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professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
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S15 constantly criticizes how I discipline his sister D12

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My S15 constantly complains about his younger sister D12 and has done since she's been about 4. Because they don't have a particularly good relationship, she's very dismissive when she talks to him and doesn't make eye contact.


He tries to lecture her and I think she feels patronized by it. He constantly criticizes her and makes digs and snide remarks. Even when he claims he's trying to be nice or giving advice it often sounds like a patronizing lecture to me.


if I tell him off for something he somehow always manages to bring his sister into the discussion as in 'well she's just as bad SHE did this the other day". It's almost like he's obsessed with his sister and brings her into everything he does by comparing how i treat her or how she does something worse than him. He says she is the main problem in his life. He says he's 'desperate' because she's always disrespectful to him.


Now this is the main problem that I need advice on. How do I stop feeling guilty for S15's criticizms of me.  I'm trying my best to stop my daughter from upsetting her brother so much. If I see her roll her eyes at him or I've told her she needs to make eye contact with him when he asks her a question. Or she needs to stop blowing up when he disagrees with her. (but then I see her side of things there's no point in her talking about something that's bothering her over the dinner table for example because he wil ALWAYS NOT be on her side - so if she tells a story about someone upsetting her he will always say that the other person had a point).


He has absolutely no loyalty to his sister and wouldn't think of sticking up for her. If someone is mean to her on the bus or criticises her behind her back - he joins them in it. He wouldn't even think of defending her against someone being mean. He's seems like he's glad she's getting picked on.


We took him for counselling when he was in 4th grade about a bullying problem he had in school. and he mainly spent all his sessions complaining about his sister. After months of trying to get to the bottom of it the therapist threw up his hands and couldn't see anything particularly heinous that his sister was doing!! Beyond yelling at him sometimes and rolling her eyes or getting annoyed with him (He calls all this 'disprespectful' behavior)


. I do my best to try and get D12 to communicate with S15 more respectfully XXXXX XXXXX finds it difficult because she DOESN"T respect some things about him. I talk to her almost every day about it and correct her and admonish her when I hear her tone of voice being clipped or dismissive towards him. But then part of me finds her behavior understandable because he just nit picks and criticized her CONSTANTLY (I actually think she copes with that very well) Her father did this to me and it nearly destroyed me.


D12 sticks up for him when other people criticize him and is loyal to him outside of the house. when S15 is upset if I've told him off SHE is the one that wants to go to comfort him. she often sticks up for him when I'm annoyed with him too. He NEVER does this for her. It seems he could care less - he's usually GLAD she's got in trouble and GLAD if she's having a hard time at school - and then rubs it in by never ever being on her side when she talks about it.


So despite my approaching this the best way i can - S15 constantly admonishes me for "not doing enough" about his sister's 'behavior' not doing enough about how she treats me and how she treats him. But she's not that bad! And what business is it of HIS if how I handle how she treats ME. He should be more concerned about how HE treats me.
He makes out like it's this terrible dreadful problem that I'm doing "nothign about" and "it will never stop" and "it's just my lot in life"  he's furious with me it seems for not punishing her more or differently or more often.  Scornful of me that I haven't completely 'fixed' the problem yet.


My daughter can also be rude and curt to me at times and believe me i tell her off and cancel trips or priveliges - she DOES get consequences. But my son complains that it's not enough and thinks that she shouldn't get these treats at all until she stops being rude at times.


She wanted to have a party with some friends over so I organized that for her and bought pizza etc, tidied the yard it was a lot of effort for me. S15 said "she treats you like cr*p and you still let her have a party". (I offered him a party too)

You know my daughter can be rude to me at times but I DO tell her off and give her consequences. I'm so tired of my son constantly berating me for how i handle my daughter. I don't feel I should have to explain myself to him. He will just keep complaining unless she is never rude to either one of us again.


Who's job is it to control the way my daughter behaves around my son? Maybe what I am doing is not enough. But 1) I don't think she's that bad and I see it as typical sibling bickering 2) He's often just as bad if not worse - in a different way - with his constant negativity put downs and pulling her up ALL THE TIME if she's not as 'polite' or 'respectful' as he'd like. 3) I mean maybe I'm not 'solving' the problem to his's like I'm supposed to have the magic answer to make her never be rude to him or me again??


He has me doubting myself and I'm looking for some reassurance.

professional_Alison : Hello there, may I help you? Having read your detailed explanation I am wondering if your son has witnessed this behaviour from his father as you said the critism nearly distroyed you.
professional_Alison : Your son needs to see you being very confident in your role as mother and parent and do not allow him to tell you or question how you disabling his sister. I feel all his critism and not picking is probably wearing her down too. I think you need to introduce a strict new rule that is either of them can't say anything nice to each other don't say anything at all. The



professional_Alison : Minuthe there is a negative comment, stamp on it and change the subject. Respect has to be earnt as far and your son from his sister is concerned. I think you should sit them down and tell them there are goong to be some serious changes fromonday for example. Write them on a poster on the fridge to encourage them to remember. Give them something to aim for. At the end of the week if you see an effort being made and a marked improvement then they can have a nice family trip out to the cinema for example.

