Territorial or Teasing

A common frustration for parents is to hear “Quit touching me” followed by “Mom, she/he’s touching me.” My perplexity about this is why is this a common fight between siblings in most families? Are children territorial about their space? Is the sibling who does not want to be touched trying to have some control over their environment? Why does a sibling seem bent on annoying the other sibling? Is it because there is a strong reaction?

I can only speak from my own experience, but it seemed to me that my middle sister seemed to take delight in causing trouble and was often the one who would tease my younger sister and I. I am sure all of us are guilty of the fight of quit touching me, but it is more likely that she was most often the instigator in that argument.

I think she enjoyed the negative attention, but I know it came at a price for her as my mom would often yell at her.  I have witnessed once the effects of her childhood as an adult, when she opened a bottle of red pop and it spilled onto my mom’s white carpeting.  The fear in her eyes and her apologizing profusely made me realize she lives with the effects of her experiences with my mom.

I don’t know if my mom would have handled it differently given what she could learn about parenting now. I do know that she has her own story of being yelled at by her father.

While we have outgrown the “stop touching me” phase, she can be argumentative and always has to be right. Likewise, my response is to want to be right too. It creates distance between us.

I don’t have as close of a relationship with her as my youngest sister, but I try to look at her good qualities. She has a wonderful sense of humor and makes us laugh. She is welcoming and has a gregarious personality. She is a great hostess always making sure we have had enough to eat. For all of the difficult times I had with her growing up, I am grateful that I see her in a different light.

Territory

4 thoughts on “Territorial or Teasing

  1. I think, very often we settle for the negative attention, because we are jealous of the positive attention someone else gets. My children fight a lot, and I pray and believe, that one day (hopefully soon), they will be able to see, that they do not have to compete for my love or that of anybody else…..when we focus on love alone, there is always enough for everybody.

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  2. I hear you. My sister and I were 13 months apart….not easy, and as little children we just cannot understand, that love is the only ‘commodity’ that multiplies when spent….especially the love of a mother or a father….

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