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Does a child you know 'divide and conquer' your children?

(7 Posts)
MagicGenie Mon 27-Jun-11 14:35:37

I have two boys, DS1 aged 6 and DS2 aged 3. Some close family friends have a 6 yr old who pretty much grew up (and now goes to school with) our DS1.

DS2 is 4 soon, starts school in September, idolises his big brother (i.e. can't even choose his breakfast cereal until DS1 has chosen), and continually 'punches above his weight' in terms of development, in order to keep with with DS1 and his posse (DS2 does have loads of his own friends at preschool, though). Most of DS1's friends totally accept DS2 as part of the gang.

Our friend's boy is an only child and won't be having any siblings. He has always taken DS2 under his wing and obviously acts out his fantasies about having a little brother on him. I've been generally OK with this - until now.

I'm getting increasingly p'ed off at our friend's boy's habit of monopolising DS2 and being horrible to DS1, in order that all the play goes his way and he gets DS2 all to himself. DS2, being young and immature, joins in and turns on DS1.

My usual way of dealing with it is to take my boys aside, hoping our friend's boy is in earshot (which he usually is), and saying I won't tolerate them being unkind to each other.

We were all at a do yesterday where my friend was having words with her boy, but as we were in public, I think she was happy for me to take my action to take the heat off her DS angry

I feel that our friends partly encourage their boy to be kind/generous/whatever with our DS2 out of guilt for not being able to 'give' their boy a sibling. It's an easy route out of managing the anxiety/anger their boy has about being an only child. But this is starting to be at the expense of my DS's 'brotherhood'.

I can't sit back and let this happen when, a) I know that all three boys are capable of getting on great, and b) school beckons for DS2, and our friend's boy is already really excited. I know he will try and monopolise him in the playground, therefore taking DS2 away from his own friends, not just his brother!

Any advice? x

MagicGenie Mon 27-Jun-11 19:11:11


scurryfunge Mon 27-Jun-11 19:14:55

You are over thinking this way too much -you are making massive assumptions about the other family. Deal with poor behaviour as you see fit and let the children sort out friendships to a certain degree. They all sound perfectly ordinary.

cory Mon 27-Jun-11 22:30:14

Agree with scurry that you are overthinking this. It may be that he just likes your younger ds. Maybe they will end up being friends rather than him and your older ds. Your job is to stop bad behaviour, not to get mixed up in how children feel about one another.

MagicGenie Tue 28-Jun-11 00:00:40

Hi, thanks for posting.

I know I'm not making big assumptions...they've been close family friends for years; I know how they feel about not being able to have more children. I know they favour DS2, cos he reminds them of their son.

However, I shall slope off to the 'over-thinking it' corner and have a word with myself smile

Laquitar Tue 28-Jun-11 00:04:36

Bloody hell hmm

BadRoly Tue 28-Jun-11 00:14:24

Will your ds2 be in a seperate playground from the older 2 at playtimes? Just thinking about my lot - infants and juniors have been in different playgrounds to protect the younger ones. Although this will only help if your ds1 and his friend are in juniors...

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