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I have been going through the archives to see what other people have posted about this subject but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for so I'm hoping someone can give me some advice.

 

This is my second year homeschooling my 8 year old son and the last few weeks have been extremely difficult. It all comes down to the way he treats his 3.5 year old sister. He speaks to her in a tone of voice he would never dare use with anyone else, he's constantly annoyed with her (for example: dramatic sighs and hands thrown in the air when she asks a simple question), he never wants to play with her, won't share anything with her, etc. I just don't know what to do. My son has recently begun seeing a counselor for ADHD and she told me he doesn't have to share with her or allow her in his room if he doesn't want to. But this kid will never WANT to! My older brother wanted me to leave him alone sometimes but not ALL the time. I just don't get it. I try not to take my daughter's side all the time but it's so hard when he acts like this. When she wants to go in his room she just wants to be with him, she doesn't mess with whatever he's playing with or demand he plays with her, she just wants to be with him! It breaks my heart to see her treated this way.

 

I'm just really hoping someone can give me some advice. When I punish him for his behavior he just seems to grow more resentful of her but this has to stop! I'm even beginning to question my decision to homeschool, wondering if maybe time away from each other will help the situation. I just don't know how much longer I can keep this up.

 

I appreciate any advice!

 

Cherryanne

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It is hard, I know.

I have a similar thing with one of my sons. I have the rule that each child's room is their own personal space. They don't have to let their siblings into their room. in fact If they aren't nice to their siblings, then they can go to their room. allowing the sibling to then go into their room would be then taunting them.

It is very hard to try and get a balance of personal space, and also equal attention to each child. standing up for the younger one is sometimes perceived as favoritism by the older one.

 

when I was a child, I had a similar thing with one of my sisters. she now as an adult has major mental issues. I often wonder if it was because of how I treated her when I was under 10, or if she always had a problem and that is why I was so awful to her. I don't know, but believe me, I feel guilty now.

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Does he ever want to play in HER room? Would he if you, say, made a totally cool fort or set up a play restaurant or something that would tempt him? Of course, he would have the opportunity to ask permission to enter HER room and see that politeness/courtesy goes both ways and all of that. Sometimes siblings need to see that their younger brother or sister CAN do fun things now that they're a bit bigger, especially if younger one is just getting to the age when they can. Big sib is used to having a toddler come in and mess up their Legos or tower of blocks or whatever!

 

I have the SAME issues with my 9yo and 4yo sons who have to share a room. We have to have times where I keep the 4yo out and occupied because 9yo really likes to set up his action figures and other things in a certain way. It's stressful to him (and would be to me, too) to try and play around the younger brother, wondering if he's going to get in the mood to trash the place or just run willy nilly and accidentally knock things over. LOL!

 

I've noticed that our kids all have different levels of a desire to share and a need for privacy. Low desire to share + high need for privacy can make things sticky for a while, but it usually gets better, especially if mom can make things "fair" for both sides now and then.

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It all comes down to the way he treats his 3.5 year old sister. He speaks to her in a tone of voice he would never dare use with anyone else, he's constantly annoyed with her (for example: dramatic sighs and hands thrown in the air when she asks a simple question), he never wants to play with her, won't share anything with her, etc. I just don't know what to do. My son has recently begun seeing a counselor for ADHD and she told me he doesn't have to share with her or allow her in his room if he doesn't want to. But this kid will never WANT to! My older brother wanted me to leave him alone sometimes but not ALL the time. I just don't get it. I try not to take my daughter's side all the time but it's so hard when he acts like this. When she wants to go in his room she just wants to be with him, she doesn't mess with whatever he's playing with or demand he plays with her, she just wants to be with him! It breaks my heart to see her treated this way.

 

They are several years apart, different genders and at very different developmental stages. You can't discipline, punish or create *relationship*.

 

Instead, I'd make sure he is respectful in reaction to her. The tone will change, the sighs, the over-drama will have to go away.

 

 

I'd work on my own expectations about their relationship (try to remove any emotional tie to the ideal)

 

I'd not catastraphize it. I would not assume that this is going to be forever.

 

I would not insist he play with her. However, I'd verbally and sincerely acknowledge when he does.

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I would insist on polite, loving, courteous behavior. Also, I'd look to see if he is picking up this attitude from someone else. I notice when I'm speaking kindly to everyone, my children model it. Unfortunately, when I am stressed and snippy, the kids start getting snippy too. Is someone else in his life (not necessarily you or his dad) giving him attitude?

