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Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


Sibling relationships

6 replies

17leftfeet · 28/05/2014 07:21

I have 2 dds aged 10&13

They've never been particularly close but in the last 6 months their relationship has deteriorated

Everything my 10 yo does seems to wind up my 13 yo from breathing to the programs she watches on tv

Sometimes the winding up is deliberate, sometimes it's just existing

My 13yo is getting increasingly verbally aggressive towards her sister

Punishments don't work such as taking her phone away -it just escalates things
If I tell her she can't go out she doesn't care

They both have their own rooms but both prefer to be in the living room

Sometimes they get along fine, will laugh at YouTube together etc but the number of hostile incidents is increasing

Do I just ride it out hoping they both come out of their teenage years alive or can I do something about this?

OP posts:
LaMamita · 28/05/2014 16:33

You know your daughters and before any action is required you need some observation time/ This will take more than 10 minutes... Set a couple days of the week, put them in your calendar and prepare yourself to observe. You can even make notes or record your thoughts of what you see. See this as an objective outsider's exercise. You can choose to concentrate on one in one day and on the other another day. Add observation days as necessary.
Then analyze what you saw: what's going on around the house when problems start?, are there events that point to an upcoming quarrel? do you see tension rises at some times? how long are quarrels, how do they end? are issues "retaken" later on? make a list of good and bad attitudes at specific events. All these notes will come pretty hand later on. Bear with me here...
Remember you are looking to solve SPACIFIC problems. You need to identify them first.
Then you have a talk with your girls. Have a nice breakfast on a Saturday and tell them you will spend a couple hours together talking. Before you beging set some simple rules. You will talk, take turns and respect each other. Then bring the issue of them having problems communicating and fighting too much. Take turns and let them talk. Then take out your observations and share them. let them react.
Tell them just NOW that the next half of this meeting will be ONLY to discuss ways to solve these problems. They had chance to ventilate issues so it is solving ideas time.
It is important to ask them for specific ideas on how YOU as a parent can help them. Be ready to take some of the responsibility and blame. You can also come up with solutions with respect on how to mend ytour mistakes.
Don't expect this to be a perfect meeting, see it as a necessary meeting. Before you finish set another date for your follow up meeting. Let them add issues to the agenda.
DON'T THINK THIS IS TOO HARD, TIME CONSUMING OR A WASTE OF TIME. IT IS NOT. As adults we put most of my energy and efforts in work, bills and what not... and just hope family issues will "resolve" or go away on their own. THEY WILL NOT. Take these as your project and you will see great results. By the time your girls are adults at least they won't be able to say you did not try.

I will be praying for you and your family. if you want to join me in prayer, set some time to pray next Monday May 2nd at 7:00pm ET.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie · 28/05/2014 16:39

No advice sorry but maybe I can offer you a light at the end of the tunnel... My sister and I hated each other so much it actually descended into physical fights on more than 1 occasion. There's two years between us and we had to share a room so there was no relief for any of us.

Now she is my best friend.

LaMamita · 28/05/2014 17:11

sorry June 2nd ;)

17leftfeet · 28/05/2014 18:34

While I respect your choice in prayer, it's not a view a share -but thank you for your comments.
I've done conflict resolution at work before with me acting as mediator and hasn't thought about doing it at home

They've been lovely together all day today and are currently cooperating beautifully while they make tea


OP posts:
MomBestJobEver · 29/05/2014 18:09

Hi 17leftfeet! (Former LaMamita- I like this new nickname better).

I understand, but can't ever leave the prayer aspect out. I find myself to be ill suited to solve most of my problems on my own in an adequate long-lasting way. Prayer and faith, for me have been the key and just had to share. One can only share what one has, I did not want to sound imposing at all.

Your girls are lucky you have the skills and the self-confidence to help them. I really wish things work out for you and them.

Flexly · 29/05/2014 21:19

Also wanted to add my sister and I hated each other for years. We're 2 and a half years apart and from around age of 12 (me) there was rarely a day without a screaming confrontation. This continued all the way to our early twenties, though perhaps not the screaming. But honestly now, I couldn't live without her, we've been the best of friends ever since. Hormones may have a lot to do with it but really, try not to stress about it too much. x

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