102

A large part of the population can be counted on to tell you why you should do exactly what they did, and all the downsides to whatever you're doing that they didn't do. You might even have tendencies to do this yourself. no children? Shame you'll be all alone when you're old. 5 children? Shame you'll never be able to give each of them the time and money ...


68

I think your instincts of jealousy are spot-on. My daughter did this starting when her little brother arrived home from the hospital, and every time she felt like he was getting more of Mama's attention, out came the verbal knives. Our fix was to schedule special one-on-one time with her when we could. And when things were just too crazy to carve very ...


34

People are not robbed of choices they were never given to begin with. Asking two children open-ended "which would you like?"-style questions is a recipe for disaster if you don't have the resources to satisfy both of them. Instead, ask one child: Which would you like? If you know that child will have a hard time choosing, make it a leading question: ...


22

First of all, recognize there is a difference between having a favorite, and engaging in favoritism. I think having a favorite is somewhat unavoidable, unless your children all happen to have personalities that mesh equally well with yours. When having a favorite becomes problematic is when you let it affect your words and actions toward your children. ...


20

There are a couple of things going on here, and both will probably be due to attention. You said that mum finds it difficult. That means that she probably reacts slightly. This means that your daughter knows that she can say something that: Gets noticed. Gets a reaction. Brings attention. All attention, positive or negative is attention to a child. If ...


18

Have you considered that your son may be "deliberately" forcing the conflict? I put "deliberately" in quotes, because it probably isn't conscious or intentional, but doesn't seem like any coincidence that he always places you in a situation where you have to pick sides. You may want to institute a consistent rule --oldest picks first, youngest picks first, ...


14

Your sister has a real problem. This is the kind of behaviour that she should have left behind at preschool. Is she violent towards others or just you? If she has more general violence issues then I suggest talking to a professional counsellor or therapist. Your parents ought to be doing this of course, but if they won't then you may have to step in. She is,...


13

My brother and I share a birthday, 3 years apart (by coincidence, not by our parents' choice). With all due respect to those saying that neither child gets their "special day," I can attest that sharing a birthday with a sibling, particularly one close in age, does not make either birthday less valuable. Both kids will grow up accepting that their shared ...


13

Whether it causes resentment or not depends on how much say the child has in the matter. Kids often borrow their older sibling's clothing on their own. A lot of handing down happens even without parental intervention, as one child starts to grow out of something, they are more and more willing to lend it to their younger sibling, until it ends up de facto ...


13

I take it you have a cell-phone with recording capabilities? Maybe your parents do as well? Start using them. When you have caught enough of her threats on film, let her go ahead and call the police. They will tell her if she doesn't stop calling for such nonsense, they will write out a ticket or might even haul her in to show her what calling the police for ...


12

Frankly, if you have economic reasons for only having one - ie, you're concerned two will be too much of a burden financially - then one sounds like a good plan to me. Kids are really, really expensive. Regardless of the evidence that may or may not exist on the matter, in your personal situation it seems like one child with a happy stable family will be ...


12

Ultimately raising your siblings is your parent's responsibility, not yours. Helping them out is a nice gesture, but eventually you will move out and they won't be able to depend on your help. The solution depends a bit on how much of an obligation you have to help out. If part of your living-at-home arrangement is giving rides, etc. then you need to do ...


11

Maybe he needs to try something less "sportsy" and more "artsy". Maybe he would enjoy getting involved in theater or taking some art classes or joining a children's choir or piano lessons? If his sisters excel in athletics then finding something completely different might be the push he needs to distinguish himself. If athletics is a priority in his ...


11

At a slumber party, the number of attendees is usually more restricted than otherwise — there is a bit less space, a longer time commitment for the hosts, and the amount of noise generated by guests seems to increases exponentially instead of arithmetically... especially at 2am. It's possible that the age difference played some part in the decision; perhaps ...


11

We have no way to know the truth of this situation so my advice is: Set a time and a place for a meeting with your parents so you can talk it out. Your sibling should not be there and TV and so on should be off. Go in knowing that it is more likely a misunderstanding than a declaration of lack of love or caring. Do not accuse them of anything. Sit with your ...


11

If it makes you feel any better to know this, kids with siblings ask this. In fact I recently had my nearly 8 year inform me that he is ready for another sibling in about a year, for what reason, I don't know. My 10 year old love babies, so he has wanted one all along since my youngest was born, 3 years ago. My older two never wanted any. I adopted them, ...


10

My perception is that a child's social adjustment is more complex than just how many siblings they have. For example: there are articles discussing how Only Children are More Successful while you can find evidence to support the contrary. I believe most of these types of articles are anecdotal generalizations in both directions, though. Children are ...


10

To be honest, I can see your fifteen-year-old daughter's point of view. Why should she want to meet this grown-up that hasn't mattered in her life up to now? What positive change in her life would result from that? She's probably interested in a lot of other things right now, being a teenager; meeting unknown family members probably sounds like a chore to ...


10

I'm truly sorry for your situation, that's a horrific & traumatic experience to go through. I wouldn't worry too much about the direct impact on your 3 year old. She is still very young and quite adaptable. A lot of what happens is hard for young kids to understand, so they are pre-wired to just accept it and get on with life. She may be sad or confused ...


9

Kids mess up. A lot. If it were possible to do something for a month that would make them stop messing up, they wouldn't need to live with you anymore. Kids messing up isn't a sign that you're doing something wrong. It's a sign that you're dealing with a normal human kid. Parenting is raising a successful 35 year-old. It's a job with a very long view. ...


9

Dealing with a sibling is tough, especially if you've got a long-established tradition of fighting. It's easy to interact poorly because you've been doing it your whole lives. Keep calm. It's hard to yell at somebody who doesn't yell back. It's hard to yell at somebody who puts up their hands and says, "You know what, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this to ...


9

If you trust them not to fight and to listen to each other, sure. I've been a babysitter since as young as 13, and there's 6 years of difference which should give enough additional overweight for the older one. As long as you explain that this is actually baby-sitting (meaning he can't just go out with his friends while "on duty") and your son agrees with ...


9

I would refrain from that question. If that's your first response, your children will pick that up as the most important component in the event that has taken place, and I can see how that would steer them towards an "It wasn't me" type of reaction, as opposed to, say, "I didn't mean to", if focus would've been placed on intention rather than blame. "What ...


8

Congrats on the move to man-to-man parenting! First, I suggest you start figuring out now how to schedule some one-on-one time with him. My daughter spent the first two months after her brother arrived telling me she didn't love me anymore, which was her way of telling me she needed attention too. We started having Mommy-Daughter and Daddy-Daughter dates, ...


8

First of all, these sorts of things are rarely caused by one event. Rather, that one event is usually the "straw that broke the camel's back" after a long series of problems in a relationship. If I had to guess, I would say your brother's "stuff" that happened was at least partially motivated by trying to elicit a certain kind of attention from your mom. ...


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