 

Would he be interested in being a mommy's helper? My recently turned 9yr old is a wonderful mother's helper for his 3yr old little sister. He loves the responsibility and he loves money. I give him quarters and he comes up with fun creative games for her. Maybe your son would entertain her for money if you made him feel like he was really helping you out by doing it. Once he spends some time with her like that, he may come around and enjoy her more. I don't know if it would work or not because my son usually loves to play with her, but when he's reluctant and I need him to do it, cash works to change his attitude quickly. And it really does make him feel proud to be needed and to have a job.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. We had tried making a rule that they both had to ask permission to play in each others room. Well my son would always say no and my daughter would always say yes. I know everyone needs privacy but he gets plenty of it and still wants nothing to do with her. I agree that the tone of voice and manner in which he responds to her need to change first but punishing him just seems to make it worse. He doesn't act like this with anyone else and I think that's what makes it so frustrating. I should add that I lost my only brother when I was 8 and this does contribute to my hope that they would have a loving relationship. I know I can't force him to feel a certain way about her but the negativity needs to stop at the very least. I've read "Siblings Without Rivalry" but many of the suggestions don't work yet because of my daughter's age. We also go out of our way to take him on "dates" to special places by himself. I don't think I'm being unreasonable expecting him to allow her to be around him from time to time or to share with her (when he expects her to share with him). I don't expect them to play together necessarily but constantly banishing her from his sight seems unacceptable to me.

 

Thanks again,

 

Cherryanne

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I should add that I lost my only brother when I was 8 and this does contribute to my hope that they would have a loving relationship.

 

That's a VERY understandable influence. :grouphug:

 

While I do think there needs to be rules about attitude an manners, I really don't agree with playtime requirements, particularly with that age gap. I just think that could easily contribute to increased resentment.

 

My 3.5yo does have the advantage of having THREE older siblings, so he winds up with better odds that *someone* will be willing to play with him, but I actually discourage the other kids from allowing him in their rooms because he doesn't really understand why it would be okay sometimes and not others. Plus the added factor of not wanting him around toys that are more breakable or with very tiny pieces.

His toys are mostly kept in our living room. Many of them are things the older kids also enjoy, like blocks and trains. That tends to naturally lead to group play in a "neutral" place. If any of them gets frustrated, they have the option to retreat to their own private area, as opposed to kicking someone out.

 

It's still far from perfect, but he IS the baby of the group right now. As such, I'm his main playmate for now!

 

FWIW, my sisters are 3 and 7 years younger than me. Our adult relationships are a million times better than our childhood relationships ever were!

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I don't know how to word this quite right, but here it goes. I completely understand your hope for a close relationship between the two, but I think your version of the relationship will need to change (for now). I was thinking about the sib relationships between my dc, and the only two who don't play well together are my 8yo dd and my 4yo ds. I think it's a combination of being opposite sex and in very different developmental stages, but they just don't have much in common. The ONLY thing they do one-on-one is play with the chickens, cats, and dog b/c they are my animal lovers, but even that play is very short and random. All their other together play involves additional sibs. They seem to need to the additional bodies for diffusion. :glare:

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I should preface this by saying I may be the meanest Mom out there. Feel free to disregard!!

 

I simply do not tolerate attitude being dished out. And my younger can dish as well as my older. Whenever one would start on the other, they both got punished together. "But I didn't do anything." Answer: "Really? If you two weren't interacting, I'd not be upset right now. So, you are both in the wrong." (I feel like youngers need to acknowlege that being annoying is doing something!!! And, olders need to realize that being intolerant is doing something!!!)

 

Nothing fosters togetherness like a shared enemy (me!). ;) So, they would have to sit on the couch together for some set time or something else I would dream up. Nutty things like not being allowed to look at each other for 10 minutes. And I'd patrol it -- and yell at them if they anywhere near the direction of one another. :D And, yes, usually the punishments would have some shared laughter.

 

It took a bit of time, but now they truly like each other. My older comments on how cute her little brother is, when he's doing things that formerly bothered her. And, just earlier this week, when my dd came downstairs, my younger ran up, threw his arms around her and said, "You're my best friend."

 

So, maybe becoming the common enemy would work with the dynamic you have going on...

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I just want to say that 8 years old was a BAD age for my son. I really wanted to kill him.

 

My older sister had nothing but disdain for me until we were teenagers. The guilt has really taken a toll on her. I never even think about it, but she often brings up how horrible she was to me and how wrong it was, and how she never should have been allowed to behave that way.

