Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sibling rivalry already?!

Our 5 year old has just started Kindergarten this week and our 2 1/2 year old has just started this week being very vocal and adding to the rivalry between them when she is home. I am thinking he is feeling a little topsy turvy with her being gone in the mornings. It is a strange week for both of them and for us. What do you do when you can't stand the whining, arguing, screaming, etc that they do when they are "playing" in the living room? I separate them and put them in different time out areas and have to repeat that over and over. I try to tell my oldest that she should be the big sister. I know it is hard for them both to adjust to this new schedule. Any advice on how to get them to play better together would be hair will be turning white shortly if this continues.....:)


BandK said...

It's so hard when you have a younger brother, so I sympathize with your daughter. Part of the problem is that he wants to be with her and gets into her things, which she doesn't appreciate, and he's too young to understand why.

Just a suggestion, from my experience as a big sister. When we were growing up, my mom always told me to "be the big sister" because I was older and I should "know better." I always felt like I got in trouble for everything that my little brother did, because I should take the high road as a big sister. I remember feeling that it was very unfair.

For instance, I bought a much-coveted Skipper doll with hard earned and saved money. It was one of the first ones to come out with bendable legs (oh yes, I am old. This was in the mid-60s and I must have been about 6 or 7. My little brother, who was 3 or 4, came up as I opened the box and I took out my Skipper. I remember being so excited! He grabbed the Skipper doll because he wanted to see it. I hadn't had it out of the box more than 30 seconds, and I wanted to play with it for a bit before letting him look at it. Well, when he grabbed, I pulled, and the legs broke at the "joint" of the bendable legs. I was heartbroken. My mom got mad at ME, because I was "old enough to know better" than to pull when he was pulling, and that I should have just let him see it for a minute, then I could have had it back and none of this would have happened. So the reason the doll was broken, was MY FAULT, according to my mom. She didn't make him say sorry or anything. To me, that was so wrong of my mom.

So the moral of my story? Don't let your daughter carry the burden for being a "big girl." Expect her to act her age, and make sure that blame is laid where it belongs.

My two cents, anyway! :-)

the wallys said...

Actually I was the oldest sister in my family too. No we aren't getting mad at her for things he does. We are pretty observant of that especially since both of us were older children and always got in trouble for what our younger siblings do. I guess it is just that they feed off of each other and she needs to know that she is older and shouldn't be acting like her brother who is only 2. There are lots of times that he gets in just depends on the day. I love both of them so much but it really gets on my nerves when they are not getting along. I know it is a sibling thing and even this shall pass away as they get older....just have to pick my battles.

Amy said...

One interesting idea I've heard is to stop telling them to stop fighting. Instead tell them if they're going to fight they can do it out on the back porch (hopefully its cold or hot outside) or some other undesirable place- garage, whatever. Supposedly this will be so shocking that they will just stand out there and stare at each other and wonder if you've gone batty. :) For extra effect you could give them band aids and cold packs and tell them to take care of any injuries they receive, since you're too busy to help.

I've never tried this so if you do, let us know how it works! :)

the wallys said...

Am reading Have A New Kid By Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. It is how to change your child's attitude, behavior and character....also gives you hints such as say what you want, turn your back and walk away (do something else)...let them think you don't care about the attitude and it will deflate. I have been doing that and it has been working. Will keep you updated on the process. Highly recommend the book. Got if off of Dr. Dobson's website.