Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sibling rivalry is an awesome thing

Sabrina came home from school the other day, beaming. She'd gotten 20 out of 20 words correct on her spelling test. I sat on the couch and looked over the paper she handed me.

"Wow, that is great!" I said. "You are so good at spelling."

"Me too!" announced Max, and plopped down next to me. He stared over my shoulder at the words. He looked at me expectantly; he wanted to show me he knew them, too.

"Sabrina, do you mind if Max tries your words?" I asked, not wanting to steal her thunder. She didn't mind.

Max has gotten to be more competitive lately, and it goes beyond the thing that started last fall in which he always wanted to be first—into the car, into the restaurant, wherever. Happily, that phase didn't last. Now he is all about the win. When he and Sabrina play Wii bowling, he is determined to beat her. If they're playing t-ball in the backyard, he wants to get more hits than her. I literally had to stop the kids in their tracks the other day when Max wanted to race Sabrina down the stairs, a recipe for disaster.

Not that winning isn't a typical thing for a kid to want, but until now, this drive hasn't been part of Max's makeup. It is very cool to see him motivated like this; I think it's healthy for him and Sabrina, too. I want her to think of her brother as someone who cares about doing well, in sports and in life—and someone who can do well. I want her to see his abilities.

And so, Max and I went down the list of words, with me pointing and him speaking. At times, the hard part was knowing whether or not Max actually knew the word because his speech can be difficult to understand, but he genuinely seemed to. When he finished, he flashed me the biggest smile.

"You got 100!" I said. "Good job!"

I sat there beaming with pride for both my kids—and plotting just how I might be able to put this newfound competition to use with chores.


  1. Ah, sibling rivalry, a blessing and a curse. Last summer, I bought identical workbooks for my boys to do over the summer. It was a little advanced for the youngest and probably not enough advanced in some areas for the oldest, but this way I could work with them both at the same time. We lasted only a few weeks because if the youngest finished a page first, his brother would get mad and quit. If the oldest finished first, the youngest would go cry in another room. Naturally, they couldn't just sit there and say "I finished the page." No, they had to gloat that they beat the other one, which made it worse. *sigh* I couldn't take it anymore. Screw being a bit ahead of the curve once school started (oldest is in kindergarten, round two); I needed my sanity more than my kid needed to know his basics! LOL

    Anyway, good job Sabrina, good job Max, great that Max is being competitive (although, yes, I get the annoyance of it), and love the last bit on the chores. Would you believe my kids actually fight over who gets to sweep or vacuum first or who gets to help with the dishes? Of course, they are four and six; they don't know better yet. :P

  2. Anything you can do, I can to better.
    I can do anything better than you...
    (This is a song)

  3. The desire to win and be the best will serve him well in all aspects on life :)

  4. I have channeled the competitiveness on cleaning days by giving my boys Swiffer dusting cloths and challenging them to see who could get their cloths the dustiest.


Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...