless of whether or not there were other siblings.   Over the years different pairings of kids in my gang have really annoyed each other and it is mostly the ones who they are closest to in age.

Would be interested to hear what other's experiences are on this one.


Karen said…
I think that as soon as there is more than one, there will be fighting. So once you have two, there will be constant refereeing anyway so adding one (or a few!) more won't change that.

Sure, there's more fighting the more kids you have, but there is some advantage to the greater numbers. If two of them are irritating eachother (and like you, it's mostly the pairings who are closest in age who get on eachother's nerves the most here), then I find that sometimes it can be useful to say "go and play with [insert name of child who isn't currently annoying you here]" and that will break up the cycle of irritating for a bit.

Sometimes they all just need to have their own space though, and that can be hard to find in a small house with lots of children...
Tasmanian said…
Yep, more than one leads to fighting. Go ahead and have three. When you are old, you will not look back and regret having another one :)
Jean said…
Three can be awkward: I've seen one consistently get left out in some families (I'm sure this isn't always true).

Four is chaotic (yes, there is a certain amount of fighting - but I agree it's more to do with personalities and mixes than numbers - in our house 1 and 3 used to fight because they are similarly stubborn!) and busy - but mostly there is always someone to play with, as they pair up and play that way. Sometimes all 4 play together. It's lovely to watch.

Is there more fighting with four than two? Probably. But also so many opportunities for play and companionship and joy. And less boredom and need for parental entertainment! They are in each other's lives and pockets much more than I remember with a single brother.

And isn't it good to learn to get along (which goes for sleeping more than one in a room, Jenny!). A great opportunity to learn to live in community.
Sandra said…
I think it is more about chosing not to be the referee as that only leads to grief and stress. They need to learn to sort out their own arguments. I only intervene if there is a liklihood of injury being inflicted (and I have 3 girls - the one who gets out verballed is often prone to lash out) Also as they get older you are ALWAYS accused by someone of being unfair/playing favourites so you need to be very careful to not point the finger at only one person.
My eldest 2 are very competitive and I think the 3rd child balences it out a bit. There are occasions of 2 against one, one against one and all of them against each other. Or more likely nowdays they are trying to pick a fight with one or both of their parents.
Cat P said…
Also - your kids are only young enough to be in the same house and to fight for a few years. God-willing, you'll have 40-50+ years in relationship with your children. My observation is that most people love their children far too much to regret having had that many - at least, I've never heard anyone verbalise that regret.

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