being hyper posessive over material stuff - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am having a bit of a debate/issue with my middle child.

She is hyper possesive over her stuff.

Ex - her younger sister put on high heels she bought for Halloween last year (and has rarely worn since) and older DD told in her a cold tone: get.my.shoes.off.

She has done this over other things - including an air mattress last week (that did even belong to her - but she was using)

She maintains it is reasonable that people ask to borrow her stuff - I think it is reasonable, but perhaps she needs to:

a) work on pointing these things out nicely
b) do you have to get possesive over every little thing? What does does it matter if little sister uses your shoes? I would like to cultivate a little bit more of a climate of genorousity and not worry so much about whether "you got yours".

Some of this is triggering for me. One of my sisters is like this - incredibly possessive over her stuff - and it has been the source of much stress between her and I (or, well, anybody) over the years. If I visit my mom (whom my sister lives with) you have to be careful not to use "J's" cup, or slip on her slippers, or read a book/magazine that is lying around without her permission. It is a bit much and does not always make her a well liked person.

Any advice?
purslaine is offline  
#2 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:07 PM
ssh
 
ssh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your DD's reaction could be about personal boundaries instead of material possessiveness. If someone uses her stuff without asking that means the person went in her private space to get it. The real issue could be she doesn't feel she has enough privacy or space for things that are just hers. It is reasonable that she wants people ask before borrowing her stuff. If her reaction is coming from feelings that her boundaries are being violated then it may be hard for her to react in a nice and polite manner.
ssh is offline  
#3 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:09 PM
 
MaerynPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hubert NC
Posts: 14,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was like this growing up.

I felt like my mom did not give my little sister ANY boundaries for personal space and personal possessions and I had to do it myself.

I cant tell you how to fix it, but that is why I was like that. Im a bit more relaxed about it as an adult (perhaps when I was finally able to have my own house with my own stuff it helped) but it still bothers me to this day that my little sister will take and use things that do not belong to her without permission.

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
MaerynPearl is offline  
#4 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No one had to go into her personal space to get things. Both the shoes and air mattress were in the living room.

No one ever goes in her room without asking - people are pretty good about rooms.
purslaine is offline  
#5 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:11 PM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I am the oldest. I have two younger brothers who were rougher and less careful than I am with things. Because I am the oldest, there was always an expectation that I would "act like a big kid and share" and "just let him have it, he's the baby" and that kind of thing. Nevermind the constant expectation that I was the only one "old enough to know better." It kinda sucked.

I'm careful with my things. I'm neat, I put them away, I know where they are and I'm not rough with them. I value the things I buy for myself (and select them carefully) as well as the things given to me by other people. My brothers were TOTALLY the opposite - broken things left all over the place and who knows where all the pieces are. Yes, I was protective of my stuff. It was also, in my way, trying to create some space and boundaries for myself.

As much as you are trying to teach one of your kids to be more generous, I think it is equally important to work on expecting the others to ask before using things that aren't theirs. If your middle child sees that her things (and by extension, she herself) are given a little more respect, it will be easier for her to be generous in the first place.

If it helps, I have grown up to be a generous person and I have a good relationship with my siblings. I will happily give or share whatever I have, but I still don't like people rifling in my stuff or taking without asking. It's just basic respect for another person to ask before using their things. My brothers are still careless with their own things and you can bet anything they borrow will never be seen again (this includes money).

A big part of my being someone who needs space to myself is that no one ever respected my space when I was growing up. My parents did what was easiest for them (just let them in your room, what can it hurt) and children weren't allowed to "own" things in the same way adults were. My things were really just the possessions the grown ups were allowing me to have and if they said it was ok for a brother to take something then just suck it up. There was basic respect lacking all around. I think if my parents had ever said, "look those things aren't yours and even if she isn't using them RIGHT THIS MOMENT it's just common courtesy to ask to borrow them and return them in the same shape you got them in," I might have been a lot less possessive because I wouldn't have felt the need to protect everything.
NiteNicole is offline  
#6 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yes - you are both probably right. I probably do not set huge boundaries around stuff with my kids, because:

a: I am not overly materialistic
b: I do not want to be on my kids cases over every little thing. They are shoes - let it go.

