Can't We All Just Get Along?

My friend’s son FaceTimed from college the other night and within minutes, he was bickering with his sister. On FaceTime. From college. Like, WHYYYYY? Why must they be at each other all the time? I have dreams about being in the same room with my children and have them get along for more than 8 minutes. Ditto for restaurants. One minute everyone’s happily working on the children’s menu games and the next second we are arguing about cheating at tic-tac-toe. Whose turn is it to sit in the good seat (there’s a good seat?), whose turn is it to take the first shower, he said she said he did she did. Never mind the accusations about he never gets in trouble and she always gets all the attention and

I. Can’t. Take. It.

How do you stop the bickering? I’ve seen the “get along shirt” idea and when my children are actually mean or hurtful, I do make them apologize including - at times - hugs and sometimes even letters. But somehow, the fighting continues. They get on each other’s nerves and then they all get on my nerves. When they really ramp it up, I intervene with either distraction or light garden variety consequences like loss of privileges (screen) and extra chores piled on top of what they already have to do. Nope, doesn’t change the behavior. I think it’s biological.

Or pathological.

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