Okay guys I really need some input here

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Okay guys I really need some input here
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Fri, 10-24-2003 - 3:54pm
I know this isnt a parenting board, but I value the opinions here, so I thought this would be the best place to ask.

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.

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 4:08pm
I think some of it might just be sibling issues. Mine are five years apart and Zak, the oldest, gets jealous of Alex. He told me last night that I say Alex's name more than his. It is true-my defense is that Alex is a toddler and I am usually saying Alex, no.

I have noticed, though, that Zak is a mirror image of me personality wise. He could not keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it. He is also stubborn, independent and a perfectionist. Way too much like me. I have a tendency to talk harshly to him sometimes because I think I know what he is thinking and I know what he is capable of doing. I expect more out of him.

I always speak softly to Alex and give him alot of kisses and hugs. He is at that cuddly stage. I am trying very hard to cuddle with Zak and speak to him more.

My point-perhaps you are parenting them differently which is natural but DD is feeling left out of the bond between you and DS. Perhaps she needs to talk to a neutral source about her fears and her relationship with the rest of the family. What does your DH think?

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 4:35pm
Is she at the beginning of puberty here?

My family still teases me about what they refer to as, "24 months of PMS" between the age of 12-13.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 5:06pm
wow, sounds like my house when all of my kids were home. my ds1 still tries to tease ds2 occasionally, but i can tell him to go home, hang up on him and block him out of i.m.LOL.

this however, is not the case with your situation. your dd probably does have *some* issues about her childhood, compared to ds's, but who doesnt have issues. nobody has a perfect life, and shes going to have to get over it eventually, and probably will. the teasing to hysteria sounds to me like normal sibling rivalry. ask my sister. we teased her unmercifully, because i think, she was the quiet one who would cry easily and our brother and i werent. kids always seem to prey on the meak and mild ones. when ds1 *was* living home, he did do this to my ds2, and actually, i have no solutions except to seperate them as often as possible. i do know my dd and ds2 loved each other to death until she turned 15, and all of a sudden *he* was stupid.....LOL. sounds like hormones to me and maybe that is what is triggering these issues. maybe counseling would help and maybe it wont, but 90% of the time, i think it "all comes out in the wash". when dd says she is *always* getting in trouble, and you are sure she instigated the issue, maybe she should be told she *always* instigates him, and she is going to get in trouble. perhaps she should do an experiment, and stay away from ds. she might not *always* get in trouble. shes just pushing your buttons with that one.

good luck dj. all i can tell you is, you're in lots of good company. it will stop when she goes to college, and/or moves out. tee-hee. sorry. but im just speaking from experience.

Avatar for mjdphd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 5:21pm
Siblings just know how to push each others buttons. I have four kids aged 12, 11, 8, and 7. The oldest and youngest are boys, the two middle ones are girls. The older two know exactly what to say to make the younger two start screaming. And it could be for no apparent reason, just because they can. My 11 dd is the sweetest person in the world to everybody but her own sister. My oldest still likes to be held and cuddled but he is 5'4 and 165 pounds. I can still carry my 7 yo so the older one gets mad and says that I love the little one more than him. Kids are always going to get jealous if they perceive that a sibling gets a little more in the way of attention or things than they do. I try to make everything fair, but it is difficult. The only thing that I can do, besides telling them that life in general is not fair, is to makes sure that I spend some one on one time with each child and make sure that I do something special for each child.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 5:31pm
I always knew how to push my sisters buttons. Still do...she is afraid of everything so, when we were children, I would run upstairs and make sounds. She would always fall for it and get scared someone was upstairs. I would also refuse to stay near her during a storm-she is scared of them and she would always ask me to sleep in her bedroom. I was so mean and I am the youngest. Even now, when I am bored, I will call her and tell her about some exotic disease because she is a hypochondriac. So far, she has thought she had pneumatic plague, bubonic plague, hepatitis, arthitis, a heart condition and several tumors. She called me once to ask about DH's symptoms because she was scared she had a brain tumor. I told her to request a MRI and a CAT scan. Yes, I am mean and evil.

When I was really little-three or four-I would bite my arm and tell my mother that my sister did it. She, of course, would say that she didn't and she would get in trouble for lying and for biting me. Mom found me out, though, so I got in trouble.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for mjdphd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 6:45pm
Yeah, I used to torture my sisters also. Really, only one of them because the other one did not react. Whenever my mother cooked lamb, I would hid her favorite stuffed lamb and say that my mother cooked it for dinner. She got hysterical. For some reason, it worked for many years. I think I also used to tell her that she was adopted. I feel kind of bad now because she still remembers more of what I did to her than I do. It was just kid stuff. But, yes, kids know how to push each other buttons.
Avatar for bobcatkathi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 10:34pm
I actually think it is very normal. Regardless of the fact that she isn't your biological child, she obviously loves you very much and you have a strong maternal love for her as well. Girls that age are so moody and unpredictable. The age difference is a major issue but completely normal. Make sure you continue to do only mom and daughter things with her that make her feel special and at the same time remind her that the baby at the time gets the most attention. My children are 13 months apart and they are so jealous of each other, despite the fact that I have completely devoted my life to them and they have never had to compete for my attention. My DD complains all the time that I favor my DS. DS complains that I buy more junk for DD. They fuss and fight all the time. Verbally only for the most part. I just think fussing and fighting and be jealous is completely normal for all children. Your DD sounds normal to me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 12:12pm
Thank you, and thanks to all others who responded. I feel a little better about this now! I think when it comes to dd, I tend to overanalyze and I worry about every little thing. She didnt have the easiest start to her little life and I tend to try to *fix* everything with her, and I always worry that she is going to think I dont love her as much as I love ds because she isnt mine biologically (which is completely untrue of course).

Now if I can just learn to ignore their nonsense, lol!!!

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 12:51pm
I have to agree here. Especially about you bugging me when we were kids.

Seriously, it does sound a lot like sibling rivalry, but I'll bet DJ's DD does have some problems dealing with how she was raised early on. I'd consider counseling as well. Sounds like DD has problems dealing with her early years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 9:55pm
Hey DJ FWIW, my sister and I still push each others buttons and we're 28! It does sound like completely normal (albeit irritating as hell) sibling rivalry w/hormones thrown in for good measure (my family still talks about what a PITA I was as a teen), but if you're that worried about DDs early childhood, I don't think counselling would be uncalled for.

GL! Christi

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