easy child Therapists advise

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    OK so the easy child suffers from anxiety and eating issues. None of them are severe just concerning and they stress her out so I thought it would be good for her to go to a therapist and discuss some coping mechanisms. Plus with the difficult child constantly taking out her anger on everyone I thought it would be good for the easy child to have a safe place to talk.

    Anyway long story short easy child and difficult child see the same therapist. He is telling easy child to stand up for herself and not let the difficult child run over her all the time. Of course this makes them constantly at each others throats. It has only been 12 hours since the appointment and I am ready to pull my hair out. I dont want to tell easy child to be a road bump for difficult child but having her argue with her sister every time the speak is definitely not helping my sanity.

    What do I do?
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I know where you are coming from. My easy child actually asked to go see the therapist after not going for over a year. I changed difficult child do a different one over a year ago - as the therapist they had been seeing attends our church, and difficult child was NOT going to admit to poor behavior to him. At church she is a different teen than at home. We have a lot of sibling rivalry... mostly from difficult child towards easy child and easy child would let things slide - until she would explode at difficult child. Even though she is 2 years younger than difficult child, she has more control and insight, but after a while would go for the jugular... with the most hurtful things she could say to her sister. Then her sister would have a meltdown. It is a vicious circle. And the more we get involved the worse things seemed to be. Luckily, for the most part, it hasn't gotten physical - any more than throwing a stuffed animal or throwing clothes around.

    Sometimes we give them both a time out, or restrict them from things they want to do. It is SO HARD... we love them both and hate to see them at odds. KSM
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I know exactly how you feel. We spent alot of time with easy child seeing the therapist so that he could learn to stand up for himself and not be difficult child's door mat, but that also brought about problems, because easy child would jump when difficult child told him to and it would cause this screaming fit towards easy child because he wasn't doing what difficult child expected him to do.

    I know that you want them to play and get along, but honestly, I try to keep them separated if I can. It's much calmer in the house when easy child is doing his own thing and difficult child is doing his own thing. When they are together I have to constantly listen to make sure that one isn't calling the other names, or who is hittng who (and believe me, sometimes easy child can be just as bad as difficult child).

    It's very hard being the sibling of a difficult child, especially a younger sibling, I think.
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    The only thing that worked for us, and we tried everything. Was to separate them. difficult child has improved over the years but as soon as they get a little loud, even when they are not fighting. husband becomes tense and gets that look on his face. Continued major stresser. I share your pain. Sometimes you have to let them go at it, and just leave yourself.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You nailed it, Bunny.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks, ICD. I've said this for many years. It's been very tough on easy child being the younger sibling. He absolutely worships his older brother and many times just can no understand why his brother is so mean and cruel to him. We've tried to explain it to him, but there are times when explanations just don't help. easy child gets hurt and my hearts breaks for him every time.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is incredibly hard to be a easy child younger sibling of a difficult child.

    I would not give up on therapy so fast. Yes, it is miserable right now. It will not magically get better. Your kids need you to set boundaries for their fighting, to teach them to deal with anger, rage and all of their emotions in a healthy way and NOT the way they are doing it right now.

    The kids also MUST learn how to fight. Yes, that does sound awful, but I am not talking about punching or hitting. I am talking about the rules for healthy fighting.

    You need to learn, practice and teach healthy fighting skills. Fighting/disagreeing is part of life and as parents we must prepare our kids for this. it is such an essential and common method/form/type of communication but we spend so very little time actually explaining the rules and WHY they are important. Some people get this the way they get other social cues, but many people never learn these rules.

    I strongly recommend doing some research on sibling abuse. Yes, kids can and do abuse each other. It isn't a topic people discuss openly, but it is a real problem for many people. There are some great books on amazon about it or you might find them at the library.

    I would monitor the fights to the point that f they got quiet or certain tones of voice (ones that show one of them is close to losing it or hurting the other or being hurt). If someone is hurt, then you need to separate them. If this is over a household rule, then you are the boss and final word. Problems between then? if they get too upset, then consider mediating.

    One thing that my mom did wth every kid on our street was to make us do more than just mumble "sorry" and shake hands. At our house if you got into a fight or argument, all parties had to sit quietly n different areas until we were all calm. Once we were sitting calmly, my mom would tell us that we would each get a turn to tell our side, but we had to sit and listen with-o commenting or arguing while the other kids were talking. We each said our piece and usually we all saw how silly we were and we made up. During our turn we could not raise our voice, call other people names, say nasty things to each other, or use the words 'always' and 'never'. Those words have no place in a fight because neither one is true. To her enormous credit, my mother did not take sides, not even when gfgbro was the one causing the problem. This didn't make the kids not want to spend time at our house and for a lot of us this was the reason why. Sure we had popular outside things to do/play with, but those were never the biggest draw. We all were pretty sure that my mom wouldn't let things disintegrate into big fights.

    Here are some websites with good rules for fighting:

    This article not only has advice to help parents handle fights, but if you scroll down it has some questions to see if you jump in to mediate every time they argue. The article explains why it is so important for kids to learn to fight in a healthy way and it has tips to help prevent or detour fights between siblings: http://www.essortment.com/sibling-relationships-fighting-advice-parents-36899.html

    This is an eHow page with some pretty ambitious sounding advice to teach conflict resolution to kids. I do think it might be helpful, but I don't know that all teens could handle it. I cannot remember your kids' ages so check it out and if it helps, great. http://www.ehow.com/how_4827949_teach-conflict-resolution-teens.html

    This site has 37 rules for fighting fair and most can be applied to parent/child or child/child relationships very easily. I would find a way to moderate #12 on the Do list from "Go Forth as Equals" to something more age appropriate for each child. I would also not enforce #17 on the Do list because it is "Hold Hands" while you are fighting. With 2 children it may be better to have them sit a few feet apart, but you know your child and what is/isn't right for them. (Mommy Instinct trumps doctor and super duper triple trumps an internet list!)

    The Don't list has 2 of rule #14 and I would change the first one, "No Talk of Divorce". Clearly kids cannot divorce their parents, but every situation is unique. So follow your instincts on that rule, in my opinion.


    I hope this is helpful. Fighting kids sure can take a weed whacker to your very last nerve, can't they?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, I can see both sides. I think encouraging her to stand up for herself is a necessity, and separating them would work the rest of the time. How exhausting.

    I would go back to that therapist a cpl times but if it isn't working, find her one of "her own."
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    No, but there sure are days when some of us wish we could divorce our kids!! LOL!

    Sorry. Couldn't help myself.