Peace on earth and goodwill to all men… except in this house

Peace might be sought after on earth but not more so than it is right here, in my home. Goodwill too. Not with these children.

Best friends but also someone to bicker with.


Snipe, grumble, dig and moan. That’s all they do to each other. Well, not all the time but almost all the time.

My children have an uncanny ability to overlook what is expected of them personally.

“Did you brush your teeth?”

Blank stare.

“Have you made your bed?”


“Did you put your dirty clothes in the wash?”

“I forgot.”

Yet still, quite amazingly, they know exactly what their siblings should have done. Or shouldn’t have done as the case may be.

And not only do they know it all, but they’ll give themselves the ultimate responsibility of hounding the particular sibling in question over the matter in hand.

Child A: “Have you tidied your toys?”

Child B: “No”

Child A: “Well, you know you’re meant to tidy your toys. Go and do it now.”

Child B ignores Child A.

Child A: is now getting more annoyed: “Go and tidy your toys I said!”

Child B: “No!”

Child A: “Go and tidy your toys!!”


Child A: “MUUUUU-MMMMMMM!!! ______ won’t tidy their toys!!!!”

Me: “Well, have you tidied yours?”

Child A: “No but ______ hasn’t tidied theirs first!”.

Their talents amaze me.

I will repeat the same things to them each day, over and over again. I have the same expectations for the same chores and tasks to be completed yet, day after day after day I will repeat the same lines time and time and time again. Despite the constant repetition these requirements never seem to soak into their brains yet still they are able to know exactly what half a dozen other people they are related to are meant to be doing especially if there’s the chance they can get them into trouble for not doing it. That, of course, is worth bonus points.

For goodness sakes children, when will you realise that if you each kept a check on your own chores, tasks and behaviour and not worried about everyone else then there would be harmony and joy in this house! Not only that but think of all the brain space it would free up if you were suddenly less concerned about keeping tabs on what everyone else had or hadn’t done and just concentrated on the one person whose deeds and actions do affect you… YOU!

Now I’m not going to name any names here and I’m not going to tell you who the biggest instigator of such behaviour is. Except that she is 11 years old and the only female currenly living in our house apart from me, and is now the oldest sibling since Ben and Stephanie moved out and seems to suffer a frequent identity crisis during which she confuses herself with being a parent.


…and breathe!

Is it just my house and my kids?

Or is it a girl thing in particular?

Or do the rest of you live in glorious harmony that I can only envy?

6 thoughts on “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men… except in this house

  1. Honey, it's the same everywhere. You and your family so far away and I in Holland with my children. Take heart! They will remember us as peace-loving mothers. Or not?

  2. I would have said it's a boy thing, so maybe it's just that every family needs to have one. Seriously, aren't there good and bad times? I try to remember in the struggles (i.e. relentless argueing) about the sweet things they've done.
    I do hope they remember us as peace makers and eventually learn to be ones themselves. 🙂

  3. Harmony? HA! We have five girls in the house now but also have four boys so I can definitely say it's not a gender thing. Some days I wish they would just kill each other and be done with it. (just kidding…mostly) I have done two things that have helped some though. One: we instituted a strict no tattling rule. They can only tattle if someone is getting hurt or doing something dangerous, or if something is getting destroyed ( I value my belongings too much to ignore those tattles). There are no exceptions. If someone tattles anyway then they get the same punishment as the rule breaker. Two: At dinner or before bed I have each kid mention something that another sibling did that was kind or helpful that day. It really has made a change in how they treat each other. It makes them aware of the goodness in each other and it makes them try to DO something good so the other kids will have something positive to say. Good luck.

  4. We have very similar households, lol! I even ask, on occasion, "who died and made you, Mum?"

    They do seem to take turns at annoying each other and "reminding" each other of their lapses.

    Csmith – I like what you said about making them say something positive about each other. Think I might have to begin a new family tradition, thanks for the tip! 🙂

  5. Ditto in our house! We're working hard on honoring and respecting eachother these days, but we've got a long way to go 😉

  6. My oldest is a girl and is 9. And we often remind her she is not the parent and does not need to act like one. So you are not alone in your trials.

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