I know on some level, DD is right. Her stuff - she has the right to be asked to use it.

I simply feel (vent coming on) that if I correct someone every time they do any little infraction, I will be correcting people all day long. Literally (and mostly over housework). It would not make for a very peaceful household - and I value peace over being right 100% of the time. I want people to learn to fight over the big things - but not sweat everything.

Ah, well, this may be my value - peace over being right - it does not mean it is hers, though.

I need to help older DD find the words to relay her boundaries without judging the boundary.

I am sure the fact that this is day 20 of unrelenting heat and humidity has not brought out the best in everyone. Without dismissing the issue, it probably does come into play

edited to add: just read your post, NiteNicole. Thank you. I do see a bit of myself in your parents - taking the path that is easiest. Parenting is hard - and sometimes we (well I ) do take the easier path rather than engage in what is sure to be stressing. I guess I just have to pull up my big girl pants and deal, though, because older DD is trying to set limits and I should support that, and younger DD does not deserve to be snapped at - and maybe I can help the older one feel more validated and less in need of harsh words/attitude.
purslaine is offline  
#7 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 02:52 PM
ssh
 
ssh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you asked your DD why it bothers her so much when someone uses her stuff without asking? It's good she has her own room, but it still could be more a issue about respect and personal boundaries than possessiveness. You don't have to correct anyone. You could let them deal with or just have a general talk "Hey it's hot, we're all getting annoyed with each other. Lets just try to be a bit nicer." A person's temperament determines whether they are able to "not sweat everything" and also how firm their personal boundaries are.

My little sister got into my stuff, and as long as it wasn't my diary or writing journal and I had things to read, I didn't care. But that was my temperament not your DD's. I also value peace over being right, so I understand your annoyance. I just thought if it was a personal boundary issue it might be easier to deal with than if it's simple possessiveness.
ssh is offline  
#8 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:00 PM
 
MaerynPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hubert NC
Posts: 14,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its not materialistic in my eyes. Its less about the things themselves than the lack of respect and personal privacy it shows of those things being used without permission.

Especially as you get closer to teenage years, you need to know that you have that respect and are not expected to give it all up for the sake of your parents not having to parent you.

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
MaerynPearl is offline  
#9 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:18 PM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Have you asked your DD why it bothers her so much when someone uses her stuff without asking?
adding onto this. Have you asked the other 2 kids why they take her stuff, or stuff she is using, without asking permission?

If your kids were younger I could see getting upset at your dd, but at 14, 11 & 7 they should already know to ask permission before using something that isn't thier.

There is also the possibility of the other 2 kids purposely antagonizing the 11yo to get her in trouble/negative attention and they know this is the easiest button.
CarrieMF is offline  
#10 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:23 PM
 
Marsupialmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 9,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
No one had to go into her personal space to get things. Both the shoes and air mattress were in the living room.

No one ever goes in her room without asking - people are pretty good about rooms.
Then you need to reinforce to her, if she doesn't want to share something then it needs to be in her room.

If you want people to respect your boundaries you have define them in a reasonable manner. Living stuff open in a public space (living room) means free assess.
Marsupialmom is offline  
#11 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post

Especially as you get closer to teenage years, you need to know that you have that respect and are not expected to give it all up for the sake of your parents not having to parent you.
That is harsh. There is an element of truth in it - but it is still (unjustifiably) harsh.

I look at the big picture, I don't chose to spend my day in turmoil over little things, and I do let smaller things go.

I was, in some ways , trying to model that we do not get upset over little things to DD- that it is not a harmonious way to live our lives.

Now it could be that is not the approach she needs - that she needs to have her stuff respected before she can learn to live in harmony

None-the-less, my decisions to this point do not stem primarily from unparenting.