 

My son tried to treat my middle daughter the same way. I understand that he wanted to be with his older sister instead of his younger one, but I repeatedly told him that I had never allowed anyone to be mean to him, and I was certainly not going to allow him to be mean to his little sister. I reminded him, "That is my CHILD you are disrespecting."

 

Now that he is 14, and she is 12, they spend so much time together and have a very loving relationship. She is sick, and he was complaining about not being able to do anything with her. I reminded him of when he told me that "She just has no purpose for existing."

 

He laughed, and said, "I'm sure my 8 year old existence was very meaningful."

 

There is hope, even if it doesn't seem that way now.

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Sorry to reply again, but one other thought -- has it always been this way? Is your son unhappy that your daughter came along? I made sure to tell my dd when we were adopting my ds that it was OK for her to not like it that he was coming to the family. After all, she had no vote in the process. That gave her permission to complain about how everything changed once he came along. But we focused on how it was the situations that changed, not that her new db was at fault. Because, he didn't have a vote either...

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I should preface this by saying I may be the meanest Mom out there. Feel free to disregard!!

 

I simply do not tolerate attitude being dished out. And my younger can dish as well as my older. Whenever one would start on the other, they both got punished together. "But I didn't do anything." Answer: "Really? If you two weren't interacting, I'd not be upset right now. So, you are both in the wrong." (I feel like youngers need to acknowlege that being annoying is doing something!!! And, olders need to realize that being intolerant is doing something!!!)

 

Nothing fosters togetherness like a shared enemy (me!). ;) So, they would have to sit on the couch together for some set time or something else I would dream up. Nutty things like not being allowed to look at each other for 10 minutes. And I'd patrol it -- and yell at them if they anywhere near the direction of one another. :D And, yes, usually the punishments would have some shared laughter.

 

It took a bit of time, but now they truly like each other. My older comments on how cute her little brother is, when he's doing things that formerly bothered her. And, just earlier this week, when my dd came downstairs, my younger ran up, threw his arms around her and said, "You're my best friend."

 

So, maybe becoming the common enemy would work with the dynamic you have going on...

 

That is great! I will use that next time. I punish both if they are arguing bc it takes two to argue. But then I usually give out chores. Next time I am going to sit them on the couch and have them not look at each other :lol:

 

Along the same lines, have you tried something like chasing your 3 year old around the house? My ds 8 always wants to join in.....then they are both running from me and working together to outsmart and keep away from the roaring maniac.

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This is my second year homeschooling my 8 year old son and the last few weeks have been extremely difficult. It all comes down to the way he treats his 3.5 year old sister. He speaks to her in a tone of voice he would never dare use with anyone else, he's constantly annoyed with her (for example: dramatic sighs and hands thrown in the air when she asks a simple question), he never wants to play with her, won't share anything with her, etc. I just don't know what to do.

 

Cherryanne, if this were my family, I would look more carefully at what's influencing my ds's behavior. Where is he learning these reactions? Other friends? TV shows? If these were my dc, I would be looking at the causes for his behavior, instead of reacting to it.

 

We've had a myriad of poor influences over the years. When my dd was very young, we banned Rugrats because she began imitating their behavior. When one of my kids began yelling a lot, I had to look at myself and really work on how I spoke to my kids.:leaving:

 

Is he taking frustrations out on her that come from other areas in his life--and she's just the safe outlet (in his mind)? What's bothering him? Why does he want to bash her and make her feel worse than he does?

 

I don't disagree that there has to be limits on space for each of your children, but you also have a reasonable expectation that your children WILL treat each other respectfully under all circumstances. My kids also grew up knowing that if they couldn't treat people in our family nicely, there's no way I'd trust them to play with anyone outside of the family.

 

Meanwhile, I would take steps to discipline with little emotion. Don't overreact on the outside. I'd have a set plan with dh on exactly how to respond and what ds's consequences will be. (Eight years old is not too old for a brief time out in a really boring place--NOT his bedroom). Have a brief talk with ds, 'Our house has become an unpleasant place to live, and we are going to work on how we treat others in our family. If you are not nice, this is what will happen.' Take the "sister" part out of it: "We do not speak to people that way," gives him a bigger picture and takes his sister out of it.

 

And then follow through with the consequences. Don't yell, or talk loudly, or talk too much (can you tell I have that problem?!). It always worked for me to think how I would want my dc's preschool teacher to speak to them. Think Supernanny, haha.

