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DD caught out being mean to baby brother

(21 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:12:26

DD (nearly 8) is the middle child. She adores her baby brother (nearly 2). She can't do enough for him,

A couple of times recently, DH or I have caught her being horrible to him. DH heard her shouting at him - pulled her up on it of course. Today I saw her go up to him, take him by the elbows and shake him slightly while admonishing him strongly (couldn't hear the words). He had done nothing to annoy her - I had been watching them.

I have obviously told her off in no uncertain terms for the shaking, and asked her why. Got the blank face and the "dunno." I asked what he had done that had upset her - no response. [I do think she is tired].

Eventually I reminded her that I expected her to say sorry and that she would not do it again, which she did. I said that I loved her and she is my darling, loving girl who is always kind (which she is) and it upset me to see her doing something so horrible. And she started to cry.

It worries me so much to see her doing something so out of character. I said to DH that it's almost as if she is "trying out bullying to see how it feels."

She loves being helpful and is always looking after DS2 for me. Is it possible I am letting her look after him too much, so that she resents him?

Any ideas?

allaboutme Wed 02-Sep-09 21:19:56

Perhaps she is trying to take on all the aspects of looking after your DS and emulating you? You must tell him off sometimes if he is naughty...
If she is normally really kind and is often looking after DS then it does sound like it could be some kind of role playing thing/playing Mummy

Umlellala Wed 02-Sep-09 21:22:25

I know my 3 year old does this. She just very, very occasionally does something to ds just because she can. Generally, she is the loveliest, kindest big sister ever.

I wonder whether they need to be allowed to be a crap big sister sometimes, and NOT share and be cross. I think I have too high expectations of her sometimes. So yes, maybe we are expecting them to help too much. We should all be allowed to have off days...

It is great she is such a lovely big sister - try not to let one incident overshadow many many more instances of lovely behaviour. As before, none of us should be expected to be perfect, least of all children!

glitteryb6 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:22:26


this will sound extreme but my older sister once tried to drown me when i was about 4, she pushed me in a pond (i'm still scared of deep water) and when i told my mum she had pushed me i was told not to say bad things about my sister!

Many years later we were all standing in the kitchen when she suddenly said "do you remember when i tried to kill you?", "yeah i was jealous that you got all the attention and i wanted you gone!"

i turned to my mum and said "see i told you!"

vindicated at last and sister cuffed round the ear! grin

not suggesting your daughter would do anything of the sort but wee minds think differently IYKWIM

dont think my sister actually wanted me dead (well at least i hope not!) but in that moment something made her think it would be better if i wasnt there sad

Umlellala Wed 02-Sep-09 21:23:30

Oh yes, my friend's dd does the roleplaying Mummy thing and tells her db 'I said NO' smile

glitteryb6 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:24:52

actually allaboutme makes perfect sense! ignore my post blush

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:30:23

Well glittery that's exactly what I worry about. sad for you.

I am the youngest of three and my sisters were both horrible to me, though we all love each other now. The middle one was the worst. I once fell down the stairs as a small child; a couple of years later she told me she had pushed me because she wanted to kill me.

Upset and scared, I told my Mum. Also the youngest of three girls, she said "oh, don't worry, your Auntie XX was always trying to kill me"

As I have boy-girl-boy I thought this wouldn't be the case with my DCs.

I must ask DD if she feels jealous. But at the same time I do not want to use my bad memories of childhood to make her seem some sort of monster, the worst she has done is some very gentle shaking.

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:32:51

allaboutme, I hope that's the case, although I don't think I do anything physical. But then, kids do show their feelings physically, don't they.

glitteryb6 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:35:50

oh dear! not just me then, i posted then thought no it couldnt be that and didnt want to upset you!

Do you think girls are sometimes like this as they get all the attention then when some younger "competition" comes along they find it hard to deal with?

dont know how you would deal with it and thankfully it was a one off with my sister.

sad for your mum too, that must have been horrible for her

Heated Wed 02-Sep-09 21:41:00

It's sometimes a bit of a shock when our lovely children aren't lovely!

And I was vile to my younger brother, truly vile, but we were much closer in age than your two & there was some parental favouritism. So I think maybe she is acting out or, if she is jealous, she's old enough to talk about it with a bit of encouragement. But she still is lovely smile

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:42:46

Thing is my eldest sister has but one child whom she indulges (IMO) to a ridiculous degree, as when she herself was a child her various problems tended to be ignored or brushed over as she was the eldest of 3.

