or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › 5 yo "bullying" younger brother
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

5 yo "bullying" younger brother

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if bullying is the right term for what my daughter is doing, but it very much feels that way to me and is leaving me very anxious and unsure of how to deal with her.  My oldest is almost 5 yo dd.  She has a brother that just turned 3.  Whenever she sees her brother playing with something, she automatically wants it.  She comes over, asks him for it, and if he says "No," will nag and nag him "When is it my turn?"  "Can I have it now?"  I have told her that she can ask once, but that if he says no, she needs to respect that and leave him alone.  The issue that comes into play is that my son is so sweet-natured, he always gives in.  Even if I tell him, "it's not her turn, it's yours" or that he doesn't have to give it to her.  He always gives in.  Most of the time he isn't even upset and moves on to something else.

 

I really worry what this is teaching her, that she can just demand her way and get it with little consequence.  I have a hard time knowing how to "gentle discipline" this behavior.  As I type now, I guess the best thing would be that no one gets to play with the toy?

 

The other thing she does is when she if feeling silly, she will ask him to do things.  A lot of times she asks him to "say poop."  Other times it's things he shouldn't be doing, like writing on the table.  If he doesn't do them right away, she will ask over and over and over again.  I just can't even think of a natural consequence to this behavior.

 

I think the real underlying fear is that I am raising a bully and I'm so scared that all my gentle disciplining is failing us.  I welcome any ideas.

post #2 of 4

I would remove your son from the equation. Pick him up and whatever he is playing with and remove him from her area. If she wants to play with him then she will need to learn to not, boss, be mean , or manipulate him. Also maybe keep a special toy that is only for him and one that is only for her so that when she takes his toys he can have his special toy and she cannot have it. If she wants hers she has to give the toy back.

 

Her behavior sounds pretty normal though for an older sibling.
 

post #3 of 4

That sounds normal for her age. Could you try validating her feelings, then either playing with her while she waits or asking her to help you with something? Part of the issue is that she's bored, while the other part of the issue is that most 5yos don't have a lot of patience. Give her something to do, preferably with you/dad/friend so that she gets attention too, and that should help.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mittsy View Post

That sounds normal for her age. Could you try validating her feelings, then either playing with her while she waits or asking her to help you with something? Part of the issue is that she's bored, while the other part of the issue is that most 5yos don't have a lot of patience. Give her something to do, preferably with you/dad/friend so that she gets attention too, and that should help.

 

It does seem like jealousy and resentment might be fueling her behavior, rather than a desire for the actual toy he has or whatever. I like this idea of giving her more attention and one-on-one time, and also trying to arrange activities they can do together that they both can be successful at and enjoy (that's usually something physical, like playing at the playground - games and crafts usually don't help matters because the opportunity to manipulate or control the younger one is more present in those kinds of sit-down activities). Playing charades as a family, telling silly stories after dinner, that kind of stuff.

 

It's really normal behavior for siblings and doesn't mean she's turning into a bully.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › 5 yo "bullying" younger brother