 

There have been a few comments about the age difference between your dc. Mine are four years apart, and they have always gotten along so very well. Of course, it's not always perfect. I am sure it's not because of anything I've done, I think it's a combination of circumstances (being stuck with each other a lot) and personalities. Your kids may not ever have the closeness you desire, but they certainly can be expected to live peacefully with each other in your home.

 

It all sounds horribly frustrating. Parenting is HARD, isn't it. :grouphug:

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My oldest son has many younger siblings, and the only one he would consistently make time for is the (now) 15 y.o. They've always been buddies.

 

As for the rest, I had to remind him often that the younger kids looked up to him and thought he was the coolest dude in the world. There have been older kids my ds admired, and I told him he was *that* kid for his younger sibs.

That really changed his perspective and I saw him consciously try to make more of an effort to pay attention to them.

 

Since yours are so young, I would also try to play with them when dd wants to play in your ds's room. During playtime, I would encourage your ds to play at your dd's level with you and later discuss how much that meant to her and basically remind him that's what we do for those we love. You take the time to play/read/talk to him, he does the same for his sister~that's called love and being a family and isn't he glad he has a family?

 

I would not give up. My children's relationships with each other is of paramount importance to me, second only to their relationship with Christ.

 

Your ds can be nicer to his sister.

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I don't disagree that there has to be limits on space for each of your children, but you also have a reasonable expectation that your children WILL treat each other respectfully under all circumstances. My kids also grew up knowing that if they couldn't treat people in our family nicely, there's no way I'd trust them to play with anyone outside of the family.

 

:iagree: My 8yo dd and 4yo ds may never be best friends (like the other sib pairing are), but they do have to treat each other with respect. I wouldn't give up on that battle. However, I wouldn't expect them to be best friends either.

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I have an older daughter and younger son. They have actually had a good relationship considering the age and gender difference. She's never been the mothering/nurturing type, which may be better, because they've done best with light saber duels, spy missions, and Wii games together.

 

Look at what your son enjoys and see if you are comfortable with your dd doing some of it. Giving her a small light saber for Christmas might make him want to play with her!

 

I would not stop punishing him because it seems to make him worse. That would appear that you've accepted the behavior.

 

I don't agree with the counselor either because that is not teaching him to care about others but only about himself. That statement bothered me enough that I would find a different counselor.

 

A family is about caring for others and doing for others and sometimes sacrificing to do just that. I think when we learn to do what others want instead of what we want, we actually take steps in becoming a better person. It's not easy, but the more we do it the more natural it will become. When a child is not naturally giving, I think that it is the time to require it so that hopefully in time that quality will become second nature. Does that make sense?

 

I pray you find peace with the situation.

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There is a fairly big age gap between them. Some of his behaviors are related to their developmental differences.

 

That said, his disrespectful behavior is unacceptable. That needs to be stopped.

 

My two go through phases where they get pretty nasty and disrespectful to one another. When that happens I unplug them. No tv, no video games, no electronics of any kind. They can spend time apart in their rooms, they can play together. They remain unplugged until they can show me that they can treat each other with respect for more then two minutes because they want to watch tv. Sometimes they are unplugged for a day and sometimes as long as two weeks. It is all up to them.

 

Siblings without rivalry has some excellent suggestions.

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Parenting is hard! I have 14 yo and 12 yo boys. My 14 yo ds can be very annoying and pushes his younger brother's buttons and mine too! He can be very disrespectful and that is totally unacceptable. I think it might have come from me and my tone of voice and frustration. Keep as calm as you can be. Watch your tone of voice. It is hard, but keep yourself as healthy and restful as you can be to have that patience. Parenting is certainly challenging!

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Cherrryanne,

 

I may be repeating things others have said, but here goes.

 

I do agree that your son does not need to share or allow his sister in his room. If he is forced to, he will resent that. However, he needs to treat her with the same respect he should treat everyone - actually, he should treat her better than someone on the street. I don't think punishment is the answer because, while that brings an outward change, it does nothing to change the heart. While they may never be playmates, he will need to come to the realization that she is an important person in your household - just as important as he is.

 

Since you describe this as a newer behavior, I wonder if he has a new stress in his life and it is coming out sideways, with his sister being a convenient target. Is there a new media influence?What does his counselor say about this? If this counselor does not think this behavior is a problem, I would look for a new counselor. Unfortunately, some people think that since it is common, it is thus, normal and acceptable. However, it simply is NOT workable in a homeschooling environment. (I do admit that some people have a higher tolerance for discord than I do.)