Moreover, I would be shocked (and disbelieving) if all parents here claim they always deal with every issue - it is too exhausting a way to live your life. While it clear something has to change (and I as the adult have to be the one to initiate it) I do not apologise for avoiding on occasion. I live in this house and make my own calls and when it is appropriate to deal or not.

I wonder if your post has something to do with the fact you feel your sibling and parents did not respect your boundaries/ stuff - and less about me, because you really do not know me from Adam.

Now I sound harsh - but really, accusing someone of unparenting on a website is over the top.
purslaine is offline  
#12 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Have you asked your DD why it bothers her so much when someone uses her stuff without asking?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
adding onto this. Have you asked the other 2 kids why they take her stuff, or stuff she is using, without asking permission?

.
No, I haven't spoken to my DD's - but I will ask them. Good advice!
purslaine is offline  
#13 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Then you need to reinforce to her, if she doesn't want to share something then it needs to be in her room.

If you want people to respect your boundaries you have define them in a reasonable manner. Living stuff open in a public space (living room) means free assess.
I kind of agree. DD doesn't. That is partly where the issue is.

Logistically though, not everything stays in bedrooms - shoes do not, nor do items she is using.
----------------------------

I have trouble knowing what belongs to who (which might be partly why . The shoes, for example, I thought they were a free dress up pair - and did not really realise they were the 11 year old until she informed me. This happens all the time - DD gets annoyed over younger DD touching something I did not even realise she owned. Example - DD 11 was mad at DD 7 last week over something completely off topic; DD7 starts playing with a toy - and DD11 is all like "that is my toy - stop playing with it." Well, you know what? This was a preschooler toy acquired years ago - and I have no idea who it belongs to! I refuse to be the police of stuff (much of it junk) - which is the role I often find myself in.
purslaine is offline  
#14 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:08 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am definitely NOT materialistic but it drove me CRAZY when my little sister would 'steal' clothes etc. from me growing up.

1 - We had 4 kids in my family & didn't have separate bedrooms (except my brother) so there weren't ever any clear boundaries. Most of our toys etc. were 'shared' toys. So the few things that were mine, I wanted to keep mine. I just needed a way of expressing my desire for personal boundaries.

2 - The youngest sister was 4 years younger than me, which is HUGE when you're 12 -- I found it terribly embarassing when my 8yo sister wanted to wear my shoes. I now know it was a form of admiration but at the time I felt humiliated that my style or my toys appealed to an 8yo, as if the things I liked were 'babyish'... if that makes any sense.

3 - I think it is important that kids have their own things & have their boundaries respected. It's what we teach them every day. Just yesterday I had to tell toddler DS that no, he couldn't have his friend's cup, and no, he couldn't play on someone's wheelchair at the side of the playground. I don't think that asking kids to respect other's items is gearing them up toward being materialistic.

I would consider encouraging her to choose some items that her siblings can 'borrow' without asking (i.e. encourage sharing within her limits) & then I would consider encouraging the other kids to be more respectful of their sister's items.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#15 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:11 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I kind of agree. DD doesn't. That is partly where the issue is.

Logistically though, not everything stays in bedrooms - shoes do not, nor do items she is using.
----------------------------

I have trouble knowing what belongs to who (which might be partly why ...
Well in the real world there are things that belong to others in communal areas (cars in the parking lots, coats in a coatroom, etc.) so maybe as a family you could figure out ways to delineate which items belong to each kid? Whether that's using a label-maker to identify items commonly left in the living room, or giving each kid a bin in the entry way for their items -- something on that idea?

