Okay guys I really need some input here
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|Fri, 10-24-2003 - 3:54pm|
I am starting to have some SERIOUS problems with my children. And I dont know if this is normal sibling behavior/rivalry or what, but its driving me nuts.
My children are 8 years apart in age-dd is 12 and ds is 4. Dd, as most of you know, is dh's child from a prev relationship, and I adopted her when she was 10. She and I have a pretty good relationship-more or less normal mother-daughter for the most part. And she is a good kid, gets decent grades, seldom disrespectful or rude, usually does her part to help around the house, etc.
The problem is that she treats ds terribly. She teases him, makes fun of him, gets him worked up to the point of hysteria, and then when we call her on it she says she *always* gets in trouble when *he* is the one crying and acting up. I've tried to talk to her about the general mentality of 4yo's-they dont get jokes and teasing like we do, they get frustrated easily, etc. I've told her he really looks up to her and its important that she try to be kind to him. I've tried just ignoring it. I am at my wits end.
I know there is a jealousy issue. She thinks we favor ds. And yes, in some ways we might-but simply because he is the baby and is going to require more time and attention. I've tried explaining this to her, make special efforts that she gets one on one with both dh and I, even give her special priviledges as being the oldest.
And looking at it from a psychology pov, I think she has issues because ds is being given a childhood she never had (heck, that many of us never had! We joke he is the baby with the silver spoon!). Maybe she feels kind of cheated that her early years were so bad (and they were VERY bad) and that translates into resentment of ds. She is also a very clingy and needy child, she *hangs* on me and I often have to gently disengage her from me physically-I have a pretty big personal space and she intrudes on it constantly. I dont mean to make her feel rejected, but she is just over the top sometimes. Ds isnt that way at all, he is more like me and reserved. I know she gets upset because he doesnt always want her hugging and kissing on him, I've tried to explain it to her but she still takes it personally.
I remember hating my little brothers, so maybe it is somewhat normal. But I always thought that I felt that way because so much of their care was forced on me-I was the built in babysitter for many years. We've never done that to dd, in fact the other day I was so upset at how she was treating ds that I told her that as much as she claims to want to babysit for us (we've discussed her babysitting for pay), that the way things are right now I didnt feel like I could trust her (yes I know, the wrong thing to say. I was just soooo frustrated!).
If anyone has any insight or advice, any ideas of something I might be missing, please let me know.