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Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

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Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby Shopgirl on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:48 am

I have 3 daughters. My oldest really has a strong dislike for my middle daughter. They are 2 years apart. They do have moments where they get along well, but she is pretty vocal about not liking her sister. My youngest is 5 1/2 years younger than my middle daughter, 7 1/2 years younger than my oldest. The oldest takes on almost a caregiver type role to the youngest. The youngest loves her and looks up to her. My youngest is now refusing to play with my middle most of the time and right from the moment we pick her up from school, she is making comments about not wanting her sister near her, not wanting to talk to her, etc... This is understandably starting to affect our middle daughter a lot.

Obviously we can't force relationships, but I'm looking for ways to improve them if possible and to help our middle daughter to feel that she is an important and special part of our family.

I have been making a point of making comments about when our middle daughter is playing nice/being friendly with our youngest. "Oh look how much fun you 2 are having together! You really enjoy playing with ____.

I'm looking for suggestions,, thoughts, ideas, books I can read to give me ideas.

Thanks!!
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Re: Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby Victoria Family Meals on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:51 pm

Focusing positive attention on your middle children if you the others are being unkind. Give her lots of positive attention and very little/no attention to the others. When things are good start conversation around what it means to be respectful. Keep up the positive re-inforcement when they are all treating each other kindly.

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Re: Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby Sunnygirl on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:37 pm

Honestly, I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behaviour from your oldest. I know, I'm not having to deal with that situation so easier said than done. I'd try to get her to do nice things for her middle sister, and vica versa - even if you have to bribe her to do it!!

I suspect it's jealousy of some kind, so even though you should give your middle one lots of positive attention I wouldn't do it in front of the eldest. Remember, your oldest had you all to herself before your middle child came along and she probably resents her sister for that. What ever you do, make sure you don't show any favouritism towards your middle child in front of your oldest as that will make her resentment worse.

I remember a stage where I was jealous and resented one of my little sisters. It solved itself by me having a nightmare where she was captured by terrorists (we lived in a different country and terrorists were a common topic of conversation). Being upset at the dream made me realize I really did love her. Maybe that gives you some ideas for a heart to heart talk with your oldest.

You could also take your oldest out to a restaurant on her own, treat her all grown up, and enlist her help in trying to make her middle sister happy. Ask her for ideas as to how to do it and have her help.
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Re: Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby CR&D'S Mum on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:19 pm

I have 3 kids all 3 years apart so six between oldest and youngest. My oldest 2 are girls and are pretty competitive. The youngest is a boy. The oldest is a care taker. She is bossy over the other 2 and also helpful. The youngest looks to her for help. Most fighting is done between the oldest and the middle and the middle and the youngest.

I would not tolerate your kids talking about each other like that. When my kids trash talk one of their siblings I make them stop and give examples of times they helped them out. I also point out that no one is perfect and that they would not like someone to talk about them like that. When my oldest goes on about how she is so much this or that than her sister I say well you should be you are 3 years older!

It is hard to be the middle child. You are not the older responsible one or the sweet baby. It often leaves them feeling like they don't have a niche and ganged up on. My middle child is by far the most flexible. She will try anything and in truth gets along with kids at school far easier than the other 2.

I am sure if you google you will find a lot of books on information about the middle child. In the mean time I would take your oldest aside and tell her that you won't tolerate anymore of her negative attitude toward her sister or about her sister. She would not be allowed to act like that at school towards a classmate or at a job towards a colleague so she should not act like that at home.

In a way I would say it is not your middle daughter who is the problem but your oldest and her poor attitude is rubbing off on your youngest who also needs to be told that her behaviour of negativity toward her sister is not to be tolerated. Your middle daughter needs to know that you are on her side and that you won't tolerate her being bullied by her sister or anyone. Good luck.
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Re: Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby TazDevil on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:39 am

I would not tolerate that behaviour from my children. It was one of the things that I was most concerned about as a parent. Right from Toddlerhood I would praise the one child to another "what a great sister you have" and encourage that positive relationship everyday.

If DD ever does anything slightly mean verbally or otherwise to DS or vice versa it is like the end of the world with severe disapprovement. I usually say absolutely shocked "that is NOT the way you treat your family". Then they have to do 10 nice things for the other person in the day.

Empathy for siblings grows into empathy for other people. I think it is absolutely essential to teach young.
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Re: Help with sibling relationships (and middle child)

Postby jordiwes on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:34 am

LOVED the book "Siblings without Rivalry". Totally changed my perspectives!! That situation sounds really tough, so hugs to you!

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