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Treating siblings so differently

(6 Posts)
Clare123 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:38:47

I was wondering if you could give me some persepctive. My cousin has 2 children, a boy and a girl, and the eldest has adhd and odd. He can be a very difficult child. He is 8. They also have a little girl who has just turned 2. I am very close to my cousin, by I am starting to worry about how different she is to each child. The 8 year old is a hand full (and more than that at times), but also can be loving and kind. Unfortunately, my cousin seems to just focus on the little girl saying how lovely she is - and how life is easy when the eldest is not around. She dotes on the little one, and only really stops to tell the eldest off.

Is this usual when you have one child with behavioural problems and one child without?

I would not have a clue how to approach her about this, but if you have insight I would be very intersted to hear it.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Mon 19-Oct-09 17:31:29

I have 2 boys, DS1 is 5.11 and has Autism. DS2 is 13 months (appears NT at present).
DS1 can also be a bit of a handful, but I don't treat my boys differently. DS1 is such a loving, affectionate child. He is actually laying beside me on the sofa now having a cuddle, while DS2 eats his tea!! grin

I'm not sure if you can approach her about it. I'd be really hurt if someone told me that they thought I favoured one over the other. Maybe she doesn't realise she's doing it. Difficult one!

catkinq Mon 19-Oct-09 17:38:45

I think that many parents with an 8 year old and a 2 year old could do this - irresective of any SNs. It is just that 2 year olds tend to be cuter - I know that it sounds silly but I think that we are designed to do this - in the "wild" a 2 year old would need almost constant attention whilst an 8 year old would probably be off playing at huntign or something - in many countries the 2 year old would be still breast feeding whilst the 8 year old may be working. I'm not at all trying to say that what she is doin gis right - just that it may be nothign to do with his SNs - sh emay just prefer toddlers to older children.

HelensMelons Mon 19-Oct-09 18:42:21

I wouldn't say that it's 'usual' Clare but it can happen.

My ds2 is asd/adhd and he can be a real handful - sometimes so much energy is directed at dealing with him that I just need my other two dc's to behave.

I try not to make a difference in the family, however, he has slightly amended rules because he has slighted different needs and understanding. That can, sometimes, seem unfair to the other two but an explanation normally helps.

Does your cousin let you focus your attention on the little boy whilst you are there so that she can spend some time with her daughter?

It sounds like a very tricky situation, and perhaps, your instinct is right - a big help would probably be that mum has some time to herself. Quality time not spent cleaning. I don't know how easy that would be to facilite.

HelensMelons Mon 19-Oct-09 18:43:05

that should say 'facilitate'. Keep being interrupted by ds1 doing homework x

mysonben Mon 19-Oct-09 21:13:14

Her preference may or may not have something to do with her ds's sn.
I know someone who does prefer one of her children noticably and this is to do with gender. She prefers boys and was disappointed to have a dd and not another boy.

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