 

In our household, we have had to explain to our children that their siblings are a gift, that they are stuck with them, that life will be much more pleasant for EVERYONE if they can learn to get along. They weren't put on this planet to be an annoyance but given as a gift. We need to learn to appreciate them and treat them with respect. The home is no fun for everyone if there is constant discord. I use do-overs and code words to help remind them how to treat each other ("tone", "unreasonable expectation", "simply unkind"). If they need help rephrasing something, I model it for them. Sometimes, if one of my children is mean to a sibling, it often is unrelated to that incident, but an outward expression of a completely unrelated issue. That usually means a sit down with the offender to find out what is bothering them (along with a reminder not to take it out on others.)

 

I had to teach my older children how to interact with younger siblings. When my oldest was around your son's age, I engaged my oldest in helping me with the dd (age 2-3) when I was teaching his younger brother. I made sure he knew that I appreciated his efforts and he was rewarded for this. I have him a list of things he could do with her and showed him how to play with her. I was also careful to make this a positive things and gave it a strict time limit. Another thing that was important was to validate the older child's feelings. I had to acknowledge that younger siblings can seem pesky at times. But I had to remind them that they were pesky at times as well. We also constantly reminded everyone that kind words are so much more effective than harsh words.

 

I have to say that my oldest child, who is 7 years older that his youngest sibling is such a dear to her. We are careful to help him maintain his needed space (more mental and emotional space than physical because our house isn't that big.) At 17, he is very sweet with her. My son who is 4 years older than her is sweet to her as well, but they bicker more than the others. I can deal with the bickering between them because it is mostly good-natured. When hostility flares up, it is dealt with swiftly (but not punitively since that rarely produces the desired effect.)

 

This is getting long winded here, but I want to encourage you to try to stay positive and try to be less punitive. Y

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Thanks for the advice everyone. We had tried making a rule that they both had to ask permission to play in each others room. Well my son would always say no and my daughter would always say yes.

Does he ever ask to go into her room? If she is happy to let him play in her room, and he is happy to by himself in his room I really don't see a problem here.

 

 

 

I know everyone needs privacy but he gets plenty of it and still wants nothing to do with her. I agree that the tone of voice and manner in which he responds to her need to change first but punishing him just seems to make it worse. He doesn't act like this with anyone else and I think that's what makes it so frustrating.

 

How long has he been behaving this way? Has he been getting progressively worse? It sounds as though he possibly just really resents having a younger sibling, maybe he has unresolved issues of feeling 'replaced' or feeling that she is taking attention/time/resources away from him. I would want his counselor to find out if that is a root problem, and if so he needs some counseling for it specifically (I would think).

 

 

 

I should add that I lost my only brother when I was 8 and this does contribute to my hope that they would have a loving relationship.

Your son is not your brother, your daughter is not you- it's not healthy to try to 'make' your children's relationship be what you wish you'd had with your brother. I'd try to find a way to let go of that, even if that included counseling for myself. :grouphug:

 

 

I know I can't force him to feel a certain way about her but the negativity needs to stop at the very least. I've read "Siblings Without Rivalry" but many of the suggestions don't work yet because of my daughter's age. We also go out of our way to take him on "dates" to special places by himself. I don't think I'm being unreasonable expecting him to allow her to be around him from time to time or to share with her (when he expects her to share with him). I don't expect them to play together necessarily but constantly banishing her from his sight seems unacceptable to me.

 

Thanks again,

 

Cherryanne

 

Maybe it would help if you had some community toys that are for everyone that HAVE to be shared, and let the rest be personal toys that don't have to be shared. I always hated 'forced' sharing- it fosters resentment especially in children who are prone to resentment already.

 

Do you take your daughter out on 'dates' too? Or are the dates just for him?

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My boys don't have to let each other into bedrooms. I do try to make bedrooms a bit less exciting than the rest of the house. The public areas are warmer (we have a wood stove) and contain everything electronic as well as all the books. The boys still do escape to their own rooms but not usually for long.

 

Our household sharing rule is that new toys are for the individual's sole use for a day or two, then everything is shared.

 

ETA: everyone in our house has to show respect - irritation needs to be managed so as not to hurt others.

 

Laura

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I gave birth to twins when my older son was ten.

