Recently dd1 (who is 8) and I haven't been getting on very well. She has started to spend a lot of her time shutting herself away in her bedroom (mainly playing Lego or reading). I also have dd2 who is 2.5 and quite demanding - cannot leave her alone for 2 minutes without her emptying the kitchen cupboards, that kind of thing.
I have tried involving dd1 in various activities, play with dd2, do homework together etc. She is reluctant to and is frequently snappy with me. Quite often she says i spend most of my time with dd2, I've tried explaining I can't leave her by herself as she is only 2! The problem is dd2 is not yet old enough to play the games dd1 wants to play. It's difficult to spend time together just by ourselves as dh works quite late and we are also doing up the house on our own, so he is spending all his spare time working on the house during evenings and weekends.
The other thing is she has had a bit of a falling out at school. She was very good friends in a group of 3, but over the last term 2 of the other girls have become closer and she is sometimes left on her own. I have talked to her teacher about it and we put a plan in place where if that happened, she could ask a lunchtime supervisor to help her find somebody else to play with. To date she has not done this, as she doesn't want the other two girls to get into trouble, but she brings her anger back home instead.
I don't know how to deal with this, or find a way out. All I want is for her to be happy but we seem to be stuck in a rut.
Sounds to be like she urgently needs some time with you. Could your DH take a break this Saturday so the two of you can go out for the day?
She might open up more if you're alone. She sounds like she is feeling very alone and is going into herself. I think you should make plans for some alone time ASAP.
The other thing I would do would be to involve her in DD2 care-like you're in it together. 'Oh, this is hard work, look she's got pans out again. Will you help me'. 'You're such a good big sister. What would Mummy do without you..' 'Shall we make lunch together?' 'I really miss you when you're upstairs'
Lots of feeling she is wanted and needed and positive affirmation.