Hey y'all.. I have three daughters. Abigail is my oldest, she's 8. Madison is 6 and Georgia is 3.5.
About two years ago my aunt and her family moved back into town. My cousin is 9. We'll call her Sandy.
The girls and Sandy started playing together all the time. But after a few times it became apparent that Sandy did not want to play with Abigail. And to enforce her exclusion of Abigail she makes up mean things about her to the other girls, leaving Abigail left out and hurt. So over time I've talked to the girls about it. I've explained to my daughters that their sisters are the most important people in their lives and to never, ever turn your back on your family. I've explained to Sandy that it hurts Abigail to be left out and she appears receptive to my reasoning. But it never changes, in fact it gets worse all the time. Now its gotten to the point where Abigail will make up an illness just so that the other kids don't think her exclusion has anything to do with them.
In the past, I've made the mistake of forcing them all to play together, which was a huge mistake. After they walk away from me pretending to be friends, I'll sneak back only to hear Sandy telling the other girls that they got in trouble because of Abigail, that Abigail is a tattle tale and a baby and blah blah blah. This is killing me ... its breaking my heart. My protective mama bear wants to come out roaring, but I can't. Nothing I do seems to help. I can't take it anymore. I'm starting to feel a definite dislike for my cousin and an simmering anger toward her. Its not right, but I don't know how to combat this enemy. How do I protect my kids from this? As I speak Abigail is crying in my room where she is watching a movie on her own, because her "ear hurts". Madison and Sandy are playing on their own, excluding even Georgia right now. I can hear my heart break and need to fight back tears every time I see them. Please help..