Heeeeelp! How do I deal with this? Happening now...

(70 Posts)
FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:22:13

DD 11 and DS 13. She can't stand him, treats him like something she's scraped off her shoe at all times. I mean relentlessly. She undermines his confidence all day, every day. For the last 2 days every time he opens his mouth to speak she has hissed "shhhh" at him. It's like a hate campaign that has gone on and on and on. She calls him awful, hateful names about his physical appearance, really goes in where it hurts. We impose sanctions, she gets upset and stops for a day or so, then it starts again.

We have all put ourselves out today so DD could go riding. DS has stood around, uncomplaining, for hours. Afterwards we went to the supermarket and she was like a spoiled princess the whole time. About 1/2 hr ago, just about to sit down for a family meal, I hear a rumpus upstairs. She has been hideous to DS, (refusing to tell him where his phone charger is in the most provocative manner), he has reached the end of his tether and has pulled her hair and kicked her in the back. This never usually happens. He's clearly had enough.

The next bit was not good, on my part. I told her it was long overdue and showed no sympathy at all. She was crying, she's thrown laundry around upstairs (I mean deliberately chucked clean stuff all over the place), had a bath and is now eating alone in silence. I had a word with DS whilst she was upstairs. I told him violence is unacceptable under any circumstances, he has voluntarily written her a note of apology, he feels bad and says he just snapped. I've confiscated her beloved phone until weds (not told her yet).

What now? I'm going to have a delinquent on my hands. She's just so angry, most of the time, and I don't know why. It's been like this for a couple of years. How should I have dealt with the violence?

This is just crap. I was looking forward to this evening and it's all so bloody miserable.

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:24:20

Sorry. Long sad

piprabbit Sat 26-Jan-13 20:26:02

I think you need to confiscate something of DS's too - as physical violence is a huge no.

Have you talked to your DD about how she is feeling and why she is so angry and taking it out on her DB?

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:27:48

I have tried and tried, for years. I don't know why she treats him like this. She just says I don't know.

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:29:19

Thanks for reading pip.

toomuch2young Sat 26-Jan-13 20:31:15

Have you any idea why your DD is behaving like this? It seems more than usual sibling behaviour? Your DS sounds on the whole an angel to tolerate it so well, and although violence must be always frowned upon, and disiplined for - it seems like he really was at breaking point sad.
I think you need to get your DDs behaviour in line by being tougher - certainly no treats like riding while she is conducting a hate campaign against DS!
I really feel for you, must make things uncomfortable at home for you.

toomuch2young Sat 26-Jan-13 20:32:28

Cross posts. Sorry for asking again. I don't think 'i don't know'
Is a suitable answer. She needs to learn this behaviour has serious consequences.

Huge sympathies - here it is DS2 and DS3 who cannot bear to breathe the same air without verbal provocation v rapidly descenting into physical violence. They are not quite 9 and 5... sad

I have no pat answer.
We have tried v hard.
The most helpful thing was for DS2 to see the school counsellor for a while to work on his self-esttem which was/is rubbish.
Not sure this will be the underlying cause with your 2, but maybe you'd consider getting some outside help involved?
Most schools offer independent/confidential counselling for their students AFAIK.

NanettaStocker Sat 26-Jan-13 20:35:45

What is she generally like to other people? Is he the only person who gets this treatment?

I think your DS has been very restrained considering his age.

Screaminabdabs Sat 26-Jan-13 20:36:20

It's absolutely unacceptable for her to treat him like this. Agree about hitting being also serious, though.

ConfuzzledMummy Sat 26-Jan-13 20:36:44

Sorry but your poor son shouldn't be punished he's had enough of her being a little madam. I don't blame him at all. It sounds like she's being spoilt rotten whilst he has got to stand there and watch. If she's acting like this why have you even considered taking her riding, she obviously doesn't deserve it. She's treating your son like this because you allow her to. Stop treating her like a spoilt princess she will stop acting like one

crypes Sat 26-Jan-13 20:37:03

Why is she going riding if her behaviour has gone on and on. Is it going on because shes knows shes number one and you always spoil her? Be careful because her behaviour can break up future sibling relationships . My siblings arnt close and I think its because we used to fight to much when children .

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:37:24

Thanks toomuch. I think I need to hear that. I don't think we've been firm enough with the sanctions tbh.

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:40:58

I wouldn't say we spoil her, as such, but I am finding her increasingly difficult. We just seem to get into ludicrous spirals of imposing sanctions, her getting angry and misbehaving further, more sanctions.

ohmeohmy Sat 26-Jan-13 20:41:28

maybe she needs help dealing with her feelings. somethinglike this?

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Sat 26-Jan-13 20:42:32

She probably doesn't know why. I remember not knowing why I was horrendous to my younger sister and we get on great now not living together may help. My mum used to tell me that "I don't know isn't an acceptable answer" but I honestly didn't and still don't know why I did it. She annoyed the hell out of me by her mere existence but I have no idea why that was.

