All Siblings Argue, No Matter What The Ages


There are a lot of benefits to having children eleven and a half years apart. There’s the live-in babysitter now of course, the extra set of hands during those hectic early years. Having one child reasonably self sufficient makes it a lot easier to care for the one that isn’t. Very rarely are they both throwing tantrums simultaneously.

One would think that there wouldn’t be anything for siblings with this size of an age gap to fight about. There is no need to share or dispute ownership of toys, clothing, or mutual friends. No future conflicts over automobile borrowing or boys that they both like on the horizon.

One would think that, but somehow it turns out that this isn’t exactly the case.


all siblings fight
when there’s only one string cheese left


Kayla, the teenager, seems to think that her little sister is spoiled, getting away with whatever she wants. Her response to this is to offer her services as disciplinarian, nagging in the same manner that she ironically accuses us of doing to her. Alaina, the first grader, doesn’t seem much inclined to listen to her sister, ignoring the chain of command and channeling her frustration at never being in charge into instigation.

They argue over the television. Kayla has a small one in her room but, reasonably, thinks that she should have access to the big screen and DVR from time to time. Alaina, also reasonably, feels that since she doesn’t have that option or her sister’s proclivity to stay hidden in her room anyway that the living room should be a place for her to watch “her shows.” With football season fast approaching both are going to start being disappointed quite often.

Not as reasonably, they argue over food. I would never think of cooking something as nutritional insufficient as chicken nuggets, at least not more than three times a week, but if I were to do so it’s imperative that an even number is distributed. At the grocery store Alaina will count every item being placed in the carriage to make sure that nobody is getting more things that they like than she. The only reason snacks and leftovers aren’t labeled with their names is that I won’t allow it. Sampling something from either’s plate is an incitement to riot.

There is also a surprising amount of underlying jealousy and resentment that occasionally pops up and leads to bickering, usually about the two things that are almost impossible to distribute evenly : time and attention. One on one time with each consists of vastly different things.

The unfortunate truth, a reality that we try to make Kayla understand, is that she can be left alone while I’m at the park or hiking with her sister. Alaina can’t be left alone while the teen and I are at the movies or chowing down on chicken wings. ┬áThe result is that the youngest gets to do more things, the oldest better and more expensive things. They both feel they are getting the short end of the stick. I find one more thing to wonder if I’m balancing right.

All siblings argue. Hell, any two people in the same house will argue, as any married couple will attest. What has been equally surprising is how much two sisters with eleven and a half years of age difference will bond, the love they share for each other. I often find myself standing out of sight, listening to them talk and laugh, straining to hear the whispered secrets that all sisters share.

I listen, I smile, and I make sure to eat that fifteenth chicken nugget.


All Siblings Argue
sisters forever





27 thoughts on “All Siblings Argue, No Matter What The Ages”

  1. I find it interesting the way that family dynamics play out. Mine were 3 years apart as are my brother and I. I’ve known some people from big families who had the larger age gaps with siblings, but there were usually siblings in between. My own dad’s just older brother was 9 years older than he was though and he talks about the normal siblings stuff that I was with mine. Guess spacing makes no difference – kids are still gonna fuss and fight.

  2. Ahh, siblings arguing – seems like the reality I witness every day.
    Isn’t that nice you get to see that on your end despite the age difference? You have to be proud of them for finding something to argue about.
    Like you say, it’s in the DNA.

  3. I think siblings are hard-wired to fight. Must be some natural selection thing that serves a purpose from caveman days. Or it’s because kids just tend to be dicks. Either way, parents won’t seem peace until the kids leave the nest. #ThatFridayLinky

  4. Life with girls is wonderful. Ours bicker and fight, and love each other beyond words. One second of play can turn quickly into devastation and chaos. After all of us having spent 5 days with my sister, they get to see that it won’t always be that way – that it even gets better! You will too. #ThatFridayLinky

  5. My twin sister and I would argue that cat and dog growing up, and my twin girls are no different. My three step-children were the same when they were younger too. It’s just a normal sibling thing! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  6. Sibling rows are inevitable but it’s lovely your girls still share that special bond only sisters can have. My two girls are less than two years apart so I hope they will enjoy playing together for many years to come. I accept there will be a LOT of times they hate each other though! Great post #familyfunlinky

    1. That must be nice for them to have each other as play mates. There are times that I wish we had had another one for her to play with.

  7. My boys are five years apart and just last night they were bickering about something. I didn’t catch exactly what it was but because the oldest is a teenager and the youngest is still playing with action figures and what not, he is always bugging his older brother to play with him. The teenager will but will do it begrudgingly and will complain a lot, which leads the younger one to yelling at him and getting bossy. Go figure right? the younger one is the bossy one. He’s so my kid lol! At the same time though I also will listen to the two brothers talk to each other sometimes and I just absolutely love their closeness! I can’t explain it except that it leaves me with the warm and fuzzies:) #familyfunlinky

  8. This is so true! There are 7 years between my kids and they still find things to argue over. I actually think somedays they sit plotting something to start and arguement!

  9. OH I can relate to this. There is 13 year age gap between my daughter and step daughter, I honestly never thought that bickering and arguing would be a thing between such a gap. But it so is. Both can be territorial over where they sit who has what etc . Like you say the bigger one gets more expensive things but the younger one gets more inexpensive things – but neither seem content. It is a dynamic I never expected that is for sure. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  10. Wow yes, I can see this unfolding. As one of three girls, sure we argued – mainly me and my middle sister. My big sister always seemed so grown up at 10 years older, working as I was starting school. Funnily enough my daughter who is now 11 has several friends whose parents have had a second with the 11 year gap. All good fun while they are small I suppose and then the novelty wears off! I must take this up with my sisters! Thanks for joining #tweensteensbeyond

  11. This is so well written and I smiled all the way through it. Absolutely, all siblings will argue. I have been amazed at what my three girls can argue over. On the plus side, they have honed their debating skills and I think they would all make formidable lawyers. My brother is 11 years younger than me and I argued with him! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #tweensteensbeyond

  12. This seems to be another child-raising problem I’ve avoided as my two are 18 years apart. The eldest has mainly lived away from home since the youngest was born – first at uni, then in her own flat/house/etc – but her long holidays at home gave them time to bond without irritating each other. Best of both worlds perhaps? #tweenteensbeyond

  13. my kids stopped arguing because they fell out and lived so far apart from one another in different countries and couldn’t be bothered, my sister and I were similar for many years. My mum kept going on about how sad it made her feel about me and my sister and it actually made the gap bigger. I left my kids alone and when my dad died recently they put their differences aside to sort things out for themselves. Sadly although things are good between my sister and i it’s mainly because i just agree and don’t speak my mind anymore about how i feel, i’m just a peacemaker and i actually don’t mind that much, it works for me #tweenteensbeyond

  14. There is just over 4 years between my teens and your kids’ arguments are identical to theirs, the TV and who gets to see the big screen and the distribution of food. In our house it’s the dough balls from Pizza Express and the division of the accompanying garlic butter – such a third world problem! The bickering drives me nuts sometimes but then on the plus side I love it when it’s all joy and harmony and they are curled up watching a movie together. Thanks for linking Jeremy. #TweensTeensBeyond

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