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Ask John-Michaels Your Own Question
John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 615
Experience:  25+ years working with familes and 6 children of my own.
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Situation: 12 year old girl is disrespectful to parents and

Customer Question

Situation: 12 year old girl is disrespectful to parents and siblings. This has been for years. She has a 10 year old brother. They fight often. She is more interested in him being punished than working on her improvement. As parents, we are now experiencing a disconnect and it is extremely frustrating to say the least. Thank you for your feedback.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear this. I have 6+ children of my own and have been working with kids much like yours for over thirty year. I definitely don't have all the answers, but maybe I can help you come up with done ideas. First I have a few questions though. Can you tell me more about her situation growing up, especially the first few years of her life, any trauma, sickness, separation, eats.? How has she done developmentally, etc.?
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.
Not eats, etc...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Stable, good upbringing. Happily married parents. No health issues. From her POV, she feels that our treatment/punishing towards her brother is different than towards her. However, she doesn't miss an opportunity to try to trip him, make fun of him and is a genuine bully. As a result, she gets in trouble and resents us for it. (Just my take)
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.
Ok, here is my take from what information I have. Understand first, this is very normal for a first born to resent a second born. The question is, what do we do about it. I am going to throw out a lot of stuff here. Maybe some will work for you, some won't. To simplify things I categorize expected behaviors in three categories; Show Respect - be nice, Be Responsible - do it like you own it, Take Responsibikity - If you mess it up own up to it. Honestly, if you will get those three behaviors down, you will have no problems. Post these in the refrigerator, in their room. Make both of them memorize them. That brings me to my second point. Make sure you give both of them the same rules. If she messes up and he doesn't it's her own doing. Make a specific list for each one of those behavior categories so they are very clear as to what you are taking about. Have them participate in making the list. Create a reward and consequence program for positive and negative behavior. What I would do here is maybe use s token plan. I would personally purchase a bunch of chuck e cheese tokens. They have a chance to earn 5 a day; 1 for respect, 1 for being responsible, 1 for taking responsibility, and the 2 extra as bonus each day as you deem appropriate. Tell them in one month, you are going to cec and they can use whatever they earn. If they earn all possible 150, they will have a blast. If the earn 25-30, not so much fun. Honestly with this you cover both positive and negative. It doesn't have to be.cec tokens btw. You venues quarters and take them shopping. The key is to be clear, specific, and fair that is a very simple plan. It had worked for many of my clients. I like it because it is simple and pretty much leaves it up yo the kids how well they do. That is a lot to swallow. There is more I could say, but from this platform, that seems enough. Excuse any typos, as I am doing this from my iPhone. If you wish, we could set up s call to discuss other possibilities. Just let me know. Does all that make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is some great stuff. I will review with wife and follow up as it may make sense to follow through with the call.
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.
Sounds good. Seriously, let me know if you have more questions.