They hate family trips. I sat them down and asked them what they would like to do for an inexpensive activity as a family. S15 doesn't want to go anywhere if D12 is there. It would be like a chore for him. D12 feels the same. they like being with their friends.


S15 won't let up he won't stop. Like yesterday we were all doing the washing up together. If I get him to stop and send him to his room then he gets out of the chores. They just bicker back and forth and the negativity drains me.

professional_Alison : So perhaps they could bring along a friend each.

S15 only has online friends. The other friends he has are often not available. He would consider that too uncool to hang out with his sister at his age.


Also that would be a big expense 5 movie tickets - I don't have money for that i'm totally broke and living hand to mouth


professional_Alison : I feel the relationship between siblings has got out of control because of the sons controlling negative behaviour and this needs to be corrected as a matter of urgency. Consistency is key here. Do not allow him to slip back into old ways.

he would be furious with you for not agreeing that his sister's disrespect is the problem that needs to be fixed just like he was furious with the therapist he had in 4th/5th grade for not agreeing that his sister was some demonic being

professional_Alison : Your son is in control and you need to take it back, if you have to send him to his room when doing chores, leave them for him to do afterwards. Do not allow him to think he can win.

My main question is can you suggest what i should say to him when he starts criticizing me for how i don't discipline his sister enought. I don't do enough about how she treats him. I don't do enough about how she treats ME. I need a script or something because i'm drawing a blank and I sense he feels he's got the upper hand...



If i really put my foot down with my son there's another thing too...his sister runs to his protection and hates the upset. Even when its HER I'm trying to protect.

professional_Alison : He needs to earn respect from his sister by treating her as a family member. He is still a child and although may not like to told he will have to deal with the fact that you are the parent and what you say goes.

My main question is can you suggest what i should say to him when he starts criticizing me for how i don't discipline his sister enought. I don't do enough about how she treats him. I don't do enough about how she treats ME. I need a script or something because i'm drawing a blank and I sense he feels he's got the upper hand.

Could you suggest some wording?


My main question is can you suggest what i should say to him when he starts criticizing me for how i don't discipline his sister enought. I don't do enough about how she treats him. I don't do enough about how she treats ME. I need a script or something because i'm drawing a blank and I sense he feels he's got the upper hand.


Can you suggest some wording?


oops sorry for the double post

professional_Alison : Yes certainly. You use short sharp sentences and then walk away. Do not get into trying to justify yourself to him. You simply say I am the parent not you. It is not your job to discipline your sister. Do not respond to any further comments, just walk away. If he says anything about how she treats you, you simply says it is not your concern, let me worry about it.

Thank you.

Then what if he complains about how I'm not doing enough about how she treats HIM. Or I never do enough for how she treats him? Suggested wording for that is age appropriate please?

professional_Alison : Remember to stay strong and stand your ground, you are in control not him.

But I don't know what I;m standing my ground ON. I feel like I should be able to 'fix' his sister's disrespectful behavior towards him. What do I say?

professional_Alison : Again use the treat her as you would like to be treated line, respect has to be earnt. If you can't say anything nice don't say ant thing at all and just stay away from each other.

So if D12 is rude or dismissive to S15...that would be unfair. How much should I intervene when the 3 of us are all together.

if I do say something to correct her he'll usually say something like "Oh yeah like that's gonna work. she'll improve for 5 minutes then she'll be right back to treating me like cr*p"


And if it's HIM that's at fault and he's being patronizing and nitpicking then he say things like "oh no it couldn't be D12 that's at fault - no she's the little angel that can do no wrong"
And that really isn't true I'm quite firm with her when she needs's just a LIE


**EDIT**And if it's HIM that's at fault and he's being patronizing and nitpicking **and I correct him** then he say things like..

professional_Alison : You have to make a decision to discipline your daughter dealing with how she treats you first. If your son makes comments you simply ask him to keep his opinions to himself.

Ok understood.

but what about when he criticizes how I deal with how she treats HIM?

professional_Alison : Treat them both the same in your expectations of respect toward you. With regard to rudeness to each other expect a certain amount of sibling bickering, when it goes beyond what you consider normal then separate them immediately and expect an apology each time when they come together again.

Quite often when i hear something that's "normal" bickering I'll say I don't want to hear it. But my son will complain that I'm not doing enough. whatever i do he says I'm not doing enough because when I'm not there she'll be rude to him at times. Or they'll bicker again.

If he said to you "your not doing enough to make my sister treat me better"
What would you say?



Ironically my daughter never complains that i'm not doing enough to stop him treating HER badly - although she would have just as much if not even more cause to say that to me.

professional_Alison : Explain this as a new house rule .
professional_Alison : This will not happen over night but with strength and consistency you can change the behaviour towards you and each other. I wish yu luck. Do let me know if I can assist you further.
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