The inspiration for today’s blog post comes from traveling over 3,000 miles (each way) with just one month’s notice to attend my brother’s wedding.
Being in the Navy significantly restricts your ability to plan events in the long-term, which means that even though they had been talking about marriage for some time, he didn’t know when his wedding would actually be… until just one month before.
Hey big sis! May 17th, I’m getting married in miami!
And just like that, I booked a flight, took time off, and flew the 3,300 to our hometown.
He looked so spiffy in his uniform, and his bride (who, incidentally, is also my sorority sister) looked like a dream.
I couldn’t be happier to be able to be there for his big day.
Even though he’s taller and bigger than me, he treats me like his little sister.
He’s possessive and overprotective.
He loves me, and I love him.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Two Siblings Fighting…
We used to fight all the time.
When we were young it was stupid little things, like him mimicking me just to be annoying and me being overly irritated at any tiny little thing he did.
Between teachers holding him to unfair standards and our parents making me look after him, I’m sure I wasn’t his favorite person.
And it annoyed me that he wasn’t dedicated to his schoolwork.
Hey, I’m a nerd, remember?
He hated all my boyfriends and even tormented one of them (remember the blooming onion, Kevin?)
I remember our parents sitting us down on several occasions, begging us to get along.
We just weren’t into it.
Two Siblings Fighting… Became Two Siblings Loving Each Other
But then, things changed.
In college, we both became involved in Greek Life, and I’d like to think that that’s one of the things that finally brought us together.
He would tell me about his experiences and even began to count on me when he needed help or advice.
I remember one New Year’s Eve, he called me from a party saying he was too drunk to drive home. Luckily I was with my boyfriend at the time, so we went to pick him up and between the two of us were able to bring his car back home.
I was so happy that he had trusted me enough to call, and trusted that I wouldn’t give him a hard time about it. After all, calling for a ride when you’re intoxicated is what you’re supposed to do. The last thing I wanted was for him to take the risk next time, instead of calling someone in the family.
The years passed and we grew closer. It was a sad day, when he left to join the Navy, but we were all so proud of him – and still are.
Now he’s stationed in San Diego, I’m living near Los Angeles, and we willingly make the drive to visit each other when we can.
See mom? You don’t even have to force us to spend time together! 😉
So why am I telling you all this?
Do You Have Siblings Fighting in your Home?
In sharing my story with you, I hope that you can find some hope.
My parents used to always tell us, “When we die, you will only have each other left in the family. You may get married, but when it comes to blood relatives, you will only have each other.”
They worried that without them to keep us together, Kevin and I would become estranged. And I’m sure that to them, it did seem like a real possibility.
Is this your fear with your kiddos?
Well, let me tell you something.
As long as the battles between them aren’t serious, they’ll grow out of it.
More serious disagreements might require a bit of intervention, whether it’s from you as their parent, or perhaps even a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).
But the older they get, the more they’ll begin to see the things they have in common, rather than focusing on their differences.
Now, Kevin and I bond over our shared memories and experiences. California living, dogs, our dad’s cheesy jokes, wedding planning, coordinating flying back home on holidays, and reminiscing on all the good times of growing up together.
Out of everyone, family and friends included, he was the happiest when I got engaged.
And nothing made me happier and prouder than seeing him standing next to this incredibly sweet, smart, and loyal woman, promising to love and protect each other for the rest of their lives.
All those fights are just the tiniest and faintest of memories.
If your children are constantly fighting and hating each other, I hope my personal story gave you some hope. Seeing two siblings fighting can seem like a parent’s worst nightmare, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get along poorly forever.
Do your children get along well? Or are they constantly butting heads? Let me know below!
Author: Stephanie Ortega
Stephanie is a behavior analyst and tutor with over a decade of experience in helping children. She creates planners and worksheets for the organizer within us all, maintains a blog, and runs two start-ups. She’s also a doodler and puppy and cat mom who enjoys travel and learning new things.