My middle sister seems to have sailed through it all. It was always me and her against older sis, or older sis and her against me. She doesn't seem to have any probs at all.

I worry that I am too protective of the youngest child of 3, because I was the youngest child of 3. And that perhaps the reason that I copped it so much might have been because my sisters sensed our Mum was more protective of me, because she was also the youngest child of 3.

God, it's so hard to get it right.

I think I had better go back to basics and praise her to the skies for the 23 hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds in every day when she's utterly wonderful to him.

Tortington Wed 02-Sep-09 21:43:05

isn't that what brothers and sisters do

crankytwanky Wed 02-Sep-09 21:43:12

Balloon, you have just described my two!grin

DD is always quick to tell us when DS hits her, but we recently found her shouting in his face and pushing him over. In fact, yesterday I walked into the living room to see what they were up to, walked out, then straight back only to find them in the same positions, except with DS horizontal, still playing with his toy! DD couldn't answer or look me in the eye when I asked if she had pushed him.
Mind you, he bites her when we think we're not watching!

I think she is jealous of the attention he gets, and is fed up with being the sensible one.

I think I need to be seen disciplining DS, and have been trying to be more fair, but it's hard, as you know with a 20 month old.

I will watch this thread keenly!

glitteryb6 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:46:22

i wonder if it could be that she had six years of being the youngest and the novelty of a baby brother is wearing off, although i agree with Heated she is old enough to have a chat with about it and maybe you could turn it into a "protective big sister" thing?

like she has a very important job to do in looking after her wee brother?

seeker Wed 02-Sep-09 21:46:27

The think that helped my dd (also usually the loveliest and kindest of big sisters) was if I said something that let her know that I found her little brother a bit of a pain sometimes too. I used to do a big theatrical sigh sometimes when he cried and say "Oh dear, he's crying again - hang on, I'll go and sort him out and then we'll do something more interesting together." Or words to that effect. It was a way of acknowledging that having the occasional negative feeling was OK, and that if Mum felt like that it was OK for her to as well.

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:48:46

I dunno Custy!

DS1 and DD are incredibly close and loving. People have always said how much they love each other (in tones that suggest it's unusual).

Come to think of it, DS1 and DD do occasionally push and shove nowadays.

"DS1 hit me."
"Well, she said she hated me."

And vice versa

Maybe she thinks she can treat DS2 the same way as DS1?

I think I have rose-tinted glasses re siblinghood from my two eldest. Maybe they are the exeption and my childhood the norm.

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:50:34

Oh I think they know I find him a pain sometimes grin

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Sep-09 21:55:26

Also, we give them (the older DCs) a LOT of reinforcement when they are kind to DS2 and each other.

So the fact that this sort of behaviour is furtive suggests that a) she knows it's wrong (which is good I suppose) and b) that it's how she really feels and the other stuff is fake.

I'm over-thinking this, aren't I?

Heated Wed 02-Sep-09 22:27:08

Or just momentarily she didn't like him/ felt jealous or was just being nasty, as ALL children are at some point. It can even feel rather thrilling but it doesn't mean she's been masking her feelings about her younger brother all the rest of the time - she'd have to be a good actress to do that!

Seeker makes a good point about acknowledging sympathetically that you can have those feelings but not always acting on them.

Umlellala Thu 03-Sep-09 07:01:42

Yes, what Heated and Seeker said is I think what I was trying to articulate ... it's ok to feel like this sometimes, not ok to act on it.

hettie Thu 03-Sep-09 09:19:45

if it's in the back of your mind that you may be letting her "look after" him then I would be inclined to have a a good look at whether that might be the case... The next bit comes with a warning as it was my own persoal expereince (and may not resonate with you). I was 5 years older than my bro, and there was an unspoken thing where I would be expected to entertain and look out for my bro quite a bit. It actauly made me very resentful and I was at times phsysicaly rough with him. It would wind me up having a toddler at my heels all the time and I couldn't cope with it. Think about it- as adults we find toddlers ver demanding and sometimes snap..... an eight year old is simply not equiped to deal with it (and she didn't sign up to care for him). So if you leave them playing together or ask her to keep and eye on him in the playground all the time it might back fire.....

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