Tag Archives: Sibling Rivalry

Black versus White. Republican versus Democrat. Police versus Community. Government versus Government. Celebrity versus Celebrity.

Our world has become angry and divided...torn and forced to choose sides. The news and social media outlets are riddled with stories that sadly lead to the formation of rigid opinions and the waging of war against those who hold opposing views.

There are situations like Ferguson, the Middle East, Immigration, Bill Cosby, and even Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow, for goodness' sake. You even have GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten waging war against Sasha and Malia Obama and, subsequently, a large bulk of the nation waging war against her for her perceived bullyish behavior towards minors.

All this hate and separation has me very concerned and bothered. I find it upsetting and disruptive.

And then along came a little blessing. And it came in the form of sibling rivalry.

I know what you're thinking. How can she possibly see brothers and sisters fighting as anything good?

I admit it. I'm usually the mom who goes bonkers when the kids start fighting. It drives me nuts! Remember The Get-Along Shirt? Yeah, that's typically how I react when unrest breaks out in my home. But this time it was completely different.

Allow me to explain...

Last night, I walked upstairs to tuck my 3 youngest boys (John-Paul, Allen-Michael and Thomas) and my 3 girls (Lauryn, Kourtney and Chloe) into bed. The 3 boys share a room, and the girls are in the room directly across the hall.

When I reached the landing and approached the girls' room, I came face-to-face with a door covered in homemade signs.


Several months ago, my daughters formed a group called The Marshmallow Girls. Last night, their room had clearly been designated as their clubhouse and they were happy to showcase it.


They were also quite clear about their intentions to keep "stinky boys" out, as illustrated by the crossed through picture of a boy with flies surrounding him.


My three "stinky boys" recognized this as an enemy attack and they immediately took defensive action.


As a result, a new group was formed. The Beignet Boys! And you guessed it...No "rat girls" allowed!


So, why is this a blessing?

Well, for once, they weren't bickering or hitting one another. They were creatively (and quite hysterically) making use of their time. And although they were forming alliances and separating themselves from "the enemy," I've seen firsthand what they really think of one another.

I've seen Chloe console Allen-Michael. I've seen John-Paul pour Kourtney a glass of water. I've seen Lauryn tell Thomas it's going to be okay. I've seen them all dance and sing together. I've seen them share hugs and sincere I love you's.

They all look out for one another.  And yes, sometimes they fight. Sometimes, they draw the proverbial line in the sand and declare "Room War."

This particular battle was different from their usual spats. It was refreshing. It made me smile and giggle. It lifted the heaviness of our hostile society. It was a much needed dose of innocence in a world so stained and corrupt.

And though it may never happen again, in that moment, I found a blessing...

A Blessing of Peace and Joy in Sibling Rivalry


There are TEN people in this house! Two parents, one "man-child (Brandon is 20, now!)" and 7 kids under the age 13. We're on TOP of each other! So, yeah, there will be fights...I get that!

But, when the same two kids go at it all day, every day, several times a day...well, that's where I draw the line.

Kourtney, age 4, and Thomas, almost 7, are like oil and water, cats and dogs, ALUMINUM FOIL AND MICROWAVES! It just ain't happening!

When Thomas gets in from school, they go at it! All day Saturday, they go at it. All day Sunday, they're at it some more. I talk; I fuss; I lecture; I holler; I put them in time-out and I separate them. I even issue crazy, idle threats like, "Punch somebody one more time and I'm gonna punch you!"


We're selling our home and need to pack up a house of 10 people in just a few short weeks. So things around here are WAY crazier than usual. Like a 9.0 on the Crazy Richter Scale! We are crawling from beneath the Crazy rubble daily! So, I don't have time for knock-down, drag-outs!

This past Saturday, after an insanely hectic week, I was praying for a "semi-calm" weekend. See, I don't ask for much. Low expectations!

But Kourtney and Thomas had something else in mind.

Cue endless fighting...

And I don't just mean arguing or bickering. I mean throwing blows, pushing, snatching, slamming doors on each other...the whole nine!

I'd had enough. But I had no idea what to do about it. Time-outs, separations and restrictions were pointless, and hollering does nothing but spoil my mood and give me frown lines on my forehead.

And then, I had a light bulb moment! I remembered all those pictures floating around Facebook of kids in their Get-Along shirts. I figured it was worth a shot.

So I did it! I marched those two into my room, grabbed a pair of scissors, snatched an old t-shirt from my drawer, cut the neck wider and put it on them!

Their reaction was shocking! Priceless and hysterical! I thought for sure they would snicker and laugh about it. Actually, it was me who was fighting back the laughter!

The Power of the Get-Along Shirt!
The Power of the Get-Along Shirt!

They begged and pleaded and promised to be nice. So after a few minutes of what they obviously viewed as sheer torture, I let them off the hook.

And get this! They spent the rest of the day playing TOGETHER and haven't had a fight since!


The Power of the Get-Along Shirt!

MOMS, get you one!

Check out the video below! If the viewer doesn't display, click here.