I don't remember fighting much with my younger brother when we were growing up. And today we are still super-tight. So, when my own 2 kids—who happen to be 3 years apart in age, just like my brother and me—went through a major sibling rivalry phase a few years back that involved name-calling, door slamming and more than a few thrown punches, I was pretty much heartbroken.
Now that they are 12 and 15, my kids get along much better. In fact, I had pretty much forgotten about the "I HATE YOU" years altogether, until Kim Kardashian West guest-hosted Live with Kelly and Ryan yesterday and admitted that her own kids—North, 4 and Saint, 20 months—don't get along very well. Or actually, like at all.
"I mean, I don't know if it's because [North's] the older sister... I don't know what it is," Kim told Ryan Seacrest. "I thought it was a phase. She does not like her brother. And it's so hard for me. I thought it was like, OK, a couple months, she's just warming up to it. She would get so jealous when I would breastfeed and all that kind of stuff. And now, the phase isn't going away."
It's a big thing to come clean about for any parent, let alone one who has basically built a brand off her close relationship with her siblings. But Kardashian's confession is so relatable. Because despite a parent's best efforts, sibling rivalry is often a natural part of growing up—and it can be at its worst when both kids are under the age of 4. The good news is that North just passed that milestone in June, so there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for the Kardashian-West fam.
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But if you're currently in the thick of it with your own kids, try not to get too upset when your kids are jealous of each other. Up until now your first child has had your undivided attention and love. So having a sibling can seem like a real loss. At the same time, it can also be a big gain, since siblings help each other learn about things like sharing and cooperation, and can be a great source of friendship and support. Sure, it may take some time for your little one to understand that you guys don't love him or her any less because you had another child. But this too shall pass. And in the meantime, check out the following six strategies for handling conflict between your children.