I think it may be good that your ds has stood up for himself in the long term though.

Not sure how manageable it would be but maybe you could try enforcing a "If you can't say anything nice" policy with them both, as in, neither are allowed to talk to each other at all unless it is to say something nice or polite.

toomuch2young Sat 26-Jan-13 20:50:55

How is she with other children? Does she have friendships and good relationships at school? Have school any problems with her behaviour?
If she does indeed love riding I would use that and only allow it after a week of no insults or comments to DS.
Can you or DS's dad do a separate activity which DS enjoys at a weekend? So he is getting confidence up and having quality time away from his sister.

shhhgobacktosleep Sat 26-Jan-13 20:55:51

You have my sympathies. My 2 eldest are b/g twins and they went through a period of approx 4 yrs where they were constantly nit picking and generally making life for the entire family awful when they were together. They could not sit in the same room without simmering hatred and actual kicking each other if they had to sit on the 3seater sofa at the same time. I have to admit that dd was the main culprit and gentle ds rarely retaliated. Dd at one point screamed that when she was an adult she would not come home to visit if dt was going to be there. We laugh at it now but at the time it was horrendous for me to hear and I felt constantly tortured when they were both around. They are 16 now and get on much better, are in and out of each other's rooms, socialising within the same friendship groups. I know it may sound odd but could it be your dd's hormones escalating normal sibling behaviour? Our dd was a nightmare before her periods started and settled into a regular cycle.

I'm in agreement though with a pp who said that horse riding etc needs to stop until your dd learns to control her behaviour and actions. I would certainly be letting her know verbally and follow up with actions that the world was not going to revolve around her and that she needs to change how she is behaving. I think perhaps getting them both sat down together at the table with you (and dp/dh)and letting them know what sort of behaviour you expect from them both and even letting them voice calmly what are the issues as they see them, may be a good idea.

Can you get everyone together and agree on some family rules and consequences for if these rules are broken.
Try and get both the kids to have some input but if DD won't then tell her you will decide for her.
Then you have to follow through with the consequences.
I have found this site has some really good ideas too.
We get a bit of this from DD1 when she's in a mood, but it doesn't last for more than a few hours atm( she's just 11). I'm expecting it to get worse sad

FredWorms Sat 26-Jan-13 20:56:49

Fantastic responses, thanks all. StickEm, very helpful to hear you get on ok with your sister nowadays.

porridgeLover Sat 26-Jan-13 21:15:26

Similar issues here which is why I've adopted the motto 'there will be no mean in 2013' for all of us.
Which is to say that neither DS, DDs nor I can say or do unkind things to each other.

There is a zero tolerance approach to anything that's unkind to another person living here. I've done (in the past) lots of coaching around recognising our own feelings, feeling frustrated, knowing when we have reached our limits and need time away from each other.

Since I started this, DS has been really horrible to DD2 on a few occasions, and when I got into why...... he said he did it to get attention from me blush blush sad

Apologies are not enough as 'anyone can say sorry' and have to be followed up with an act of kindness for the offended person.
I try to apply the rule to myself as much as anyone, and while we are not perfect, it has turned the temperture down a notch and I hope it teaches good skills for life.

ShebaQueen Sat 26-Jan-13 21:25:13

Poor you Fred, sorry you are having such a rotten time. I must admit that my sympathies are with your DS. Of course I would never condone violence and he absolutely must apologise, but it is obvious that he snapped. Your DD has been making his life an absolute misery and she is obviously used to getting her own way.

I think you have to really take her to task on this and don't cave in to her sulking, pouting and throwing things around. I am saying that as though it is easy but I know from experience that it is easier said than done.

Good luck and wine for you.

SavoyCabbage Sat 26-Jan-13 21:29:39

There should be no riding. That's madness. Like going round to your son's bully's house with a tin of Quality Street.

I think the family meeting/family motto ideas are great. You need to draw a line under it all and start afresh with consequences for actions.

One of my friends is going through a similar thing with her dds. She seemed to be oblivious to the way she treated her dds differently. One does three major activities whilst the other is dragged along to watch. The oldest does think she is the most important person in the family. The youngest has just started an activity and the oldest is undermining her at every turn. Telling her she's shit at it and laughing at her.

I once read that you should use the phrase "my son" when talking to your dc about things like this. "You are not to speak to my son like that" etc. Placing a value on them.

I wouldn't worry about punishing your DS to be honest - he was pushed to his limit, he flipped, he has been chastised and has apologised. It shouldn't have got to the stage where he couldn't take any more.

Agree with the others re getting tougher on your DD.

By the way - he is apologising to her for the violent reaction. Does she ever apologise to him for being a right cow rather provoking?

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