Sibling Rivalry

Amanda - posted on 11/08/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )




i have a 12 year old daughter and 7 year old daughter. I'm frustrated because my 12 year old is very mean to my 7 year old. She says she doesn't like her sister and it hurts to hear my 7 year old say her sister hates her. My 12 year old is a good girl with a good heart but she can't get past this anger she has towards her sister. She doesn't hit her or anything thank God, but she is just always so angry and mean towards her. I know she's going through a lot of changes and hormones are crazy, but I can't stand it anymore. I feel like mybe it's something I've done? I don't play favorites in my home and she knows that. I sense a lot of jealousy coming from her but I don't know how to help the situation. The result is always us fighting and her saying she hates me. I've tried to talk to her privately and it seems sometimes she understands and wants to change but it never works out that way. I love my girls and I just want them to get along.


Dove - posted on 11/08/2015




Hormones are evil. She doesn't have to like her sister or even get along w/ her (this isn't something you can make happen and the more you try the worse it can get), but she does need to treat her w/ decency and respect... or lose privileges.... and little sister needs to understand that big sister needs some space. They don't really have a lot in common at these ages, but are there some activities that they both enjoy? Perhaps watching a movie, playing a game, or doing an art project? Being together in a family means that you are all part of the same team and like it or not... you are stuck w/ each other, so better to make the best of it.

Your preteen also likely needs space and time to herself in her room to listen to music or whatever else calms her.

It's really a challenge trying to figure out a balance between giving the older ones the space and growth they need... and keeping the little ones content as well (my girls are almost 14 and my son is 7.5). Good luck!

If you have help in the house or from a friend... you could also try 'dating' your kids one on one... one week night you go and do something special just w/ your older daughter and the next you go and do something special w/ the younger one.

Raye - posted on 11/09/2015




Dove makes some good points.

My sister and I (3 years difference) always thought the other was my mom's favorite, so my mom says she must have been pretty fair to both of us. The children don't see the big picture. They don't see that requiring the children to act appropriately for each child's age is going to mean that each child is treated a little differently. There's different responsibilities as they get older, and maybe still come leniency for the younger child. The older one doesn't remember how much easier she had it when she was younger, she just sees that you expect more of her now that you may not require of her little sister.

Me and my sister are completely different people, and if we weren't sisters we would never have been friends. It's okay for them to have different interests and not be close. But Dove is right that they need to be respectful of each other or suffer consequences. They may not like it, they may say hurtful things to you, but they will be better people for it in the long run. Life is full of having to deal with people you don't like. So better they learn how to do that now.


View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms