GD & aggressive/passive aggressive behaviour - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 09-07-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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i really try to be as gentle possible when it comes to discipline, and all parts of mothering but i've fallen into a rut of late.

my kids are 5, going on 6(boy)..2, going on 3(girl) and 7 months old.

there really are no problems with the littlest one, but the way that my other two interact is so often rough and in some cases really aggressive, especially on my sons part. he gets so frustrated with his sister, mostly i think for no good reason. he doesn't get physical as much as just really angry, his tone of voice gets harsh, he yells and he says really mean things to her, and when i try to talk to him about it all i get is total passive aggressive behavior. silence, or he leaves the room. ive tried sitting him and my daughter down and letting everyone say how they feel, and why they are angry, hurt ect..but he wont say anything! i try talking to him one on one, having a cuddle, but he always changes the subject. i don't want him to say sorry per say, but i want closure and i get so frustrated myself that i have taken to yelling and or sending him to his room alone till he is ready to talk. but its not working. i eventually let him come back (usually he lurks in the hallways, rather than really being in his room)without really figuring it all out. it leaves me feeling so sad that my kids don't get along..and i worry about the impact its having on them separately as well as all of us as a family.

a bit of partner and i separated in july, we had a rocky on and off relationship since my son was born (well, before that) he and i did fight, though i tried to keep it away from the kids i do have a ho temper at times.. so he has seen me yell and say mean things to his dad and vice versa..

the worst part is that alone they are both so gentle and wonderful. he can be the sweetest, most compassionate kid..its like he turns into someone else when he is mad/hurt ect..

i guess im asking for some other suggestions in ways that i can help my son especially, open up to me about why he is so angry and find some ways to help him not feel those ways.

and also im thinking about using some bach flower remedies to try to help the situation and his angry any input there would be great

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#2 of 3 Old 09-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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I just re-read Siblings Without Rivalry, and I thought I was doing really well until I read it again. I've noticed that I'm really always on ds1's side, probably because I identify with him as a younger sibling. And he has been acting whiny and victimized, and my dd was getting more and more aggressive, bossy, and bullying. So I've stepped back and tried to take a more neutral approach, and it's helping already. Have you read it? It's a really quick, easy read and it might help.

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#3 of 3 Old 09-07-2008, 08:54 PM
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Very often, sibling relationships are where a lot of a child's tension gets let out. He's getting upset for a reason that's valid to HIM, even if it seems like it's "no good reason" to you. The thing his sister does may not be the "real" reason.

Because of that, I'd recommend making sure you respond first to his feelings with statements like, "you sound really mad." I'd also recommend that he get some dedicated time with you as often as possible. He needs some time in his life where he has your full attention AND he can be in charge of the play. I don't know how on earth you're going to manage that as a single mother with 3 kids. But, I know from experience that 1-on-1 time is the absolutely most valuable thing I can do for my children AND their relationship with each other. When they're tanks are full of my attention, they're much better with each other too.

For now, I'd try to give up "talking to" him about this, as what it sounds like is happening is you're lecturing him. Nobody likes to be lectured. Instead, I would intervene when he starts to say really mean things -- "Hey, I can tell you're angry. But that's mean. You can say.... (fill in the blank) if you want your sister to leave you alone. You can say you're angry. You can come get me."

If he's too far gone when you intervene, just gently stop the mean words, and then at another time throw in a "one liner" -- "I heard you get really mad when your sister messed up your cars. You know, when you're mad, you can say ...." (fill in the blank with something appropriate to the situation).

I would also role play/play out with dolls/cars/puppets people being angry with each other and appropriate things they can say.

For reading, would recommend: Playful Parenting. It's got a nice section in there about sibling relationships,and how connection with parents makes that easier. I'd also recommend "How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen (and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk)." It's by the authors who wrote Siblings without Rivalry, and I think the advice is more useful.

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