Young Sibling Rivalry - FamilyEducation
Young Sibling Rivalry
08/08/2007 at 09:23 AM

My son is 7 and my daughter is 4 (5 in Dec).  They almost fight constantly!  I know it's seems the same old song and dance, but I'm going nuts over it.  They are not violent per se to each other, just constantly bicker and aggrevate each other.  My son has starting peeing in his pants during the day now.  I'm not sure if it's nerves over starting school again or not.  Their father and I are divorced, but we share custody; one week on/off.  We both have new partners and the kids have met them.  I've had my boyfriend longer and he has 3 kids of his own.  All the kids seem to get along great when they're together, but mine will not leave one another alone.  I've tried one on one time with them (which is difficult sometimes), arts and crafts to keep them busy, go to the park for excersise, movie time, I even have sponsored a child to give my son a pen pal.  But it seems nothing works.  He has never been dry at night; he wears the "night time pants".  His sister who is 2.5 yrs younger is dry day and night.  I've tried "bribing" him with things he can earn if he stays dry, but all of this is to no use.  Any suggestions?  He has his pediatrician appointment in 2 weeks and I'm thinging about asking her for meds.

thanks, Patti

Hey ptracey,

I don't think there is anything all that unusual about the sibling rivalry itself.  I have a brother and we still bicker from time to time and we are grown and don't have to live with each other anymore.  Some siblings just seem to have that relationship--my brother and I are super close and would do anything for each other though.  My husband and his sister never bicker with each other, they just don't talk and have very little relationship.


The potty accidents would concern me more than the rivalry and I wouldn't think the two are related in any way.  Are you saying that your son has been accident free during the day for a long time and is now starting to have accidents?  I would say that he is having some problems with regression---it could be due to the divorce and the other partners.  I would talk to his doctor for sure about it---I am not sure meds is the way to go but the doctor can give you some guidance about what to do and also possibly some counseling options.


What does everyone else think?




My friend wet his pants at night until he was 7 or 8.  When he was 6 he came to this country a political refugee with his family.  He started wetting his pants so his mom took him to a psychologist, he explained it was related to the whole trauma of fleeing his country.  If he was staying dry and now is not I would talk to the doctor, maybe he still has feeling he needs to talk about with the divorce, new partners, new siblings. I would use med as a last resort.  Good Luck I know it's hard I had to potty train twins.


ptracey2112 My chronic bed wetting was all due to terrifying stress and fear in our home put there by our unhappy parents. IMO, wetting is usually connected to emotional stress and unhappiness as is sibling bickering and fighting. I had some terrible times with my siblings all because we were under stress, anger, fear, sorrow, etc. It was the tragic result of very unhappy, angry parents so we were not taught to be good to each other and get along. Sounds like your kids are stressed out like we were. Good luck figuring out how to un-stress your kids.