Can Social-Distancing Help Sibling Rivalry?
Few families have enjoyed such concentrated family time than during COVID.
At first, there was a lot of optimism around siblings playing together.
“Oh my gosh, our kids are getting so close.”
“Dwayne’s so excited. Finally, his big sister is finally paying attention to him.”
“I can just tell that COVID is going to make my kids life-long friends.”
Meanwhile, on a planet 100 days later.
“They’re killing each other.”
“Thank god we have space for everyone to hang out alone in different rooms.”
“I’ve gotta find a place to put Paul, so he doesn’t have to be beaten up by his crazy brothers all the time.”
“They can’t even stand the sound of each other’s voices anymore. Anger and tears. Tears and anger. And the hitting. So much hitting.”
One mom I know, with a house filled with boys under the age of eleven, said “I’m using social distancing.”
“How’s that?” I asked.
“I told the boys they need to social distance from each other so they don’t get each other sick.”
“Brilliant,” I said.
“Sometimes it even works,” she said.
“I have to catch them off guard. Like I’ll pop around the corner when I hear little acts of violence. I say ‘Oh no. Oh no. You need to social distance.’ Sometimes, I tell them to put on their masks and stay six feet apart to preempt the insanity.”
“The things COVID has created,” I said.
“I’m sure this too will bite me in the ass later, but sometimes, I just need everyone to stand six feet apart.”
“And wear masks.”
“It does make everyone a little softer.”