wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.

9.19.2011

Sibling love.... not.

Alright. I am in need of some advice, some lovin', some support.

I am an only child. I know that siblings fight. But to what degree is the fighting "okay"? I don't know what the normal dynamic is between siblings, so sometimes I feel like I am going through this blindfolded.

I feel like the fighting, name calling, and general mean-ness is at an all time high between the kids, mainly between Lily and Jonah. And I will be honest. If you take Lily out of the equation, the problem virtually disappears.

It feels like she is constantly bringing Jonah and Kate down. She can be so mean to them, mostly to Jonah. The way she talks to him, the way she fights with him, the way she physically hurts him, the way she knowingly gets him into trouble has me so incredibly discouraged. I want our house to be a positive place, where the kids feel encouraged and feel 200% loved. I want it to be a place where they know that everyone there believes in them and their abilities and dreams.

I know they are still little kids, but I can see her squashing Jonah's thoughts and ideas and I see how crushed he is, and I hate seeing that. It breaks my heart.

I can see a difference in Jonah and Kate when Lily isn't around compared to when she is around. Now, I am not saying Lily is like this all the time. There are lots of times each day when the kids get along great and they are happy and playing nicely together. But many times, more lately, it goes downhill fast and Jonah is usually crying because of something Lily said or did to him.

I don't know what to do. Is this behavior normal? I know that it is normal to a point, but I feel like there are issues here that need to be addressed. I have tried talking to her many many times, but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. I have been really stressing "Treat others how you want to be treated" and I have been trying to catch her right when she is doing something hurtful so that she can see right then how Jonah is feeling and reacting to her, and then talking to her about it.

Any advice about siblings?

Each day I am completely worn out at the end of the day (okay, maybe even by the end of the morning...).

I think school has been really good for her, and Jonah too, but I think that since she is focusing so much at school, that she comes home and just lets it all out. And Jonah is an easy target. Such a sensitive little guy.

Is there anything else I can try, other than just talking to her, to try to get it in her head how hurt she is?





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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I can tell you is, when my sister and I were very young, we were mean. As we got older we got better, but not much. But now, we're both adults, and it is way different. I love when my sister comes over. It's great.
When we were young and so mean to each other, I have to say, parenting roles did make a difference- my parents tended to baby her, and, being the older sibling, I got punished more often than not. I was getting the bullying from my older cousin, who got it from her brother, etc, etc, and I passed it on to Erin, and while I know that wasn't right, I don't think the way it was handled was either. I don't know what my parents could have done differently, but I do know that I had bigger issues with my parents than my sister in the long run, because of how they treated us (read: me- always wrong- i was older, should have been more responsible, kinder, etc, erin- always innocent, didn't know any better, etc). Does that make any sense? Younger siblings have an uncanny ability to push buttons.... ;)
Kaitlin