My 10 year old son is so jealous and competitive with his younger brother it is making our lives a misery

(58 Posts)

Once again I have come to school to find that ds1 has been picking on ds2 (7) at break time. Ds2 does not have many friends, and he is lonely. Ds1 found him sitting on a bench by himself and decided it would be fun to keep nicking his hat and throwing it around. Ds2 stumbled and got hurt trying to get his hat back.

I was meant to take them swimming, they have lessons, but I could not face the whole pool palaver, I am so upset, and have come home. Ds1 is grounded to his room with homework.

Yesterday Ds2 had his first playdate in nearly a year. The two boys had been planning what to do for over a week, as they are both big fans of minecraft. Unbeknown to me, DS1 has logged into the game from his Ipod and kept shooting them, so they lost everything they had gathered, and could not build what they wanted. Ds2 was upset and crying. Both boys felt that Ds1 had ruined their game.

Ds1 admitted that he was jealous of ds2. Ds2 has always been good at sports, has a great balance, and is flexible and fast. Ds1 is not great at sport, but academic. Ds2 is not that academic.

Ds2 took up skateboarding, ds1 has managed to discourage him through constant put downs. Ds2 no longer wants to ski, as ds1 has discouraged and put him down. Everytime ds2 is happy that he has managed to do something, or achieve something, ds1 is there rubbishing it saying "oh that is nothing, not sure why you are boasting, I can do that much better". Even if he cant. And if he can, it is no wonder as he is more than 3 years older!

I am so sick of it, and so disheartened. He is making ds2s life, and our lives, totally crap.

My heart is breaking for my poor ds2, who is a really happy and lovely chap, and ds1 is so nasty to him that he seems to be succeeding in ruining all his confidence.

I really dislike what ds1 is doing.

I am again beginning to wonder if the only reasonable thing to do is for dh and I to live apart with one boy each. sad

RosemaryandThyme Thu 07-Feb-13 13:54:09

Oh - the working from home scenario must put you under a lot of pressure to keep the boys quite so that dad can work, I've three, two of them boys and the combination can be sooo noisy - even when they are getting on well, noise seems to be an inherent part of play of almost any kind.

Is there a park near school or home that they could head to?

Could Dad take paper-work and computer to pub for an hour after school some days ?

Also some office spaces can be rented by the hour, meeting rooms, hotel conference rooms etc.

All the best.

The work at home situation should hopefully be sorted within the next couple of months. Taking his work to a pub, or out, is not that practical, he is on many telephone conferences, so spend half his afternoon on the phone. (Not sales, technical issues)

I did mention our issues to the GP, regards to moving, being bullied and unsettled, and then returning and having problems with confidence and developing friendships. GP said there was very little help for his age group, and if I wanted to go private. I said anything really, if it can help his confidence and to work through issues, prior to starting secondary. So he should have a think and see what he can find, and I am to come back in two weeks to discuss further. So hopefully we will get somewhere!

bigTillyMint Thu 07-Feb-13 17:37:26

Pure, well done for going to the GP. No family is perfect and you definitely have my sympathies.

I can't believe that (if you are in N London) there is no CAMHS (although there may be very long waiting lists) - he should be able to refer you there, but if not, you could try the school SENCO/inclusion manager. In the meantime, maybe it is worth eploring private support.

Could be that waiting lists are long!

DS1 was very happy that I asked for this help for him.

He is having daddy day tomorrow, with a trip to the snow center after school, going by Ikea to by him a new desk. He got 100% in his assessment tests for maths, so he is also very pleased with that. He is going to do a solo at a choir festival next month. He was chosen to pay macbeth in a co production between local primaries, and captain for the basket ball team, so plenty for him to boost his confidence, but not from a social friendship perspective. He just does not really see his own achievements.

