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Does your older child dominate, and inhibit younger sibling's development?

(5 Posts)
cornflakemum Fri 17-Oct-08 13:49:01

I know that having an older sibling can help a younger child 'grow up' but in our case I think it's actually having the reverse effect.

Ds2 is 9 and is very strong/ dominant/ bossy even when he thinks he's being 'helpful'...

Ds2 is 6, and is quieter, not so confident, and struggles a bit more academically so e.g. takes a bit longer to grasp/ understand things.

I'm worried that DS2 just lets his big brother do everything for him. He doesn't bother to read things for himself - asks DS1; doesn't know how to work the TV/DVD/computer 'cos DS1 is always around to do it etc.

I think it also affects his personal self-esteem, as he compares himself to his brother, and gives up when he can't compete sad.

Meanwhile, DS1 can be mean, and often jumps in with answers to things we ask DS2, or 'speaks for' DS2 (who tends to get flustered, and stuck etc).

Just wondering what to do/ how to handle, as I really think DS2 needs to become more independent of his brother?

SixSpotBonfire Fri 17-Oct-08 13:50:50

Sounds like you need to carve out some things that are DS2's that he doesn't share with DS1.

Have you got someone who could look after DS1 while you take DS2 to a different activity, or whatever?

SixSpotBonfire Fri 17-Oct-08 16:48:25

Sorry, I've killed your thread! Come on everyone, join in!

Bink Fri 17-Oct-08 16:53:13

Hello SSB.
Well, given that my younger one dominates and speaks for my older one ...

Cornflake - presumably you've had a word or two with ds1, to ask for his help? - ie to try not to step in? Ds2 probably looks up to him, too - perhaps ds1 could think of something to praise ds2 for or let ds2 take the lead on? That might be the shift in the dynamic that is particularly needed

luckylady74 Fri 17-Oct-08 16:53:25

Good advice from ssb.
Do you also stamp down firmly on ds1 when he jumps in with answers? We have very clear rules with our 3 as they'd all speak over each other if they could.
Your ds1 could help nurture ds2 too couldn't he. Challenge him to actually teach ds2 something rather than just do it for him.
Could you do some self esteem work on how we're all good at different things (emotional, practical, academic, whatever) and so ds1 is good at.. and you are good at..
Imo really going ott about how good they are at something does make it sink in in the end!

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