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#16 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:22 PM
 
yarngoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Placerville,CA~best place for me!~
Posts: 1,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I face this issue daily, lol. I was a younger sister to an emotionally bullying older brother (he is very materialistic, possesive, vindictive and mean) and as a child we had many instances like you've described. So, when I had kids I worked really hard at breaking this cycle (in my case it's a genetic issue- my dad was this way, my brother, and then my ds) and we have been working on boundaries and rules regarding toy's, clothes and objects since then. I make the kids ASK and SHARE, and not every one is happy all the time, but we try very very hard to be fair. We have a rule that all toys are for sharing, after the first month lol. If DS1 and DS2 get new toys they have to ask to play with the other's toy for the first month, after that they are all "OUR" toy's. It's the only way it works in this house. I also make a point to ask the kids "How would you feel if you wanted the toy and your bother/sister wouldn't share?" and we discuss these topics. They almost always want to share and to feel that the other sibling is happy. We don't allow the kids to Ever take a toy out of someone else's hands though. That's our #1 rule.

I would talk to your oldest DD and explain why this upsets you, that when your sister behaves this way you feel that she values her Stuff more than she value's you. Tell her that while she is right that some things are HERS, she also should be aware that the little sister is trying to be like her. Little sister wants to know how it feels to be older and bigger and that it's your job to make sure that DD2 is carefull with DD1's stuff- but maybe if she spent some time playing with DD2 then little sister may be more apt to ask before she just takes stuff.

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

yarngoddess is offline  
#17 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:31 PM
 
tbone_kneegrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Philly
Posts: 2,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that toys belong to everyone in the family, dress up shoes that went with a halloween outfit, yeah you got them for halloween last year, but guess what now they are a toy/item/dress up thing anyone can use.

the air mattress that belongs to the entire family, well it belongs to the entire family

a old toy that maybe was *given* to you when you were 3 and now you are 7 and a 3 yo is playing with, well it belongs to everyone, the entire family has access to it.

I might have gotten a blender from dp's parents one year for my birthday, but dp doesn't have to ask me to use the blender, its for everyone to use because we live together.

now, snatching, delibertly taking someone's lovey, purposfully taking something someone else was using while they are in the bathroom etc is an issue to deal with.
tbone_kneegrabber is offline  
#18 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:37 PM
 
MaerynPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hubert NC
Posts: 14,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I wonder if your post has something to do with the fact you feel your sibling and parents did not respect your boundaries/ stuff - and less about me, because you really do not know me from Adam.
Yes that post was about me and how it made me feel like my mom would rather not parent my sister, or ask her to respect my boundaries, than to value my feelings as an individual... not about you or your situation. It was when i was 12/13 when this was becoming an issue.

However, I cant say your daughter isn't feeling the exact same way about it.

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
MaerynPearl is offline  
#19 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 04:44 PM
 
happysmileylady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
She's 11, right? (from your siggie?) I think part of it is just the age. Particularly when the request to leave it alone comes with attitude instead of politeness. And that doesn't excuse it, but it might help you realize that she's not bringing attitude just out of being materialistic or possesive, but just out of being 11. So I would suggest addressing the rudeness as rudeness-excuse me, that's not how we speak to people. Apologize for being rude and request politely that your stuff be left alone. And, really, if you want your stuff left alone, don't leave it out for everyone. Or something like that, you get the idea.
happysmileylady is offline  
#20 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Arduinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Then you need to reinforce to her, if she doesn't want to share something then it needs to be in her room.

If you want people to respect your boundaries you have define them in a reasonable manner. Living stuff open in a public space (living room) means free assess.
Why does stuff in public places supposedly mean free access? Lots of things are in public places that are not just free for the taking or using. Heck even my dog was able to learn that one particular toy belonged to the puppy and she wasn't allowed to play with it, ( because her big strong teeth and jaw would ruin his teether). If I can teach that to my dog, surely children of a certain age should be able to learn it. Obviously as is age appropriate.
Arduinna is offline  
#21 of 35 Old 07-16-2010, 05:46 PM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've asked my husband how this was handled in his family because my only sister is so much younger, I didn't have this issue. My ILs rule was that if you left a toy in the living room, anyone could play with it. They also had "family toys" that they bought that no one got to claim. If you had something you didn't want anyone to play with, then you left it in your room.

