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Older sibling not very protective of younger sister..what to do ?

(16 Posts)
anotheranxiousmum Thu 16-Jul-20 21:34:47

My girls are 6 and 4 and I find my older daughter to not be very protective of her when compared to my friend with kids of same ages. For example today another kid was pushing my younger daughter right in front of my older daughter and she just stood there un phased by it all and didn’t think to say anything or even just to move her younger sister away. Obviously it’s my responsibility to protect them both etc but I’m just worried when I’m not around (at school playground or play dates etc) I expect her to have a sense of responsibility towards her younger sister. Funny enough the younger one is more protective of the older. She will never take something without taking one for her older sister (another thing we find older dd doesn’t naturally do)

Any advice on how I can help instil a stronger sense or protectiveness in her? They have a nice relationship together, normal bickering and arguments over who has whose toy or who did what first but nothing unusual but overall play together all day etc.

OP’s posts: |
stairgates Thu 16-Jul-20 21:39:36

I dont think you can really. How about enrolling both girls in self defence karate club when they re open.

homemadecommunistrussia Thu 16-Jul-20 21:44:10

Really? Why does she have to be protective?

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 21:47:57

What did you expect your older child to do when she was pushed by another child when she was 4? Can't the younger one do that?

Your elder daughter is not her sister's keeper! This is obviously the older sister in me coming out but I don't think it's fair to expect a young child to be 'responsible' for her sibling, and it'll be hard to push the idea without either causing resentment or making her think she's in charge of her sister, which is likely to lead to other behaviour you don't like

cameocat Thu 16-Jul-20 21:48:34

I think this is a good thing, it will allow your younger daughter to fend for herself, she should be with her own friends in the school playground not relying on her sister to 'save her'.

netflixismysidehustle Thu 16-Jul-20 21:49:22

You should teach her to call out bad behaviour like pushing regardless of the victim. It's not her fault that she's dc1 rather than dc2.

If your dd1 was the victim would dd1 stand up for herself? Might be a deer caught in headlights sort of reaction. With my dd I've role played with her what to do when stuff like this occurs so she feels more confident being assertive in playground situations.

netflixismysidehustle Thu 16-Jul-20 21:49:33

You should teach her to call out bad behaviour like pushing regardless of the victim. It's not her fault that she's dc1 rather than dc2.

If your dd1 was the victim would dd1 stand up for herself? Might be a deer caught in headlights sort of reaction. With my dd I've role played with her what to do when stuff like this occurs so she feels more confident being assertive in playground situations.

Iggly Thu 16-Jul-20 21:52:26

Her job is not to protect her sibling - is this a hangover from your childhood?

Please be wary of this.

With my dcs, I’ve tried to encourage their relationship, treat them fairly and encourage them to treat each other equally.

AskingforaBaskin Thu 16-Jul-20 21:56:12

She is not her siblings minder. Her siblings fights are not hers.
She finest need to be protective of her. Who protected DD1?

Fishfingersandwichplease Thu 16-Jul-20 21:57:07

Younger sister here - my big sister has never ever in her life been protective of me. But actually l don't need her to be. OP l sometimes think my DD isn't as empathetic with others as some of her friends but the truth is, they've got their own personalities and characteristics and she has got other qualities.

Sittinonthefloor Thu 16-Jul-20 22:02:22

Umm, this isn’t a thing! Sometimes older siblings are protective but they don’t have to be, and with a smallish age gap they are more likely just to play together - a much nicer relationship than putting a load of responsibility on one and babying the other. I think there is potential for negative impacts if you push this idea.

daisypond Thu 16-Jul-20 22:02:53

I don’t think it’s right that the older should be protective of the younger. It may be that both need help in asserting themselves an learning how to handle tricky situations. What did you want the older one to do? The younger one may be naturally better at it.

xTinkerhellx Thu 16-Jul-20 22:06:36

She's her sister not her bodyguard.

A 6 year old is in no way responsible for another human. You should be teaching her to call out any violent behaviour towards anyone, yes, but to say she must have a sense of responsibility for a 4 year old in the playground is wrong.

anotheranxiousmum Thu 16-Jul-20 22:24:15

Interesting responses, and I can definitely see that perhaps it’s my own role and habits as an older sister that has formed some expectations. I was definitely my two younger sisters keepers but our age gap was a lot bigger so almost felt natural (but probably still not right)

Also interesting that majority of my friends with multiple kids use the word “protective” when describing their kids relationship so has naturally made me question my girls ways. DD2 is a strong cookie anyway so probably doesn’t need “protecting” by her sister as some of you have pointed out.

Thanks for responses.

OP’s posts: |
daisypond Thu 16-Jul-20 22:36:49

I’m an older sister, but my younger sister tended to be protective of me. I wasn’t protective of her, really, and that was down to my own personality and anxiousness, even as a young child. I wish I had had help in learning to manage things better.

HunkyPunk Thu 16-Jul-20 22:38:19

So, you observed another child treating your 4 year old in a way which you thought required some intervention, and instead of you, the adult and parent, intervening, you expected your 6 year old to do so? hmm

YABU, even if this isn't 'AIBU'!

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