My kids have gotten along pretty well most of their lives, but lately, lots of tension has arisen between them. Once, Geeky Boy was protective of Geeky Girl, but now he bosses her around and generally tortures her psychologically. Geeky Girl, on the other hand, invades Geeky Boy’s space all the time and while she doesn’t like to be tortured by him, wants him to help her do things she can easily do herself.
The whole thing is driving me crazy! Last night, we had to have a discussion about personal space. Worst of all is the tone of voice they speak to each other in in these moments. It’s like fingernails down a chalkboard to me.
My own personal assessment of the situation is that they’re both growing up–and fast!–and they’re working through their relationship which now functions on a different level than it did before. Before, Geeky Boy proudly helped Geeky Girl get cereal or reach a game. Now he’s annoyed. When Geeky Boy asks about something at school, he sometimes plays the role of parent, which annoys the heck out of Geeky Girl. I’m trying my best to generally let them work these things out themselves, intervening only every once in a while. I try to point out why they might be annoyed with each other and offer suggestions for changing their behavior to avoid getting on each other’s nerves.
I have been blessed that I didn’t have kids that were in rivalry mode from day one, each trying to find ways to win the power struggle through methods psychological and physical. I hope we make it through the rocky period ahead without too much damage.