I think with shoes & clothes, you always should ask. Some people just don't want others wearing their things. (And your younger dd should learn that now. I had a college roommate who took my clothes without asking. ) Dress-up shoes are different, though, in my mind. If your older dd rarely wears them why were they in the living room? Was she wearing them that day?

It looks like there's probably some of both here. Your older dd isn't wrong to expect others to ask, but that also means she needs to take some responsibility for putting things away. I mean an air mattress in the middle of our living room would be fair game for anyone to lie down on. I can't imagine making that for one person only.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
#22 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 08:13 AM
 
LilyGrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with the others - it is a respect issue. I would like to gently point out the tone you are using in your posts and the words you have chosen - little, insignificant, small.....are you conveying the same message to your dd? I know I would feel MORE frustrated if someone belittled how I felt and told me that what is important to me is not worth their time or energy.
LilyGrace is offline  
#23 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I agree with the others - it is a respect issue. I would like to gently point out the tone you are using in your posts and the words you have chosen - little, insignificant, small.....are you conveying the same message to your dd? I know I would feel MORE frustrated if someone belittled how I felt and told me that what is important to me is not worth their time or energy.
Ummm...probably. They are small things to me (whether your sister tries on a pair of shoes you rarely wear, plays with a toy that may not even be yours, etc). I can't change that - yesterday they fought over who owned a 50 cent plastic blue monkey they found in a toy bin. How is that not small?

___________________________

Here is a common scenario (unfortunate but true)

Little sister touches/uses something that may or may not belong to big sister - but big sister thinks she owns it.

Big sister blows up - is mean, cold, etc.

When this happens, it is hard to focus on the fact that little sister touched something she perhaps should not have in the first place. In my head being mean and hateful to someone because they touched something you own is not OK, and a far worse crime than the initial playing with something that does not belong to you.

It is a viscous circle - and leave me feeling more frustrated with my older than my younger (even though the younger is not innocent in all this)- because my values hold that touching your sisters stuff is far less disrespectfull that treating someone meanly.

Another issue - even when I do try to intervene - older DD is not appeased. They will be in the middle of a spat, I will say to DD2 : "you need to ask her before you use any of her stuff. So if you want to use it - please ask her." Younger DD will ask her, older DD will almost always say "no" - and moreover, older DD will often continue to make cutting remarks.

So, yeah, my empathy lies with the younger. Taking your sisters stuff without asking? Bad. Being incrediably mean and cutting to your younger sister? Very Bad.
purslaine is offline  
#24 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 10:33 AM
 
LilyGrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't see either as being worse than the other, but just two seperate problems to deal with. They both sound like they need support and teaching here. I think it will take the 11yo some time to get over feeling disrespected. That's not an excuse for her cutting comments, nor a license to tolerate them, but just knowledge that a one time fix does not erase memories of mistakes. She does need reinforcement of better ways to express herself:

DD: I hate you. You're always touching my things!

You: You're still upset. Take a few minutes to cool off and then meet me in the kitchen.

You're not going to get through to her while she's still upset, but I've found that making hands busy while talking helps the conversation flow more positively.


You're probably going to have to actively teach for at least a few weeks until they both start getting it and can handle it on their own again.

BTW, have you seen the book Siblings Without Rivalry? It's a great read for helping kids deal with their problems.
LilyGrace is offline  
#25 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 11:00 AM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,584
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

So, yeah, my empathy lies with the younger. Taking your sisters stuff without asking? Bad. Being incrediably mean and cutting to your younger sister? Very Bad.
OK, see, my first instinct is that "taking someone else's stuff without asking" is stealing and an adult would go to jail or pay a heavy fine for it, while being mean and cutting is mean but an adult would only get socially punished for it, not get arrested. Therefore taking someone else's stuff is worse than yelling at the thief. Wouldn't you yell at someone who snatched your purse?