 

He is very very good to them. At 22, he is close to them and does a lot with and for them. He played with them when they were little, took them for walks in their double stroller, etc. I would say they are about as close as kids can be with a ten year split. They *adore* him and he is very focused on them, proud of them, doting, but also playful and sometimes challenging.

 

But I had no problem having his room be entirely off limits to them. I think it just normally happened. We never made a rule, but when they were toddlers, that door was always shut because all I knew he had things in there that they could choke on, and it seemed too hard to toddler-proof it. I think it was good for him to have space that was his. He'd been an only child for a long time. because they never were allowed in his room as toddlers, they just got used to it.

 

My twins never questioned this and it never seemed like a big deal. They never ever went in their brother's room. When he went to college, that was the first time they every really "explored" his space.

 

I realize your problem is more complex than this, but I would start by honoring his needs. I think you should discipline your daughter to simply never go in his room. It would be hard to have a "unless he says so" rule, because then she's going to be begging him to say it's okay and getting her feelings hurt when he says, "No." I don't see why you can't just tell her that YOUR rule is that she stay out of his room.

 

But then make this a compromise with him. I would have absolutely zero tolerance for him being ugly to her. I tell my children that they are entitled to feel whatever they feel, but they are not entitled to show it. I would nip in the bud this thing where he acts frustrated and annoyed with her. She shouldn't have to deal with that.

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Thank you so much for all the responses! I'm feeling much more optimistic after reading them all.

 

It's extremely likely that my son is taking out his frustration with us on his sister. Unfortunately he has always been a difficult child to parent. I think it's possible he realizes how much more often he gets "in trouble" than his sister. I don't think any of this is coming from new influences. We don't have television service and are careful about the videos we allow our children to watch. I won't lie and say my own behavior doesn't ever influence his. If I'm particularly stressed out it's definitely reflected in his behavior.

 

I appreciate the advice about punishing them together. I think this is definitely something that would be helpful. I also agree that 8 can be a tough age.

 

secular_mom-You were asking what the issue was with him playing in her room. The problem was that she would allow him to come in her room, he would play (with her toys not with her), make a big mess, and leave. Then she would want a chance to play in his room and the ugliness would begin again. It never feels like there's any reciprocation and I can't help but feel like he's taking advantage of her when this happens. Yes, we do take our daughter on "dates" too. I have been in counseling many times throughout my life over the loss of my brother. I don't feel like I'm trying to "make" them have the relationship I missed out on but that doesn't mean it doesn't influence my hope for their future relationship. I appreciate the advice about communal toys. We just purchased them a couple of sets of big cardboard building blocks for Christmas that we plan to use in this way.

 

I'm sorry if I missed some of the questions that were asked. I don't have enough time to go back through all the responses right now but I truly appreciate all the advice. Sometimes it helps just to know other people have been there and made it out alive! :)

 

Cherryanne

Edited by Cherryanne
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secular_mom-You were asking what the issue was with him playing in her room. The problem was that she would allow him to come in her room, he would play (with her toys not with her), make a big mess, and leave. Then she would want a chance to play in his room and the ugliness would begin again. It never feels like there's any reciprocation and I can't help but feel like he's taking advantage of her when this happens.

 

Cherryanne

 

 

Ahh, honestly in that case I'd make a new rule that they just aren't allowed in each others rooms. If for some reason I still wanted him to play in her room, I would not allow him to make a mess and leave- he would HAVE to clean up the mess he made and I'd say that if he gives me a hard time about cleaning up the mess or mistreats his sister while he's in her room or while he's cleaning up the mess then he is 'grounded' from playing in her room. (I could see him getting angry about having to clean up and then 'hurting' her toys)

 

:grouphug: Kids can be so darned unreasonable, it's so frustrating.

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Nothing fosters togetherness like a shared enemy (me!). ;) So, they would have to sit on the couch together for some set time or something else I would dream up. Nutty things like not being allowed to look at each other for 10 minutes. And I'd patrol it -- and yell at them if they anywhere near the direction of one another. :D And, yes, usually the punishments would have some shared laughter.

 

 

My mom used to do something similar when we were little and fighting. We all had to sit on separate pieces of furniture in the living room and not talk.

 

:grouphug: to the OP. I have 2 sets of dc that have a 5+ year age gap, and they have always had trouble getting along. Both are different genders.

 

Several times we have had to remind the older one, with serious consequences, that he/she MUST be polite and respectful. It has gotten better over the years, though, as they got older.

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