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Daughter is spiteful to her brother. Help!

(7 Posts)
Muddlingthroughtoo Sun 07-Aug-16 19:44:16

My DD is 8 and my DS will soon be 5. Now I understand little brothers can be annoying but she literally has no love for him! He is a charming, loveable little boy, always smiling and so funny, he idolises her and just wants to play. My DD is an extremely bright girl, funny but often too serious for her own good, she is always making gifts for her friends so she is friendly. When it comes to her brother though she is so spiteful, so competitive and downright mean. She calls him stupid, everything he likes is stupid and she snatches things off him. I feel like it's a bit of jealousy but I can't see why, is it just her nature? I do pull her on it and tell her how upsetting it is, she's sat on the naughty step with crocodile tears as her brother begs me for her to come off and play. How do I get through to her? One day they will only have each other, family is important.

lovelyredshoes Sun 07-Aug-16 20:00:07

Hi Muddling - I have a DS9 and DD6 and we have something like this too. They seem to get on for 30mins at a time and then it descends into spiteful behaviour or arguing. DS is very competitive and I can't get him to understand that he needs to be less so DD - and annoyingly he is great with younger children who AREN'T his sister! I'm presuming it is about trying to win my attention and favour. Sorry - I have no solution other than finding that having a plan of activities to 'distract' whoever needs it, and praying it is just a phase! x

Muddlingthroughtoo Sun 07-Aug-16 20:32:11

Thanks for sharing, yes she's nice with other little ones, she's not keen on younger children to be honest but she's never mean to them. I'm not sure why she's like this with only him but probably as you said, it's a competitive thing. My DD is mostly oblivious, I caught her throwing his things over the fence today. I had been watching from the window, I was mortified for him (he had come in to get more things for them to play with). I think she was doing it to show off to the boy from up the road. Total mean-ness and she's grounded.

OneArt Mon 08-Aug-16 07:36:41

This is really normal OP. You could read Siblings Without Rivalry for some ideas on how to handle it. Be careful, as punishing her too severely isn't going to make her feel more affectionate towards him! Obviously you can't let her get away with mean behaviour though. It's a fine balance.

Muddlingthroughtoo Mon 08-Aug-16 09:42:55

Thanks OneArt, I'll definitely have a read of that as I never received the users guide that should come with babies!

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 08-Aug-16 10:21:11

Your DC have the same age gap as my DB and I, with him being the older one.

TOTALLY normal behaviour!

Witchend Tue 09-Aug-16 14:53:57

I think it's something that you have to be very careful about. I would suspect getting to the bottom of the reason will be much more effective than

I was very jealous of my younger brother. I was the middle child and it felt like he got away with everything and I was expected to behave like big dsis, but without the benefits.
Dm used to say "you've got to make allowances because he's going through a difficult time" when I complained about him.
I was nearly 20 when I turned round and pointed out he'd been going through a "difficult time" and allowances needed to be made for him for ten years. She stopped saying it for nearly a month after that. She's just stopped saying it about him about 3 years ago now. Roughly 30 years after she started.

I felt that because he was difficult and awkward I reaped the negative. And he was difficult (takes after my df), not just my opinion. So because he would make a scene if he didn't get something I had, he would get it too despite I'd been told to wait until I was old enough. Or because he would make more of a fuss dm would let him do something she'd just told me I couldn't.

If ever I objected I was told that I was mean and spoiling things. I'd often get "he'd lend it to you." (no he didn't, and he also tended to spoil/damage/never give back things I lent him) or "he'd do it for you" which often was irrelevant because I had to do it for him because he was younger and not able to.

What I would suggest is looking at how she may feel second best to him.

Make sure they do different activities. Not maybe entirely, but let her have ones that are her and she can be herself without feeling he's treading on her heels.

When you pull her up, don't reel off his virtues. She won't believe you, she'll just see it as your favouritism. Cries of "but he's so lovely" she will be hearing as "you aren't".

If she says something has upset her, listen. It may sound silly and you can't see why it would be upsetting. I can tell you some of the things that I found most hurtful sound totally stupid as an adult. However if I think about them, they can still bring tears to my eyes as it brings back the hurt.
Acknowledge she's hurt. Take note about what did upset her and decide how to handle any similar situations. It may be you agree with how you originally dealt with it, people aren't always rational. Ask a trusted friend without saying which child is which whether they agree with you.

Make time for her. I found recently my girls were jealous that I still read a bedtime story to ds. (9yo). I stopped with them around 5/6yo because they wanted to read to themselves. I didn't choose to stop, they didn't want me too-I would have continued if they'd wanted. But what they really wanted was time with me on their own so we do different things now.

Make sure he gives way to her at times. You may think he's always giving way to her. But does that mean you always come in on his side? IF you do, then she's thinking "if I don't stand my ground then dm will always make sure we do his way so I never get to do my way."

Don't fix every game for him to win, or give him hugely more chances. I can tell you playing trivial persuit with one child given questions (with hints) until he gets them right is boring. 3 years age gap is not that much in games, and there will come a point when he expects the extra goes. Choose games that are chance rather than skill if that's an issue. (my youngest is the best at Monopoly, and has been for some time)

If something is hers, then acknowledge it. Don't decide she's too old so it can be handed down or because he hasn't got one then she has to share it. If she knows that some things are hers and don't have to be shared then she'll be happier to share others.

Find something that is you and her special. Either he's too young, or just this is your special thing. Whether it's making a cake once a week, or going out for drink and a cake/breakfast once a month. Something which she knows is her special thing. And you don't stop it for anything. Find something else for him too.

Praise her. Tell her she's good at things. Let her feel you're proud of her.

It's not her nature.

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