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Preschoolers not getting on.

I have a 4 and a half year old girl and her cuzzin is a girl hu is 3. these 2 don't really get one very well - fine at kindy together - but when they are together just at home it's like it's a race to see hu can get the other one to cry first and they are both quite phycial towards each other. yet on the other hand they do love each other loads too.
we need some help as we are the parents and our daughter is older - I want to know the right way to sort this out!

Jane ...
Answer: Kids, like adults have their own personality and temperament and it's very hard to force relationships on them. The age difference may be making a difference or perhaps when they are in each others home rather than a neutral environment like kindy they feel more possessive about their own things and territory. Praise when they are playing together will make a difference and so will not leaping in too quickly when they are bickering but giving them a chance to sort things out themselves first. Of course if one or both are about to get hurt you will need to intervene, but be aware kids can quickly work out this is a lovely way of gaining the adult's attention and keep doing it. The other secret is to keep them busy and distracted with lots of play activities and don't expect them to always see eye to eye. Although you would love for them to get on well, it's just life that arguments and differences of opinion will surface. And think too about your own role modelling, they will learn through you that social interaction and manners are important. Maybe with time and as they mature they will find their own comfortable relationship with each other, but try not to "force" this. Best Jane
Answered: 07 Dec 2013