8 yo easy child acting up because 10 yo difficult child getting attn

My 8 yo easy child daughter has been acting up for about three months now. She used to be mild, tender-hearted, quick to laugh, inquisitive and patient. Now, she cries every. single. day, talks back, throws tantrums, refuses to obey and tells me she hates me on a daily basis. We do employ consequences such as taking iPad time away, etc., and we are consistent.

I know every child and family is different, but is there usually a point when siblings get fed up with the difficult sibling? Tired of all of the attention that difficult child receives? Is there a point when the once-compassionate child just gives up and starts to act out?

ETA: My husband and I do spend lots of one-on-one time with 8 yo daughter. We are not ignoring her, yet she accuses us of this constantly. She also seems to think I'm going to leave her. If I go to the grocery store, or Starbucks on my own, just for an hour, she FREAKS OUT. She is begging to be homeschooled, but I just can't do it next year. It just won't work.

Wiped Out

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I do think there can come a time when a sibling gets fed up with a difficult sibling. My easy child/difficult child has been fed up with her brother for years. Whether the acting out was due to him or was just her I am not sure. We did make sure she received counseling because dealing with a difficult sibling can affect kiddos a lot.


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Sounds like something traumatic to her (may not seem traumatic to you) is going on at school. That would be where I'd look first. Mean girls, fight with friend, mean teacher, abusive classmate...one she is afraid of and wont' tell on...that's what it sounds like to me and where I'd explore first if it were my kid. I'd ask her outright if something bad happened at school or on the way to school. Tell her you won't be angry if she tells you. It is sometimes hard to get this sort of stuff out of kids that age because they think that it will be even worse if they tell.

She could be using her sibling as as cover up for her real fear. She doesn't seem to want you to go away from her.

Has she ever seen a therapist? I have a daughter who was sexually assaulted at age eight in a friend's hosue and she did not tell us until she was fourteen. I doubt your problem is as extreme as this, but I do think something has changed to make her suddenly be clingy when she wasn't this way before. And I do know that kids can be very secretive.
in a nutshell-yes.
its partially why I have 2 difficult child's.

daughter may or may not have had her own issues prior to (they would have been so much more minor, and she surely wouldn't have been "labeled" with anything), but once DS got injured and severely death-bed ill, she hit rock bottom. she was slightly older than your daughter and there were school issues with a disasterous classroom/curriculum piled on top of home issues. I didn't really think DS had any impact on her, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

she is also reaaaally attached to me and full of anxiety when i'm not here....this part has gotten *much* better just with age and maturity, but it isn't perfect yet.

if I could turn back the clock I would have had her in counseling the second things went south with my DS...and I am not a huge fan of counseling.

ultimately she did end up in counseling and on medications and is doing amazing. there is hope.

take your daughter seriously. she's telling you something is up...listen. I know how overwhelming it is to deal with both of them, especially when they have very different need, but she needs you too. (oh, and I also thought we spent plenty of quality time with her at the time. looking back, probably not so much).

you may also want to investigate if you have sibshops in your area...it might help for her meet other kids in similar situations.

anxiety is a beast--it should be taken seriously. (((HUGS))) to both of you.