That said, it sounds as though the older sister is claiming things as hers which are not hers, and which are supposed to belong to the family. If there are things that you think should be communal, you certainly have the option of declaring them communal and insisting that she should keep her stuff in her room. Several posters here have suggested systems for making that work.
lolar2 is offline  
#26 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 11:47 AM
 
LaLaLaLa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It would drive me CRAZY to try to keep track of every little thing that belonged to each of my kids. It also really pushes my buttons when my older kid speaks in a nasty way to my younger kid. We have the same system as someone upthread--a toy that is new stays with the kid who receives it for awhile, but then becomes communal property.

We have two big boxes of dress-up clothes that both kids use. We have one big box of stuffed animals that both kids use. Ditto on Legos, craft supplies, CDs, and games.

My kids do have certain things that just belong to each of them, and their sibling needs to ask to use. These things stay in their rooms. If I were you, I'd take both girls, get each a storage box of a certain size, and go through possessions together. Each would get to choose things that belong to them that go into the box. These are the things her sister would have to ASK to use. And be answered politely, even if the answer is no. I'd declare everything else a possession of the house, free for anyone to use without asking and without being harassed.

I think it's fine to have special possessions, but it's not fair for one sibling to always be on her guard that the other one is going to take away every single thing she picks up. A lot of people have talked about how the older sister is the victim here, because people let her younger sister play with her stuff. The younger sister is in a pretty crummy situation, too, constantly being berated by her older sister for just trying to play.
LaLaLaLa is offline  
#27 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 12:37 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Your DD's reaction could be about personal boundaries instead of material possessiveness. If someone uses her stuff without asking that means the person went in her private space to get it. The real issue could be she doesn't feel she has enough privacy or space for things that are just hers. It is reasonable that she wants people ask before borrowing her stuff. If her reaction is coming from feelings that her boundaries are being violated then it may be hard for her to react in a nice and polite manner.
I agree with this. My mom helped my brother and I create clear boundaries for our things that we each had to respect. We mostly shared as children unless we were having a fight, but we each had to ask before going into each others room or using something the other sibling owned. It may seem like a little thing to an adult, but kids only have what their parents give them or what they can get with their measly allowances. Kids don't have a lot of say over their lives and possessions so it seems natural that they would want to have say over whatever they can. They want to protect their assets no matter how small because they only have those things. I think though that if someone came onto the bed I was sitting and doing stuff on or came and just took my shoes I may also be ticked off even if I don't often use those shoes. As an adult I can manage that nicely, as a child your dd is still learning to manage that annoyance while having to constantly deal with the little annoying intrusions that occur because of having a sibling.

It may also be that now that your older dd is going through puberty she is more annoyed by her sibling and doesn't want to be pulled into play with someone who is still in the childish mode of play. My brother and I really moved apart when I went through puberty, we started fighting constantly (which is not something we had done before), and it was hard on my brother. When I was a kid this was a typical phase kids went through and my mom warned us this might happen. Helping her have clearer boundaries and helping your younger child develop friendships with kids her age so she has other people to play with when her sister is not willing to be around her may help. Maybe there is a book about helping kids starting puberty live in harmony with siblings.

