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  1. #1
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    Default Sibling rivalry in the tween set

    DD's nephews have moved in... They are little ones (preschoolers, toddler), and DD is fairly jealous already.

    We try to make her a "grown up" as far as offering to let her "babysit" the older 2 outside (fenced yard), asking her to help us care/manage them. I'm also making a heck of an effort to take her somewhere by herself for a few hours for some one-on-one time.

    So, suggestions on how to work through sibling rivalry with the tween set?
    --Mimi
    Mom to Lala (2004), Bonus Mom to Big Sis 1 (1991) and Big Sis 2 (1992)
    Grammy to Big Kindy Kid (2011), Big Pre-K Kid (2012),
    Grandbaby Appendage (2014), and New Baby Grandboy (summer 2017)

  2. #2
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    Default Sibling rivalry in the tween set

    The problem in your situation is not traditional sibling rivalry, but someone who is not a sibling and disrupting her world. Please don't take this the wrong way, but having people constantly move in and out of your house is going to be really hard and disruptive on your daughter. It's only natural for her to be jealous. I wouldn't give her any more responsibility. She didn't pick this situation. They are not her siblings. Id let her have more space and make sure she's getting enough positive attention from you and alone time with you.

    ETA: I have a tween (9.5) and a toddler (2), and he always getting into her stuff.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  3. #3
    KrisM is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Well, since they aren't siblings, I think it's different. I assume they are there temporarily, so will be leaving in a matter of days/weeks/months? That makes it different too.

    I'm sure you have a ton on your plate with all those people in the house, but I'd probably try to hire things out rather than have her do the care, babysitting, etc of the nephews. If that's not possible, can she earn some money for doing it?

    Can you make her room completely off limits to the little kids? Can she have another couple spots in the house that are all hers as well...like if they had not moved in. I'm picturing having a preschooler move in here - I think I'd make the playroom off limits to him. Right now, it has a TV, computers, board games, etc for the older kids in it. I'd limit the preschooler to the family room and make sure he stayed out of the bigger kid area. Granted, I have 3 bigger kids and am picturing 1 little kid, but still. The point it to make some things stay how they were before people started moving in and out of the house, so she still has some sense that it is her space and that she doesn't have to share everything with different people all of the time.

    When DH was born, his siblings were 12, 11, 9, and 7. I know they expanded the house so there were 5 bedrooms instead of just 3, but am not sure when that happened. But, once he was born, all 4 big kids were upstairs and he and his parents were downstairs. He wasn't allowed upstairs when he was young
    Kris

  4. #4
    jren is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I have an 11 yo DD and 7 yo DS. When they were younger, she really enjoyed him and loved helping and playing with him. Now, no more! I would just try to let her have her own space apart from them as much as possible, unless you think she really enjoys babysitting them. My DD loves to babysit other kids, just not her brother! (And by babysit, it's just watching them while parents are all right there watching older kids at soccer games, stuff like that.) Another life saver for her has been headphones. I think she uses them for noise canceling as much as for listening to her music. At night, her brother has an earlier bedtime, so she gets full run of the playroom and can watch her shows then. I also try to have certain times where each of them can be alone in the playroom during the day, since she likes to dance and doesn't want him in there. But there are plenty of times where they have to share.

    The jealousy thing is something we also deal with. Little kids are cute at that age and tweens are entering their awkward phase. So that's tough. We laugh at DS's antics, but then not so easy to laugh at cute things DD does since backtalk and sulking isn't cute!

  5. #5
    mikala is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiegirl View Post
    The problem in your situation is not traditional sibling rivalry, but someone who is not a sibling and disrupting her world. Please don't take this the wrong way, but having people constantly move in and out of your house is going to be really hard and disruptive on your daughter. It's only natural for her to be jealous. I wouldn't give her any more responsibility. She didn't pick this situation. They are not her siblings. Id let her have more space and make sure she's getting enough positive attention from you and alone time with you.

    ETA: I have a tween (9.5) and a toddler (2), and he always getting into her stuff.
    I totally agree with this. Her nephews (cousins?) are not her siblings and it's a different dynamic. I'd work hard to make sure she has her own space and that her life isn't too disrupted by the sudden addition of small people that get into things and probably have much different schedules than she does.

  6. #6
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    I agree with the others about letting her have her own space and time with you. She was used to it just being her and you and DH, sure other people visited, but she's now had a few people move in to live for sometime and that takes your attention away from her. You're giving a lot of time to the grandbabies, which is understandable as they need more, but she doesn't understand that. My DS is an only and he sometimes says he wants a sibling, but he doesn't like it when I am busy with other people/things as he's used to getting a large amount of time from me. He's had some difficulty with me working full-time now, even though I"m not studying all weekend long like I used to.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the thoughts Perhaps I should have called it jealousy vs sibling rivalry, but since they live here, the relationship seems more sibling than aunt/nephew, since most aunts and nephews don't live together.

    As far as the "babysitting," she's always begging to help take care of them, which is why we have encouraged it.

    Her room is 100% off limits to anyone that she doesn't invite in, and the littles aren't allowed in at all (really, no reason to be in there!).

    We're working on encouraging non-nephew-related big-kid things, and time spent without the nephews as much as is possible. We spent time getting new makeup today, and have church in the morning without them as well.

    We're hoping this is only for a few more weeks, but they will be living nearby, and in our lives a lot more than previously!

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