The Magnet Syndrome (aka Sibling Rivalry): Welcome to My Book

Wednesday July 28, 2010

I have to give my husband credit for the title of my second chapter – The Magnet Syndrome (aka Sibling Rivalry).

One day we sat and watched as our four boys’ version of WWF broke out in the family room. Just before we sprang to action, my husband said, “They’re like magnets. They push, they pull, they shove, they hang on.”

Have you ever held a pair of magnets close together, then turned them over and tried the same thing? They attract, they repel. And that’s what happens with multiple boys. Hands on – hands off. They hang on, they push, they wrestle. Just like a couple of magnets.

Yes, I know – girls touch, too. But it’s different. I’m not saying they can’t get physical, but I’d venture to say nothing tops the physicality of two or three or four boys. And sibling rivalry is often wrapped up in the magnet syndrome. Sibling rivalry, the bane of mothers of boys and girls alike.

How to overcome it? First, realize it’s never totally conquered. Famous pediatrician Berry Brazelton said, “You can’t expect the conflict to go away. Ever.” So we have to learn how to deal with it.

This chapter discusses the roots of sibling rivalry and gives plenty of practical suggestions for all ages, all genders. Since we can’t totally avoid it, we moms may as well use it to our advantage. This chapter reveals how teachable sibling moments can teach conflict resolution and build the family team.

This chapter introduces what I call the “boys plus” household – the family that has a girl or two among the boys. The boys plus mom will find information and suggestions tailored to her situation. There’s no magic bullet, but there’s a smorgasbord of suggestions to choose from. Use what works!

Curious about chapter three? Next Wednesday I’ll sample Intentional Parenting. Don’t let parenting just happen – be intentional. Come back next Wednesday to get a preview.

9 comments:

Diane said...

Love that chapter title and imagery it creates in my mind. Perfect! :O)

Heidiopia said...

I've found sibling rivalry comes in waves...we're in a big one around here right now!

Donnetta said...

This sounds very practical and helpful! (But then so far, so does the entire book.) :-)

Beth Mann said...

This simile is...perfection!

Victoria said...

I'm glad you mentioned the boys-plus household! That's what we were, I guess--my mom had me, my brother, and then the neighbor kid (who practically lived with us). We had some brutal fights.
I can't wait for this book. It's going to be great!

Graceful said...

Luckily my two boys are so incredibly different -- and I think that helps them get along well. That and the fact that they are 3.5 years apart -- just enough distance between them, I think.

Looking forward to reading about intentional parenting...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Oh, the physicality of boys. And I think you and Brazelton are right--getting older doesn't necessarily change things.

The Empress said...

You are dead on... a pastor at our church used to call it "knee jerk parenting."

constantly reacting rather than proacting...

excellent post. thank you!

Charming's Mama said...

I have wondered ever since my second was born, how do you foster camaraderie rather than combativeness? My 3 1/2 year old already likes to tackle the 9 month old (under the guise of "I'm giving baby brother a hug" and then they both giggle, that is until the older one gets too rough.

Would love to read your book. Hopefully our library will carry a copy.

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