CHILDREN are forever falling out. "She pinched my doll!" "She's drawn on my picture", and "She's got more crayons than me," are regular outbursts in my home, and are usually followed by me telling my young daughters: "Don't be silly, can't you two play together nicely?"

As adults, we tend to think children's squabbles are unnecessary, that they are trivia blown up out of all proportion.

Only the other day I commented to a friend how ridiculous it would be if adults behaved in the same way, if we rowed over who had the shiniest knife at meal times, or quarrelled if one had a couple more chips than the other.

As "grown ups" we tend to think we're above all that. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Read any newspaper or magazine and you'll come across family rows. She's not speaking to him and he's not talking to her and they haven't spoken for years. And more often than not people have forgotten why they fell out in the first place - or their memory of it is hazy to say the very least.

One family in the news recently featured a 16-year-old mum and her dad. She survives on £50 a week state hand-outs while he lives it up in style after winning £1.5 million on the Lottery. Why? Because they fell out.

She claims not to know what the problem is, while he says her boyfriend "has a lot to do with it."

Dad ignores daughter if he passes her in the street and she wishes they had never heard of the Lottery.

They haven't spoken for two months, and if neither budges they'll end up in this state forever. And a couple of years down the line they will struggle to recall why.

I should know. Since I fell out with my sister almost ten years ago things have gone from bad to worse to terrible and now I'm on dreadful terms with the entire family.

I'm always rowing with them - and it's usually sparked by trivia. Not to the extent that I flare up when my parents pour me half a millilitre less wine than my sister at dinner (not that we dine at the same table often, you understand), but it's going that way. I've even become angry over how often they phone her as opposed to me.

What must my children think when I rant on about her always being favoured, always getting her own way, then tell them off for moaning about the same thing - "You've let her wear a dress, why not me?" "She's got a pink straw, why haven't I?"

On a family picnic last weekend I accused my husband of making more sandwiches for himself than for me.

So adults are no different from children. They argue about things that don't really matter; silly little things. But, unlike adults, youngsters possess a built-in ability to quickly forget their quarrel and make up. They don't harbour grievances for years like so-called 'grown-ups'.

Long-term rifts are common in families. I recently attended a wedding where the bride's family kept a noticeable distance from the groom's. Apparently, the warring factions hadn't communicated for five years.

And in my home village there are two identical houses standing a field apart that look strangely unfinished. I recently learned that in days gone by two brothers had planned to live together and began building a house but they fell out and the dwelling ended up in two halves on either side of their land. They never spoke again.

In my eyes, that solution would be far from adequate. My sister lives in London - we never talk, yet we still annoy each other.

When you stop to think about it we're not very 'grown up' are we?

Our children may only be starting out on life's learning curve, but they could teach us a thing or two.

I reckon Lottery winner and daughter should patch it up now - and act like children for a change.