Sibilings wars

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SmallTownMom, May 2, 2012.

  1. SmallTownMom

    SmallTownMom New Member

    Why is it that when my easy child wants to play my difficult child doesn't want anything to do with him, and when my difficult child wants to play my easy child doenst' want to. Either way my difficult child gets so upset. My easy child seems to go out of the way to annoy his brother. I have talked to him in the past regarding his brother and how he processes information.
    Today when I picked up my difficult child from school he was in an angry space, I have learnt that when he is in these moods I leave him be until he is ready to talk. After picking up my easy child from his school my difficult child asked from the back seat if we could turn off the radio because he was feeling "stresses" and needed the quiet. I was so pleased that he was able to understand what he needed and was also able to communicate with us. My easy child then proceedes to sing loudly enough for us all to hear. A meltdown was on the verge. I again talked to my easy child and explained to him how proud I was of my difficult child that he told us what he needed, we needed to respect his needs. My easy child said he understood, but I see the resentment in his eyes.
     
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, you know how it's common parenting to give difficult children rewards fro doing what your difficult child just did? I think in your house, you might want to start rewarding easy child every time he respects a boundary difficult child was able to articulate to keep from melting down. AND if easy child can't respect it, easy child should get some sort of consequence even though it normally would not be a consequence type behavior - like the singing. Turn around is fair play though. If difficult child starts doing something particularly annoying to easy child, and easy child clearly (ie nicely) articulates the boundary. Then difficult child has to respect it.

    Yes, I've done this before in my home. There's 4 of us and we all have our issues. If any of us is able to articulate a need to keep from blowing, then the others MUST respect that boundary. The kids are so used to it now that all I need to do is offer a gentle reminder.

    The whole point of this is to calmly identify the problem and use coherent words to express a need. Even in a house of only PCs, what you're hearing is quit it, STOP, shut up, Moooooooooooooooooooooooooom he's annoyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. The above plan trains everyone to use better communication skills.
     
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... some of the triggers might be extreme, but the overall theme? Pretty much in normal range. Sibling rivalry is NOT new, and not at all limited to homes with a difficult child.

    Can I suggest a different approach? Ignore the symptoms, and make a different assumption: Assume that each of them is not getting enough of YOU. This is tougher to do as a single parent, but... probably even more important. It takes time to get them used to this, but have one kid be occupied by grandparents, or other consistent people (not babysitters... this is not punishment) while YOU take the other one for a relationship-building activity. Plan what work for each kid, separately. Just make sure the activity is something you both enjoy (or he enjoys and you don't mind), AND allows for interaction. Going to a movie or a concert doesn't count. A sporting event, might. Going out for coffee. Taking a long walk. Something interactive.

    Focus on building trust and relationship between each of them, and YOU. What you're doing is teaching them about relationships... and it DOES affect their relationship with each other.
     
  4. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Hi, I'm with InsaneCnd on this one. We all, due to necessity, give a lot more of our time and energy to our difficult child. I know how overwhelmed I feel with the events that circle around my difficult child, I imagine that my 12yr old easy child feels all of that plus she doesn't have the experience and the maturity (haha) that I do. Even if she knows, even if she understands, she won't always be able to do what we may need her to do in order to help prevent triggering a meltdown in difficult child. So often our easy child children do a lot to help the difficult child to get through the day, but it goes unrecognized by us. They need us to: first, acknowledge when their behaviour, compliance, whatever, helps to diffuse a situation, and second, they need our attention sometimes just because they too have to deal with difficult child sibling and they need a break and to know that they are important too.

    Giving your easy child some one on one time, could be as easy as putting 9 yr old to bed at usual time on a Sat. but have a secret plan with easy child to pop some popcorn and watch a movie of his choice together. This gives him both time with you and a special privilege of staying up later than usual. Don't forget to let him know that you are aware of how much he tries and how much you appreciate his efforts.
     
  5. SmallTownMom

    SmallTownMom New Member

    Thanks to all your ideas, I do have people that have offered to help and would take/play with difficult child while I spend time with easy child .... BUT leaving him with any of them will cause a complete meltdown. The only person he like to spend time with on occasion is his Gma, but she lives 2 hours away. She is great and tries to take him once a month and she will also take my easy child once a month, but on seperate weekends. That way we both have our "special" time with the kids.
     
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