Sibling Conflict: The Netflix Edition


I never had the experience of having a sibling who was the same gender as me. Cortney didn’t have one close to his age (his brother is seven years younger than he is). Eddie and Charlie’s relationship being two and a half years apart is a whole new world to us.

They are super close in a way I wasn’t with my brother and Cort wasn’t with his sister, but that closeness also means they fight. A lot.

Eddie is typical oldest child: He is bossy and too smart for his own good. And like his mother (who is also an oldest child), he is rule-follower and a tattle-tale. He’s also a bit of a wimp (also like his mother).

Charlie is proving to be typical middle child: Stubborn, gives no damns about rules, rough, and did I mention stubborn?

At almost seven and four, Eddie and Charlie have pretty different preferences in what shows they want to watch. Charlie is still very much into Disney Jr. shows and chooses Dinotrux, Curious George, Handy Manny, and other shows that are geared toward his age group and love of tools, trucks, and silliness.  Eddie likes anime shows, but he’s also starting to watch movies and shows with real people, Odd Squad being a real favorite.

Each night we watch a show before heading downstairs for books and bed. Sometimes it can turn into a real argument about what we watch. From time to time we also do a movie night and that can get heated too since the boys have such different preferences of what is entertaining.

This is where I admit that when we found out Charlie was a boy, I had all happy brothers-gotta-hug-type visions of how Eddie and Charlie would grow up together. I pictured Eddie putting his arm around his little brother’s shoulders and guiding him. I pictured Charlie looking up admiringly to Eddie.

<insert cliche record scratch sound>

TV show and movie arguments are the tip of the iceberg with these two. It seems like when they are getting along it’s because they are doing something naughty–like throwing spaghetti noodles at the sliding door windows (outside, thankfully, not in) while I get Alice cleaned up after dinner. Or they are are throwing things into our tree and then standing on top of the cozi coupe to get them down. Or they are supposed to be eating lunch, but instead are thinking of different ways to describe their food in terms of poop and giggling until they have the hiccups.

All of the rest of the time they are LOUDLY yelling/screaming at each other or smacking each other around.

Is this normal brother behavior? I don’t really know.

I do know that they are able to agree on a few things: butts (and everything they do) are funny; bubbles are a good time; and Netflix has at least three things that they both like to watch.

I’ve mentioned before that they both like the movie, Home.


And now Inside Out is also on Netflix and they both really love that one. In fact, Charlie took one look at Anger and said, “I like that red guy.”  No one was surprised.

While we were on our little mini-trip over spring break, we found Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on TV and they were both totally into it–much to my surprise. We read the book together last summer, but both forgot some of the details. Eddie discovered this week that it’s on Netflix, and they have watched it twice since.

As far as shows, they discovered Kong: King of the Apes this week and seem interested in it, so I foresee that one one being the next binge they go on. And as always, the whole family loves some Phineas and Ferb.

So give me some suggestions for these crazy boys. What are your kids watching? I need some back up ideas for what is looking like a rainy weekend coming up!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Sounds like normal brother stuff, at least compared to ours. My oldest is 11 and very much like yours, and our middle is 8 and also like yours (although he’s also a natural performer). And we’ve got an almost-5 son who’s in the mix too (stubborn preschooler who mimics both of his big brothers). Anyway, it’s interesting to see their show-watching preferences. Lately, they’s nuts over Animaniacs, which is tricky when they start emulating stuff a little too closely, but they also eat up Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and this new show on Sprout called Jungle Squad or something like that. And Odd Squad is another favorite (and that show is FUNNY).

    As far as the behavioral interactions go…it’s kind of weird because they all love each other and will play together (or often the two younger ones go off to play together while the older one reads), but sometimes they get into the screaming pounding fights. A few times of late, if they’re getting really angry, I step in and tell them they have to hit each other (refereed by me, of course…like they have to do it on each other’s back and take turns), and the funny thing is, they don’t *really* want to do it when it’s a conscious choice. They don’t really hurt each other, and they don’t hit more than once or maybe twice. It disarms their tempers quite effectively and removes the potential for accidentally really hurting each other or themselves or breaking things. I’m sure that someone will be mortified over this, but it’s been a really useful way to make them think about what happens when you get angry and want to lash out.

    • Oh! Animaniacs! I forgot that one! They just found that one too. And I admit I love it because I used to watch it when I was a teenager and I still find it hilarious. Especially the Good Feathers.

      My Charlie has some anger issues and DOES want to hurt his brother sometimes, so we have been watching that. But I totally get your strategy and I KNOW it would work with Eddie because he lashes out and often is immediately sorry if he actually hurts Charlie.