Confession time | Days out are not always fun at the moment

There's no doubt about it, parenting three kids who are close together in age is a tough task. Steve works full time/shifts and as I am self-employed and working from home, I would say that 90% of our day-to-day childcare falls onto me. Yes, I get a break when the kids are at school (thank god) but with little in the way of support from family/childcare providers, being responsible for keeping three kids happy and alive is a pretty full-on task (single parents I take my hat off to you as that's a different ball game altogether).

Sibling fighting in the tweenage years - you're not along

Don't get me wrong,  I often post across Social Media that parenting three kids is easier now than it's ever been and in a way, I still think that's true. They're older and more responsible now and when we visit places on days out I don't need one million pairs of eyes like I used to when they were spritely toddlers. When we're on holiday they'll happily play in the pool or visit the park and I can read my book which is something that I definitely wasn't able to do in the early years and they are generally self-sufficient and will tie their own shoelaces/zip up their own coats etc.... so I don't always have to be thinking ahead like I did when they were little.

But over this summer I've noticed a significant change in their behaviour and tolerance of each other. Harry is now 12, Heidi 9 and Jack is almost 8 and I would say their sibling fighting is at an all-time high. It is so bad that I've actually started yearning for the toddler years again when I could just strap the kids in a buggy and go for a walk without fear of them killing each other.

Sibling fighting in the tweenage years - you're not alone

The fighting between the three of them is 24/7 at the moment and it's emotionally and physically draining for both Steve and I. We are constant referees and peacemakers. I would say it's at the stage at the moment where H, H and J can't be in the same room for more than 5 minutes before it starts. It's really tough to deal with and I have returned from days out this summer in tears on more than one occasion.

During a recent day out, Heidi and Jack's first fight on the bus was about who would sit next to the window. Actually, no it was walking to the bus stop because Jack didn't want to play Heidi's game anymore. Both of them started crying. I made it worse by suggesting they both have a window seat but that would result in one person sitting by a stranger which resulted in more tears. So I pretty much forced Heidi to sit by the aisle next to Jack which led to moodiness and they bickered the whole journey which led to me losing my temper which is something I hate doing and always feel guilty about.  I couldn't help but look around and see other children sitting nicely next to each other FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY and I was left thinking that I can't remember the last time my three did that for 5 minutes nevermind an hour.

Sibling fighting in the tweenage years - you're not alone

Three is always going to be a tough dynamic and it's made even worse by the fact that my boys share a room. In the evening before bed, I now have to separate the kids and one will go in our bedroom before it's time to go to sleep. It feels a bit extreme when you can't even let a child sit in their own bedroom.

All three of my children are as bad as each other - they love each other dearly but they also know exactly how to push each other's buttons and try and get each other in trouble at every available opportunity. It has got to the point where Steve and I dread taking them out. As I try to explain to H, H and J time and time again, a day out is supposed to be fun and time for us to enjoy each other's company and not something that should leave us feeling miserable and upset. I don't understand why they don't want to choose joy and happiness over misery!

Sibling fighting in the tweenage years - you're not alone

Steve and I feel like we have tried everything from reasoning, gentle parenting, ignoring it, distraction techniques, rewarding good behaviour, punishing bad behaviour, explaining how their actions make us feel......yet their fighting continues at exactly the same level. Nothing seems to work. I used to fight with my brother when I was little but it was never as bad as this (and even my mam says this so I know I'm not looking back with rose-tinted glasses).

I know that the teenage years bring their own problems and challenges but most people with older kids have told me that when the kids reach this stage, the sibling fighting calms down and from my own experience, I know this is going to be the case with my three. I know like any stage of parenting this stage is not going to last forever but man are the tweenage years tough!

There's no real point to this post other than to let you know that as much as I love taking my children on days out and sharing our recommendations with you, it's really quite tough at the moment. If we stay at home, the fighting is even worse and I am the sort of person who loves to get outside (and it's my job to write about this) so denying them days out will not work for us. I especially resent spending £££ on a day out and then spending 90% of the day at the end of my tether. It's not appropriate for me to take photos of the kids fighting, bickering or sulking so these moments will never make a blog post but believe me, they do happen. Thank goodness for wine is all I can say!

If you're parenting tween siblings, please tell me I'm not alone and their fighting drives you crazy too. 

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Sibling fighting in the tweenage years - you're not alone



  1. I have been in the exact place you are now, I used to pay the girls to be nice to each other 🙈🤣

    The teen years are easier sometimes but there are days even with Looby where every single thing I do irritates her!

    Parenting is like guerilla warfare 😉

  2. Loving the honesty in this post! My kids can fight a lot and it’s such a trigger for me. The car is the worst. I don’t know what it is about putting them in the car but I swear I need to get a divider so they can’t see each other. Lena tried to kick arlo from her seat.

  3. I know exactly how you feel, although my teens do still have their moments and argue and fight, but they are not as often as the tweens do, having seven of them at different life stages is tough, but now that the oldest is away at university I am trying to remind myself that pretty soon they will all be off doing their own thing and I will be yearning for them to be on a day out, even if they are at each others throats all day!!


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