It’s A Thin Line Between Love and Hate: Siblings
March 17, 2011 · Posted in Parenting, Toddlerhood · Permalink

Your three year old is hugging the new baby so sweetly, when all of a sudden the hug turns into a death grip. Your five year old is chasing his two year old sister laughing and – in a flash – he pushes her straight into the wall. Par for the course for siblings. You will never get to see the real life line between love and hate as well as when watching siblings together. The adoration, the jealousy, the intense interest and love, and the hatred as well.

While you need to set clear limits about hurting each other, it is important to help children understand that having a sibling is a lesson in ambivalence. It is actually a terrific way to talk about how we all can hold such opposing feelings about one person inside. Your children are not bad for feeling negative feelings, and are not better for feeling love. ALL these feelings between siblings are normal, expectable and need to be accepted. There is probably no better feeling than watching your children giggling together, or playing, or sticking up for one another. Although all parents hate to see their kids fighting, jealous and distant, it is both of these experiences that make us human.

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