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Sibling Rivalry

(5 Posts)
Chrissy1234 Sun 19-Jun-11 06:55:56

Any advice please would be very much appreciated as I feel I'm just going round and round in circles

I have 10 yr old son, 7 yr old daughter and 5 yr old son annd the older two are fighting constantly .... not just arguments but physically hurting one another. The eldest isnt daft, he's the first to back down and walk away when I threaten them with consequences .... but my daughter then turns her anger towards my youngest or myself. She receives consequence after consequence (losing TV in her room, losing out on after school footy which is her fav, bike rides cancelled, the list goes on) but it just isnt working and if anything, the problem is becoming much much worse

I feel so very very sad sad because I honestly believe she hates me ..... she's a daddy's girl and will go to him for cuddles but doesnt want to know me any more

What I am doing wrong? .... I'm at a point where I just can't think straight about it any longer

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Jun-11 07:02:28

Sorry you are so stressed. It sounds as if you need to find a way to have a new start with the situation. The book Siblings without Rivalry comes very highly recommended on MN, I have read it although my children are much smaller than yours. It might give you some ideas about a more positive way forward with your DD, a way to get out of the cycle of disobedience/punishment.

She doesn't hate you - you must remember that.

Sorry I haven't got any practical suggestions.

Chrissy1234 Sun 19-Jun-11 07:13:36

Thanks so much HumphreyCobbler ..... I've just ordered it from Amazon

Sometimes you just get into such a spin with it all that you can't think straight any longer and all you need is a simple suggestion to make you stop

Feeling a little better and more positive already smile Thxs

snailoon Sun 19-Jun-11 07:37:28

My middle child (boy, similar age differences), always needed 3 times as much attention as the others. I think it is hard being a middle.
Maybe she needs to work off energy, so I wouldn't cancel bike rides and footy; they are probably therapeutic.
Personally, I would permanently get the TV out of her (and everybody else's) room and possibly out of the house, because I think screens makes everything worse, but I'm an old crank about this.
Have you tried giving her lots of extra attention when she's behaving reasonably well, not using punishments (consequences) or threats, and just stopping dead when she starts to fight.
I would immediately and silently separate and isolate fighters (if they are beyond the stage where you ignore them because they are just doing it to bother you), and if they fight when you are out, stop in your tracks and either go home (if you are doing something THEY really want) or just wait until they stop fighting if you can't go home. This usually works well in the car.

I have found that doing something unexpected often jolts them enough to break the pattern. They are probably expecting you to start lecturing them and threatening with consequences, so try something different, and sometimes make it wacky/funny. I have poured water on fighters, put on odd costumes, stopped talking altogether, wordlessly removed (sometimes permanently) contentious objects, thrown out the dessert (if they are squabbling about that), removed the internet connection, communicated by writing instead of speaking, turned on loud music, brought out the video camera to film a terrible fight or tantrum (you could show it to them several days later or just save it for posterity), started reading aloud, called someone important to kids and put them on the phone.
I'm assuming you have done all the usual stuff many times.

Most importantly, your daughter doesn't hate you, she loves you very very much; she sounds like she is having a bit of a hard time, or maybe she is just a particularly feisty little person. You sound like a loving and thoughtful mum.
Can you find something you enjoy doing together which she doesn't do with Dad? Is it always you dealing with fights and Dad playing football?
Good luck.

Chrissy1234 Sun 19-Jun-11 07:54:28

Thxs snailoon ... I think you're probably right about losing footy and bike rides etc it is something that's been praying on my mind as I'm really very keen for her to have lots of exercise ... her favourite activities are athletics (which I never take away as a punishment ..... because it costs me a lot of money! (wrong), footy and riding her bike. Anything else just doesnt seem to have any effect whatsoever.

I'll try some of your shock factor tips though .... I've done the usual, like throwing away treats theyve been fighting over etc. The dressing up in odd costumes sounds like a good one because for all their faults, they do have very good senses of humour.

Dad's getting better at dealing with their behaviour, but as he works long hours, the punishments are usually dished out by me. I agree, I think I should make a regular habit of just me and my DD doing things on our own.

Thank you so much x

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