My Kids Don't Get Along, and It Breaks My Heart

My Kids Don't Get Along, and It Breaks My Heart

Help! My kids hate each other. How am I supposed to deal with this?

By: Maria Mora

My sons, 8 and 5, don’t get along at all. I’ve heard “boys will be boys” a thousand times, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. They fight more often than they play, and it’s breaking my heart.

My brother and I are less than two years apart. I wanted to have a second child to give my kids the opportunity to grow up with a sibling. They’re definitely not lonely, but sometimes I wonder if my plan totally backfired. Are they supposed to fight this much?

I know that kids will always have a tendency to argue and scrap. More experienced parents tell me it’s normal. But there’s an element of danger involved when my son on the autism spectrum shows little remorse over hurting his brother. I can’t brush off these behaviors as normal sibling rivalry.

The fighting and unkindness makes me angry -- angrier than I’d like to admit. We all have that mama bear protective instinct, but what happens when the one hurting your child is the other child? I hate being so mad at my older son for bullying his brother. I hate thinking my younger son should develop a thicker skin.

I hate that I can’t convince them to love each other or treasure each other.

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It isn’t bad news all the time. There have been small moments of peace, and they’re happening more often now that the boys are getting older. I’ve learned to treasure something as simple as a five-sentence exchange that doesn’t devolve into a full-blown argument. When they’re able to sit on the same couch watching TV without kicking each other, it’s a miracle. No really. I take pictures to document the occasion.


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I feel like a referee in the car when they’re stuck within arms’ reach of one another. Our family time is peppered with reminders and time-outs because if they’re not arguing, they’re full-on hitting each other. The only time I get a break is when we’re doing something so new and distracting they forget to fight.

It’s wearing me down. Give me some good news.

Do siblings ever stop fighting?

Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

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