Ds2 is going to a birthday party. His second in the last 7 days. Ds1 has not been to a birthday party since October. His age group does not do big parties. He sees other Y6 boys go home together after school, and he is upset. He interprets that as them going off to have fun, and he gets resentful. I know however, that they just walk together as they live nearby. They will part on the next road down from the school! He sees everything as a slight on him.

sashh Fri 08-Feb-13 06:32:22

He seems to chose to do wrong deliberately, as on every turn I think "He knows this behaviour is wrong, so why on earth is he doing it".

From his point of view because he is always in trouble so it might as well be for something he has done.

As for making friends, I moved schools three times in three years and I just thought there was no point making friends because we would be moving again.

Daddy day sounds like a good idea. Keeping them apart as much as possible with different hobbies will also help.

Have you tried 'catch them doing something good', ie praise the good stuff. Even if he has been a little shit all day, if he does something good praise him, don't do the, 'well it's about time you behaved'.

What rewards has he got for his good work / part in the play/ whatever? Sporting achievements are often praised whilst academic achievements are not.

What I mean is, if you are good at skiing you get picked for a team, if you get 100% on an exam .............. well what do you get?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 08-Feb-13 07:41:42

What a sad thread....I feel for you and your dses, it must be so hard.

For what it's worth, DH moved away for several years during his schooling at a similar age and has always said how much he struggled returning to the same school later. Friendship groups had moved on and they had different life experiences. He's 52 now and still talks about it so it certainly had a lasting impact.

I changed schools at 10 and never settled, it's not easy for some children.

My 10 year old ds1 can be a little like yours, he tends to boost his confidence by telling us what he is good athmm and ignoring the stuff he isn't good at completely. He struggles with giving others praise too, especially his 8 year old brother. Ds2 is very laid back though and doesn't take it to heart. I think ds2 is confident enough in his own abilities not to be fussed by ds1 trying to make out he is better at everything. They generally do have a very strong bond too and play together all the time so it's not quite the same as your situation.

Your ds1 does sound very unhappy. Not sure what the answer is but I think counselling for him would probably be a really good start.

superbabysmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 17:27:09

Haven't read the whole thread but wanted to offer some thoughts... Based on personal experience - I have no relationship with my sister through what started as sibling rivalry and was never dealt with by my parents, now I hardly ever see my parents (we even live in the same town!) & have nothing at all to do with my sister.

Looking back the main cause of the problem was because they took from me to give to her, my sister revelled in this & my parents didn't recognise it. As I was older I was always the one in the wrong so my sister played on this. On one occasion she actually cried & told my parents that I had hit her and I hadn't, I was punished & she was rewarded. I understand that children need to share but they also need to have things of their own otherwise it breeds resentment, you also need to spend quality alone time with each child, make them feel they have your 100% attention and each one has 'their thing' in common with you. It's so hard to divide time up especially if you work but I can't tell you how important it is to give your undivided attention equally to each child.

Sorry for not coming back, it has been a busy couple of days. I have really tried to re-examine the time we spend with both children, and although I thought we have a good balance, maybe we need to work harder to make up for the hard things. The moving, my sons having to cope with my mums Alzheimers, the unsettling and resettling.

You are all right about his confidence.

On Friday, dh took ds straight from school to Ikea to get a desk, and then on to the snow center. They spent 4 hours learning tricks, with an instructor who was at hand helping the kids out. It transpires that ds1 feels bad about his skiing abilities because he feels he is getting rusty and his Norwegian mates were so much better. They had been laughing at him on the slopes. Rubbish really, as ds1 is an excellent skier. He is fast, he masters the turns technically, he can do jumps and tricks. But, he has not been skiing everyday thought the season as his old classmates have, the last two years.

He is not sporty as such, but he wants to be. The biggest problem at school is during sports/PE. He had a great PE lesson today and was really keen to talk about it. Also, DS2 was praised in Assembly for being pupil of the week for his amazing academic progress. It seemed that ds1 was not jealous of this, as by the time ds2 told me, I had spent the entire car journey home listening to ds1 talk about PE and praised him on his good efforts and been genuinely happy for him.

He feels that he is the slowest swimmer in his group.

I guess there is a big disparity between how he feels about his achievements and what we think of them, as we think he is doing great, but he does not really agree?

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