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competitive older sibling, how to deal with this?

(1 Post)
tartanpooch Mon 03-Aug-15 18:15:23

Although this concerns my stepson and my son, I've put it in parenting as I don't think it's really a step-family issue, more of a sibling issue.

DS is 8, DSS is nearly 11. DSS is super sporty and very good at anything active. DS is really not very good at sport but he tries his best to join in. He often gets upset that he doesn't really get a look in in a game of footie, whether that's with DSS or kids his own age.

DS asked to buy a board game today, I said yes. He and I had set it up and just begun to play when DSS, who is usually reluctant to join in with anything like this came in. If we were a "regular" family I might have said that just DS and I were having a game, but because I want to involve DSS in activities, I asked if he wanted to join in. He did so and then proceeded to win every turn (it was a free for all, so you could win on every go not just your own.) Twice I mimed at him, clearly and behind DS's back, to just let DS win a couple of goes, and DSS nodded like he understood but continued to jump in with the answer. I've asked him before to let DS have a go at winning and he says yes but obviously forgets or just can't help himself. Poor DS was a bit crushed but dealt with it pretty well. I felt so sorry for him, he never gets to win and even at his own game he didn't so much as get a sniff at succeeding during the first go with it.

Now I'm not suggesting that DSS should have let DS win the whole game, but surely he could have let DS win a few more goes? He just didn't seem to get that he was caning DS and it wasn't very nice for someone younger than himself (to be fair, DSS wasn't gloating, he's not like that, just leaping in first every go).

DH and I have been having a lot of chats about DSS and how he is finding it hard to fit in with our family routine, help out a bit etc, and I don't really want to load on another "problem" with DSS, as this is really about being an over-competitive big brother. I grew up with one of those and remember how hard it was to be little and so keen to play a game and then be crushed every time. Clearly my DM didn't find a way through!

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