Online Parent Support Chat

12.3.07

Re: Sibling Rivalry

Hi,

Our names are M___ and K___. This is our situation. We are a blended family, both of us having kids from a previous marriage. We have been together for 7 years. When we were first married these problems didn't exist to this extent. It was more like sibling rivalry, but as of lately the problems have escalated.

We have all boys ages 16, 14, 10. Our 16 year old is the easy one, he doesn't give us many problems or if he does he responds well to our suggestions. He works and goes to school and maintains an acceptable grade average. The 14 year old is in home-school because of problems in school, both with grades and getting into trouble. He has problems with authority figures at every level including grandparents, teachers, etc. He tries to create conflict between us, and has told other family members that he wants his dad all to himself. He often disrespects M___ (his step mom) and refuses to do simple chores that is expected of any child. He accuses us of favoring the other children and letting them do things that he does not get to do. We do treat the 3 of them differently according to their ages (i.e., 16 year old get to go with his friends more and the 10 year old doesn't get to leave the block that we live on and the 14 year old is somewhere in the middle).

The 10 year old seems to be trying to follow in the 14yr olds’ footsteps when it comes to behavior at home. He doesn't act up at school and has a good grade average so far.

The 16 and 10 year olds are M___'s and the 14 year old is K___'s. M___'s kids don't see their other parent. K___'s son however has contact with his mother on a regular basis (which seems to cause more problems).

Our problem is (we didn't see it addressed in your e-book) that the younger two boys constantly argue and fight. It is not always one or the other that starts it but it always ends up either in a screaming match between them or a physical altercation, generally with the younger of the two crying. We have a plan of action using your ebook for everything except how to handle these confrontations between the 14 and 10 year old. Do you have any suggestions?

What prompted us to check into your ebook today and try something different came from a conflict with the 14 yr old and his other parent and grandfather last night. He has gone to see his mother for spring break and he instigated a screaming match with his grandfather, which resulted in the 14 yr old calling K___ on the phone and trying to convince him that his grandfather was mistreating him. K___ got on the phone with both his mother and grandfather and determined that that was not the case. K___ then spoke to the 14 yr old again and told him that starting fights and arguments with them will not get him anywhere and that K___ and them will continue to communicate with each other and we will not be turned against each other for his benefit.

In the past the 14 yr old would cause these problems and then get to go to K___s parent’s house to avoid a conflict, it started becoming apparent that he was using this to get to go to the grandparents house almost every weekend and was told before he went this time that he would not be able to go to the other grandparent’s house. He would have to stay and deal with any situation at his mom's house. Did we handle this situation in the correct way?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

M. & K.

_______________________________________

Sibling rivalry is covered in one of our weekly newsletters.
You may subscribe here.

No comments: