View Full Version : sibling rivalry??
06-11-2008, 10:49 PM
Hi- I have a 10 year old and a 7 year old, both girls. I have been noticing that my 10 year old says mean things to the 7 year old and sometimes hits, pinches etc. (especially when she thinks nobody is looking). The behavior is exemplified when other kids are around. I have explained the importance of treating others how you want to be treated, good vs. bad, nerbal and physical abuse and the importance of not being plain mean. I have also punished her and followed through when I see this behavior (no TV, no dessert, etc). I'm a single mom, and their dad is great. We both work but do all we can for them. Is this hormones?? I'm not sure what else to do. Any help would be appreciated!!
I have two stepsons 7 and 9. they fight, call names, provoke each other, etc. siblings fight. that's just the way it is. my brother and I fought, my two little sisters fought (they're way younger than the rest of us siblings so we didn't fight with them), all my cousins fought with their brothers and sisters, it happens. I'm not saying it's okay, it definately isn't, it's just to be expected from them. that said I would have a set consequence. for instance, for my stepsons my fiance and I will send them both to their rooms to sit quietly on their respective beds for a length of time an hour sometimes (let's face it, at those ages 5 minutes is nothing, then they're back at it). our reasoning is that if someone got hit it's typically the case that the other provoked it somehow and is equally guilty of violating our no fighting rule. In our house fighting in any form is unacceptable social behavior and if they can't display proper social etiquette they aren't allowed to socialize with the rest of the people in the house. sometimes if it's later in the evening we'll just send them to bed. Sometimes they will hit eachother for no reason and in that situation the one violating the rules gets sent upstairs.
We're going to implement a new consequence though called the job jar. I got the idea from my sister. it's a jar with age appropriate jobs on slips of paper like dusting the staircase, doing dishes, picking up sticks, and also mom's choice and dad's choice. when they fight they pick a job from the jar and have to do it TOGETHER satisfatorily. they also use the job jar when the kids whine "I'm bored". they get one chance to find something to do on their own, no TV, before they pick a job. I used to just tell them once to find something to do before I found something for them. This I think is a more tangible cosequence for them.
Something else my sister does that I might try is she'll make them stand and hug eachother for an extended period of time when they fight. at first they're really mad about it but after awhile they start laughing and having a good time as it is rather silly and afterwards they're in better mood. I think this is a great idea as sending them to their room does little more than let them steam and get bored which puts them in a bad mood and makes them more prone to fight. I'm not sure how it'll work with the boys though. boys are different than girls. I think the most important thing is to be consistent and discipline evertime, no excuses.
06-12-2008, 03:29 AM
Hi. I have gone through sibling rivalry as I child. Admittedly, I am the mean one and I am not proud of this.
I am not taking sides but maybe your older girl must be feeling jealous of her younger sister. This often triggers sib rivalry. The other one seeks power to the other because she may feel that she is not loved well. (I am not saying that this might be the case on your girls). Have you tried talking to them? Can you try not to punish any of them for the meantime? I've been punished a lot of times for my behavior but the weird part is I still remained the same then.
Anyway, my behaviour changed when I grew old enough to understand how silly and bad I am to my brother.
I do hope things will go well between your girls. I only wish the best for them.
06-15-2008, 09:52 PM
Thank you both for your responses. I have talked to them and know that sometimes its provoked and sometimes it is not. I am going to try the hug it out scenerio and the doing jobs together...good ideas. My older daughter seems to think the younger one gets away with everything and has no responsibility. I try to explain that she needs to understand her sister IS younger and is treated age appropriatley...but she does not get all the perks her older sister gets.
07-09-2008, 09:02 AM
The idea of telling pointing out to the older one that she gets things the other doesn't is a good idea...
The big thing in our house when I was young was that I got the bigger bedroom & I had a hamster in my room (they took me to the pet store and let me pick it out after I proved I could take care of it by taking care of our dog) and I was allowed to use scissors. Of course, I had to let my little brother play with my hamster, but he wasn't allowed to take him out of the room.
The scissor thing also made us like each other for a whole 2 minutes. If he wanted them for something but didn't want Mom or Dad to know, I would cut it for him and not tell them. So he still got to have something that wasn't supposed to be cut get cut, and I got to say, "Now you owe me and you better be nice/stay out of my room/leave me alone now."
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