I suggest a book on helping girls through puberty as well. It is small stuff they are fighting over, but your dd is in an emotional phase and kids in this stage often hate other people dictating things for them. Have you talked to her about this calmly to see where she is coming from? That may help you understand her feelings on this and why she is annoyed by her sister lately. Just knowing the normal changes in mood that come with puberty has helped me to stay calm and find more effective ways to help my dd when she is upset over something that I think is stupid. She may be interpreting your reaction as you liking her younger sister more and being unfair to her, which is probably going to make her more resistant to being kind or reasonable. When kids see something as unfair (even if we see it as petty fighting over stupid stuff) they tend to dig in their heels and become more unreasonable. Right now it sounds like you like you are working against her, and a little bit like you can't stand her. If you can find a way to try to empathize (or fake empathy) with her you may be able to work with her on a solution that will work.
One_Girl is online now  
#28 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 12:38 PM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Ummm...probably. They are small things to me
That's precisely the point. They aren't small things to your daughter, and you're dismissing her feelings because you don't think it should matter. My mother frequently said, "that shouldn't make you upset," and I have tons of resentment for it now because regardless of what she thought, whatever it was *did* make me upset. This problem is more between you and your older daughter than the two girls.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
When this happens, it is hard to focus on the fact that little sister touched something she perhaps should not have in the first place.
Ding, ding, ding. Little sister wins. Every time. She knows that she can take something and make her older sister shriek, making the older sister get in trouble. That's unfortunate, but I see it played out all the time that one sibling knows doing something will set the other off and result in getting the other in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Another issue - even when I do try to intervene - older DD is not appeased. They will be in the middle of a spat, I will say to DD2 : "you need to ask her before you use any of her stuff. So if you want to use it - please ask her." Younger DD will ask her, older DD will almost always say "no" - and moreover, older DD will often continue to make cutting remarks.
Appeased doesn't mean agreeing. Little sister should ask, and older sister must have the right to say no. If she can't say no, then asking is pointless and not likely to make her feel empowered. Perhaps this argument wouldn't play out over scores of items if the older child felt heard in the first place. I'm guessing she feels that no matter what, her younger sister always can bother her things, and you will side with the younger sister. That's just making her dig in her heels more.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
#29 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 12:59 PM
 
CarrieMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alberta/Saskatchewan
Posts: 8,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
This was a preschooler toy acquired years ago - and I have no idea who it belongs to! I refuse to be the police of stuff (much of it junk)
hmmm, is there any reason why there are still preschool toys in the house(special needs child, you babysit, etc)? If not GET RID OF THEM. Declutter the toys & their stuff. Let the middle dd know you are NOT keeping everything, in case she doesn't want to let go of anything. Cutting down the amount of stuff around will cut down the amount of arguing over things.

Quote:
Little sister touches/uses something that may or may not belong to big sister - but big sister thinks she owns it.

Big sister blows up - is mean, cold, etc.

When this happens, it is hard to focus on the fact that little sister touched something she perhaps should not have in the first place. In my head being mean and hateful to someone because they touched something you own is not OK, and a far worse crime than the initial playing with something that does not belong to you.

It is a viscous circle - and leave me feeling more frustrated with my older than my younger (even though the younger is not innocent in all this)- because my values hold that touching your sisters stuff is far less disrespectfull that treating someone meanly.

Another issue - even when I do try to intervene - older DD is not appeased. They will be in the middle of a spat, I will say to DD2 : "you need to ask her before you use any of her stuff. So if you want to use it - please ask her." Younger DD will ask her, older DD will almost always say "no" - and moreover, older DD will often continue to make cutting remarks.

So, yeah, my empathy lies with the younger. Taking your sisters stuff without asking? Bad. Being incrediably mean and cutting to your younger sister? Very Bad.
In a situation like this it doesn't matter which "side" you feel is worse as long as both are dealt with.

Little sis - you need to ask big sis before taking something. If big sis says no, then little sis needs to find something else to play with. If she can't then she can sit in her room until she can.

Big sis - even if she does say no that isn't the issue, the issue is the attitutde so tell her to drop the attitute. To reply in a polite manner & if she can't then she needs to sit in her room until she can.

Quick, simple & both are dealt with.

It sounds like this issue is ONLY between the girls & not your son at all. It is small things now, but when they're teens it'll become bigger things. Alot of the 11yo behaviour IS pre-teen/puberty. With my 11yo I have to tell her to cut the attitude ALOT & if she can't she goes to her room(we either tell her to or she stomps there). She also says at times, especially with her dad who is no longer her favorite ) "You aren't listening to me". So we try to make sure she can say what she needs to even if we don't agree. Sometimes it isn't that we're not listening but that she's speaking too fast.
CarrieMF is offline  
#30 of 35 Old 07-17-2010, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to thank every one for their replies. Lots to think about
purslaine is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off