Sibling Strife - When Your Child Keeps Hating On Her Little Brother
Daughter is a bright strong willed child who would not let anyone near her but me until she was eighteen months old, she had severe separation anxiety and was often disarray regulated on a hair trigger her tantrums several times a day with lasts from forty five minutes up to two hours and sometimes left her. So exhausted she would fall asleep on the floor where she had pounded her fists only a moment before. She has never recovered from the arrival of her brother now three and a half when she was twenty two months old. Since he was born, she has subjected him to physical violence and verbal taunting. Continues to this day. She often says she hates him we've tried all your techniques and I've poured through all your articles and podcasts for help with this issue she has been to to child psychologists consecutively who have tried to assist her with managing her emotions. Appropriately, my blocking interventions are sometimes not quick enough to stop her hands connecting with her brother's little face or body I try extremely hard to remain calm and not fueled the behavior saying I won't let you hit that hurts but the bullying behavior persist and persist no matter what I do or say My partner and I have both worked from home since the kids were born. So they see us all the time and both get a lot of one on one attention even more. So now that we are home-schooling due to covid nineteen, her brother is a gentle loving and forgiving little boy who sometimes cries to me that K. hurts me it breaks my heart. I am at a loss as this has been going on for years now, and I'm concerned is doing damage to my son when an incident happens I, of course, go to my son I to comfort him. But I, also look at my miserable older child who is clearly distressed and does not want the mystifying negative feelings she experiences as a result of hurting her brother and upsetting her parents. I do not believe in inauthentic forced apologies. So I. Wait for her to calm down and then we have a cuddle while I try to reflect back her frustrations with being a big sister and explained that I understand she must feel sad and angry sometimes we then discuss other ways she could express her anger rather than hitting an unkind words, but she often blocks her ears or runs away at suggestions. Both my children are in pain and I need some new strategies waiting for emotional maturity and impulse control to develop does a disservice to both siblings who are looking to me to provide a compass through the storms. Any additional advice you could provide would be so gratefully received. Thanks. Okay. So I hear how hard this parent is trying to help her children get beyond this heavier. This is obviously a very committed parent and it also brings up for me the realization that even with all these details that she's provided, it is very challenging for me to really visualize how this parent looks in action interacting with her children, and that is a struggle that I have with written notes even with phone consultations I'm still trying to picture what the dynamic between the parent and child actually looks and feels like, and that's my favorite way of all to help parents is to do in person consultations, which, of course, bodice convenient and partner to arrange. But then I can actually see almost immediately what's going on and I'm able to help parents make a shift. Sometimes even video of parents interacting with children as helpful and even when I'm talking to parents on the phone, sometimes their child will come and interrupt and all the able to get a glimpse right there of how this parent says Boundaries and Response when their child is wanting them and the parents can't be there for them. It can be so illuminating. So having said, bat there are a lot of details here and I'm going to do my best to intuit what's going on but as always does a lot of guesswork and I may not be completely accurate. What I'm hearing is that her daughter is to start out with quite sensitive. Strong willed insensitive together, and the parents says from the beginning her child would not let anyone near her but this parent until she was eighteen months old, she had severe separation anxiety. So what that tells me is it sounds like this family may be accommodated these feelings, which is, of course, a normal thing to do when you have a child that little on they're saying, no no, I'm going to cry unless this person's there. It's understandable to want to make that happen for them. But what that actually does is prevent the child from processing those feelings. It also communicates to the child that we agree with them in a sense that they can't be okay with anyone else but us. That may not be what we intend at all, but that's what children take from it. So it those feelings even stronger. Maybe, there's some fear that gets attached to them. If I don't get what I want. Not. Going to be okay. And so it makes our child even more in this case dependent on and needy for her parent. What I would recommend if possible, but this or any kind of fear or feelings that a child has is to not try to accommodate a to continue normally sometimes your other parent is going to be the one to do this with you. Maybe even this other caregiver or your grandparents is going to do it and you can have strong feelings about that. We want to hear those were okay with you expressing that in fact, we want you to express it. We're not going to change things or try to avoid this in any way. I'll often hear from parents who say things like my child won't let me not play with them or my child won't let me ever leave their side or go to the bathroom on my own or stop nursing, and what that tells me is that the parent is not comfortable with the child having the feelings they need to have around those experiences. The feelings are the healing. and. Then severe separation anxiety. So children do go through sometimes a period of separation anxiety or stranger anxiety, but this isn't to be taken as it's going to traumatize our child. If we leave, it's a sensitivity that they have usually during this period between around eight months to fifteen months. It's the sensitivity as they are making steps forward and development and maybe walking and they sense more separation between us this either part of them wants to hold on to not let us go. So it's kind of a push pull. We want to be sensitive to, but we don't want to accommodate it. So we're not gonNA take extra long away from our child or do it more often than we need to or want to but we still have to do it. We still have to separate and let those other people care for our child or whatever it is or even allow them to be alone for a couple of minutes while we're doing something.