Finding love among the arguments Parents see beyond sibling rivalriesIllustration by Jana Christy
This month we celebrate love on Valentine's Day, which led us to wonder how parents cope when siblings act as if love is lost. Here are your thoughts on sibling rivalry: • I have two sons, three years apart in age. I find my youngest son looks at how talented his older brother is and immediately wants to be like him. He gets frustrated because things don't come as easily to him as they do to his big brother. I try to explain the differences to my younger, and get the big brother to help his little brother with what he is doing. I also find that if I can get the boys involved in different projects or toys, they play better together-they each have their own special toys. Then, my younger will give his big brother a hug and tell him how much he loves him, and my older is all grins! Kim of Woodridge, mom of Alex, 8, and Greg, 5
• I have 16-year-old twin girls who are day and night. They are fraternal twins. They wake up together, go to the same school together, eat lunch together and drive to and from school together-and bicker the entire time. At times there's no stopping them from arguing. It drives me crazy! But they really love each other, kiss each other good night, lay on each other while watching TV, look out for each other at all times and go out on weekends together. I guess this is what siblings are for. After a fight, they always get back together. It's actually nice. Laura of Joliet, mom of Marilyn and Raquel, both 16
Please Send Us... In March, we'd like to know what you do when spring fever hits. Do you have a favorite spot where your kid go to bounce off the walls? Deadline: Feb. 2. In April, the reader poll takes a new tack, suggested by reader Joan Drummond. We'd like parents to answer the question: "Now that I have kids, the one thing I know for sure is...." Deadline: March 8. If we run your response, we'll enter you in a drawing for a family membership at the Chicago Children's Museum. We'll print your first name, the town in which you live and the names and ages of your kids; please provide us with your full address and phone number for verification purposes only. Send all submissions to: Sandi Pedersen, Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: (708) 524-8360.