Sibling Rivalry (and update on progress)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LadyJ9, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. LadyJ9

    LadyJ9 New Member

    Well, I am counting the days (JUST TWO THANK GOD) until my dear son gets to see the Pyschologist. I know it's not a nueropsych, but it's a start and a start we have truly been waiting on for years. Plus, I did express my interest in a neuropsychologist, so I will be pushing the issue. Also I sent out the request to the school district for the IEP so that we can get that sorted out as soon as school begins in just over a week. I even got the return receipt to show they got it (yay!). And finally I was able to get the The Explosive Child, which I've begun reading, but am waiting on my husband to read the first section so we can each do the exercises before his appointment.

    One thing I haven't been able to figure out is the sibling rivalry!! So I am asking you wise folks out there, how do you deal with the outbursts when the other sibling is doing the same behaviors (but doesn't ordinarilly) does that make sense? For example, one of the habits my son has developed is to scream and run away, so now my daughter who is OLDER will scream at me in the same way. I guess she figures I don't always do anything about my son doing it, so she can too. The thing is, when they do it, my nerves get totally shot and I so want to explode! Sometimes I end up yelling, which gets me no where but lets them know I don't approve (then they sit there with a smile, one or the other, and just scream little spurts back and forth) or other times I close my door and just try to recupperate in my room before I come out a little more composed. I am destroyed with this habit.

    So when the child who you are getting help for does something, and their sibling then does it, how do you handle to regain ANY control over the situation? I am getting walked on like a doormat right now!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are they diagnosed?
  3. LadyJ9

    LadyJ9 New Member

    Not yet, that is what has me so excited about Monday.
  4. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    It depends: I have two children the oldest is aspie like and does her thing and the 3 year old copies. Point blank period I have shown her that he is copying her, that the things she does he then wants to do and has gotten in trouble and hurt because he did what she did. Since she isn't just "being bad" which is what I thought for a long time and since she really does despite outward appearances love her brother it helped. But nothing helped till I started talking and showing examples of her behavior.
    It's almost like she had to see it to believe it was happening and her brother would get hurt.

    More normal parenting techniques work on my youngest a seat on the hand a pop on the butt a strong no, time out, taking away a toy.

    But my oldest you have to get inside her brain and explain and not give a reaction and honestly it's exhausting and I'm not the best at it.

    And yes sometimes it isn't "fair" it isn't fair that the youngest does age appropriate naughtiness and it isn't a huge deal. But the older kid does things she knows is wrong and gets in trouble and it is a bigger deal after 8 years her behavior has gotten old. I don't particularly think its fair that she gets to cut out of corporal punishment for her transgressions and he doesn't . But it doesn't work for her and the must be parented differently. My kids are on two totally different developmental levels one is a toddler and one is halfway through elementary there is a big difference there and you have to point it out. The 8 year old can not act like a toddler and get away with it and the 3 year old does not get the privledges that comes with age.

    If you do try to talk it out with your difficult child. I suggest short concise answers that show little to no emotion.
  5. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    The sibling rivalry between my kids is insane. If something isn't exactly equal, it gets ugly. It's exhausting. And yes, both my kids have picked up on each other's behavior and it's just so frustrating. I wish I had good advice. I beg my children to get along. I want them to be close, and they are extremely close, but it can turn on a dime. Ugh, I hear ya.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Simplify your life. Drastically. To the point where the triggers for the problem behaviors are minimized. If you want to have a home-life at this point, you might have to give up on other parts of your life (like, a social life for one). We totally shut down our lives on a progressively restrictive basis, until BOTH kids could cope.

    It took years before we could add much back in. But it really helped reduce the rivalry, as well as the general insanity for the whole household.
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    That doesn't sound like sibling rivalry to me. It seems like your older one sees the younger one "getting away" with things and so she tries the same things. We had that as well. If your older child is NT, you can explain to her that her brother does those things because he has difficulty coping and those are his mechanisms and that is why he isn't punished per se but is re-directed or given behavior modifications. When SHE does those things, because she is older and knows better and can control herself, she will be disciplined. It is an attention seeking behavior on her part and you need to break it by behavior modification. If she comes to you and asks to talk to you about what she wants instead of screaming, she'll get a positive reward. Explain that she may not get what she wants right away (if she wants a new toy and it's not in the budget or to stay up later on a school night or whatever) but she can earn points towards that reward. NT kids can delay gratification. If she screams and does those behaviors, she loses points. If she cares about her little brother, enlist her help to model appropriate for him instead of letting him model inappropriate behavior for her.

    My suggestion would be to get a good bmod system in place and to use the basket system to prioritize. Basket A contains non-negotiable behaviors and the consequences for disregarding them - includes all safety issues. Basket B includes semi-negotiable stuff - the yelling until you get a grip on it for instance. Basket C is those things that can wait. In our house, when difficult child was young and didn't want to bathe every day, it was a C item. When he hit puberty and began to smell, it went into B. Fortunately, he began to prefer himself well-groomed so it became a non-issue eventually. HW was an A for me at the beginning, then went to C, then to B. He's now starting college after a gap year with 30 AP credits. For my easy child and babyboy, who are dyslexic, HW is still A, but difficult child is brilliant so we let it slide. He could have gotten into an Ivy with his test scores but he didn't want to do the HW and I didn't push it. Each family has its own basket needs, but A must always include safety of self and others.

    True sibling rivalry is completely different. My sister and I hated each other from birth. She literally tried to kill me twice when we were teens. It was so bad I finally was allowed to have my own bedroom with locks on both sides of the door. She is a true difficult child and we have not seen each other in 20 years and probably never will again in our lifetimes. My 2 youngest, easy child and babyboy, had a sibling rivalry so bad in elementary school that the staff would have to keep them apart or they'd fight in the hall.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Insane has a good point.

    Sibling relationships are one of the issues we work on a lot here. Depending on the issues your eldest has I'd be sending her out of the room. Time out or to her bedroom. I've had younger ones copy difficult child 1's behaviors to push his buttons. We had to work with Ann and difficult child 1 both. Yours sound like they are ganging up on you. Time to divide and conquer. Good luck.
  9. LadyJ9

    LadyJ9 New Member

    Thanks for the advice! I've been separating her from him and making it clear that she is not okay to react that way. I haven't sat down with her about the behaviors just yet, but I will be doing that today. With school tomorrow I need to be prepared.