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(Long, but need help!) DS's behavior causing anxiety in DD - WWYD?

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Has anyone here had to help a sibling cope with the intense needs/behavior of another sibling? I am in profound need of advice, so please help if you have any ideas!


DS has always been very wiggly/difficult to manage, but I always figured a tincture of time/maturity was all we needed. However he just hit 7 years, and things have been getting worse, not better. We now have some vague physical aggression starting (waving objects right in your face, grabbing your body, etc, but no outright hitting/kicking yet) in addition to the uqbiquitous yelling when frustrated and general impulsivity, and I think it's time to take him in for evaluation. I think the most likely diagnosis is ADHD/gifted. We have an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, but not until August, and an appointment with a psychiatrist that specializes in ADHD next month. We even have an appointment with the educational psychologist at the elementary school coming up, as we have toyed with the idea of putting him in the Behavioral Management Center there. The more I reflect on it though, the less I think the public school route could help him, though. Most likely, continuing with homeschool (as we have all along) will be best for him academically, emotionally, and socially.


HOWEVER, it is not just DS that I have to worry about. DD is approaching 5 and has only recently (with the help of a psychologist) become fully potty trained. It turns out that the potty training difficulties were just a symptom of general anxiety she is feeling, and the two things the psychologist recommended to help were more one-on-one parent/DD time (which is part of why we toyed with the idea of public school for DS), and more space from DS. His impulsive behavior, and the tension it frequently yields in the home, although DH and I do our best to keep things calm, is stressing her out.


I have thought of several ideas to help DD, but am not sure which route to pursue. She is introverted, sensitive (obviously), and keeps things that bother her bottled up inside. So far I have mostly just had the philosophy that she can tag along with what DS is doing, but now I think she could really use more age-appropriate activities (singing songs, painting, learning the alphabet & days of the week, playing in the sand, etc) and social experiences. It's true that there are plenty of events for preschoolers/homeschoolers in my area, but when DS comes along (as he has to), I end up mostly focused on managing his behavior. She comes to DS's homeschool co-op and park days, but most of the kids there are a little older, and she becomes so much more animated when she is with girls her age. Of her two closest friends, one is in Kindergarten and the other lives 45 minutes away, so it's hard to arrange playdates. She did enjoy her ballet class (which was recently canceled, but we're looking for something to take it's place), but I feel like she would benefit from something more frequent than once a week. Here are some other ideas I'm considering:

  • Wait until next fall and let her go to Kindergarten to get a little space from DS, even though I would really love to homeschool her
  • Look for some kind of MDO/preschool I could enroll her in right away (although it's doubtful I'll find anything as most places around here are already starting waiting lists for next fall)
  • Commit to doing a more structured (because structure will make me more likely to keep it up) Kindergarten program here at home with her next year (I used Joy School with DS, but the Wee Folk Art curriculum with lots of crafts, stories, field trips, etc appeals to me, too), either just her and me or with a group of other Pre-K/K kids, and let DS play the iPad (or whatever else will keep him busy) during that time so I can focus on DD

If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear them! I'm just feeling like I'm between a rock and a hard place right now, like I can't really give both DS and DD what they need. :crying: TIA!

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