How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask MaryA. Your Own Question

MaryA. , Teacher, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5
Experience:  10+ years as a teacher, mother to a teen and 8 year old
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
MaryA. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have two children ages 9 (daughter) and 7 (son). My son

Resolved Question:

I have two children ages 9 (daughter) and 7 (son). My son adores my daughter and she barely tolerates him. Okay - that's not entirely true. At times they are the BEST of friends, laughing, creating new activites, etc. In fact, my daughter has taught my son almost everything that she learns in school - making him advanced in just about every area in the 2nd grade. But, on the flip side, she is absolutely horrible to him. His simply breathing irritates her into being hurtful and obnoxious, which is easy because he admires her so much. He overcompensates (giving her anything she wants to keep her happy) and she becomes even more annoyed. I can't figure this out as this is not behavior that is demonstrated anywhere else in our family. My husband and I have tried reasoning with her, using object lessons, "how would you feel if..." type conversations, but she routinely shuts us down and becomes cold (rolls eyes, looks away, etc.) whenever we try to talk about it. I have considered trying to make her see how he feels by treating her the way she treats him for a 24 hour period of time (because she adores me the way he adores her) but decided against it as a.) it's too cruel and b.) I doubt it would work. At school she is beloved - "the sweetest kid in the class", but at home with her brother - another story. I know some of this is typical sibling behavior, but his constant hurt feeling are making me angry with her, and I do not want to say something in my anger to make the situation any worse. If I could just understand what is going on in her head...
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  MaryA. replied 4 years ago.

MaryA. :

Hello. I agree with you that treating her the way she treats her brother would probably not work and it is also a bit cruel. I have children of my own and have experienced "sweetest kid in school" followed by oppositional behavior at home. I see that you have already tried giving her consequences and letting her think about her actions as a sort of time out. Have you tried praising her for the positive behavior? Sometimes children will react to praise and positive reinforcement more than to the negative consequences. I would suggest saying something, like "That was so nice or sweet of you" when you "catch" her and her brother getting along. You could also try engaging them in some type of family or child activity where they would have to get along and then praise them for that. For example, having them work on a special project together or a game that is non-competitive. Of course you would be supervising this and providing positive feedback when needed. I'm glad that you are taking your own "time outs" and not lashing out, as this might make her even angrier. I do understand this can be very frustrating, as my own children are 8 years apart and still bicker constantly, but I have tried the positive reinforcement and rewards strategy both at home and with other families and it has worked well. Please let me know if you have any further questions that I can assist with. Or if you are satisfied with my answer please click accept. I am here to help, so please feel free to contact me.

MaryA., Teacher, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5
Experience: 10+ years as a teacher, mother to a teen and 8 year old
MaryA. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • Cher's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
  • Jennifer's Avatar


    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • professional_Alison's Avatar


    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L


    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • Dr. Shirley Schaye's Avatar

    Dr. Shirley Schaye


    Satisfied Customers:

    PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
  • Eveningstargazer's Avatar


    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Related Parenting Questions