The challenges and joys of sibling relationships | Kid Wisdom

Quinn Ward

The nature of sibling relationships is to have its ups and downs. This is certainly true of my children. They fight often. They fight over toys, space, my attention, etc. Sometimes, I swear they would even fight over air to breathe. I think they enjoy sparring.

This summer they had more than their share of arguments. The age difference between my son and daughters is really starting to show. My son, Dawson, 9, is four years older than Violet and six years older than Eleanor. He used to play with them some, but as he gets older that time is less and less. It’s the age gap. And I don’t blame him for being frustrated with them. They get into his stuff, steal toys from his room, take his Lego creations apart, throw fits, try to boss him around and follow him and his friends everywhere. They think he is the best. He loves them, but he was happy to get a break when he went back to school.

Recently, Dawson went to the beach with his friend Owen, 8. Owen’s mom, Jill Zacot of Poulsbo, overheard the boys talking in the backseat on the way to the beach. Owen asked Dawson if he wanted to come live with him.

“No,” Dawson said.

“Isn’t it hard to take care of two little sisters,” Owen asked, concerned about his friend.

“You have no idea how hard,” Dawson said.

I’m sure he was thinking about how much they bothered him all summer. They have their tiffs and differences, but so far when the chips are down, they band together and fiercely defend each other from bullies. That makes my mama heart so happy. I hope as they grow into adults they can hang on to that bond.

This summer at the park, a little girl called Violet “stupid.” Dawson was upset and he told the girl, “Don’t call my sister stupid.”

Then he grabbed Violet by the hand and they ran right over to me. I was proud of him for standing up for his little sister.

On a recent evening, all three of my children were marching around the house gleefully singing an obnoxiously loud song about poop. In light of all their recent fighting, I really thought this was a parenting win. So I gave myself a big pat on the back, sent the kids upstairs and poured myself a nice glass of wine.

These moments give me hope that they will love and support each other through the years. Long after I’m gone, I hope that they will have each other to lean on. Even if all they do is get together and sing songs about poop, I’ll be so proud.

Kerry Bee of Poulsbo was out to lunch with her husband and their then-two-year-old son, Ryan. They were sitting outside when two pretty teenage girls walked past them. Ryan leaned over to his dad and said, “Daddy, there’s girls. I gotta go get ‘em.”

When Ryan was four, he was being sassy at dinner.

“You aren’t as cute as you think you are,” Kerry’s husband told him.

“My cutie is a little bit rusty,” Ryan said.

Dawn Harris of Chesley, Ontario, told her son, Mason, 4, to bring a sweater in case it gets cold.

“I don’t need a sweater, Mommy,” he said. “You want to know why? I’ve got lots of hotness stuff.”

Erin Raatz of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was talking to her son Levi, 4, about his behavior.

“Levi,” she said. “You’ve done a poor job of listening today.”

“Yes, I do want to blow bubbles,” Levi said.

“I didn’t say anything about bubbles,” Erin said.

“Wait, what you just say,” Levi asked.

I would love to hear your funny kid stories, so please send them my way. Parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and people who love children, please send your stories and cute kid photos to I look forward to hearing from you.

Quinn Ward is a former journalist living in Poulsbo. She has been recording the amazing and outrageous things her kids say since they have been able to talk.

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