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Question
Posted by: Mpho | 2011/06/21

10 yr old daughter hates her 4 yr old brother

Hi

I need help. My daughter hates her little brother with passion. when i ask her what has he done to her, she complains that he is naughty, he irritates her and that he always tease her and we (me and hubby) side with him.

It all started last year but someone said to me kids are like that, it will get better soon. I dont see it getting better. I once spoke to her when i found a drawing where she had all her cousins of same age with little brother. On that drawing, next to their names she wrote that she loved them except on her little brother, she wrote with big bold letters that she hates him.

It was little brothers birthday yesterday and she never wished him a happy birthday, when asked why she simply said i Hate him. It hurts so much... I dont know what to do. I love my kids, we always treated them equally. Whatever i do for one i do for the other because i didn''t want any of them to feel isolated but still my daughter have this hatred it scares me.

I always warn my son to respect her sister and stop teasing her, same with my daughter, i asked her to bare with him, he''s just being naughty whch is normal for his age, he wil get over it. I even asked her not to mention the word HATE ever again because that is just to deep, i cant even say it myself, it is just too heavy!

So yesterday her father asked her to write down why she hates her brother. she wrote the same old story that he is naughty etc. BUT also added that she hates us (Mom and Dad) as well and that she is going to run away from home and go far away and we mustn''t bother to look for her. she doesn''t want us to tell her when she does something wrong, when we try to discipline her by talking (mind you, we dont even hit her), but still she feels we dont love her, we favour the little one.

Please help....

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Firstly, don't feel hurt personally - this is not something you have done wrong. It's sadly normal that there are periods when one child may express dislike or hatred for a sib, a brother or sister. He probably enjoys irritating her because of the way she responds - if she could follow your advice to ignore him, he would find it boring to do and would probably stop.
She, on the other hand, may be discovering the power of hate - the fact that the very word worries you and draws extra attention to herself.
As well as your excellent attempts to be even-handed in how you treat the children, try to go beyond the "chocolate for her, chocolate for him" stage, and set aside a little special exclusive time for each of them - some time, whatever you can afford to give, JUST for her alone, and some JUSt for him. She may not yet understand that love is infinite - that however much love you give her brother, it cannot reduce the love you have and give, to her.
Its interesting that she emphasizes that her brother is NAUGHTY ( usually something that bothers a parent rather than a child ) and yet dislikes being scolded or corrected when she herself is naughty.
I would be a bit more worried about her statements about hating both parents and thinking of running away, beause even if she did not actually intend to act on these ideas ( and some kids do ) they indicate quite deep distress. Maybe rather than focussing on her feelings for her brother ( which is what their actions push you to do ) it would be worth focussing more attention on her feelings for herself.
I like nicholas's point about teaching respect - which one does by displaying it, and commenting on it, rather than by lectures.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Daniel, P | 2011/06/22

Donkie, why not contribute in a positive way, instead of giving negative comments that has no benefit to this thread. What is the point of your post? that kids below a certain age are stupid and cannot be taught?

Reply to Daniel, P
Posted by: Vaal Donkie | 2011/06/22

What does a 4 year old know about respect? Can he even tell you what it means?

Reply to Vaal Donkie
Posted by: Mpho | 2011/06/22

Thanks guys, will do just that - teach them RESPECT!

Reply to Mpho
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/06/22

Firstly, don't feel hurt personally - this is not something you have done wrong. It's sadly normal that there are periods when one child may express dislike or hatred for a sib, a brother or sister. He probably enjoys irritating her because of the way she responds - if she could follow your advice to ignore him, he would find it boring to do and would probably stop.
She, on the other hand, may be discovering the power of hate - the fact that the very word worries you and draws extra attention to herself.
As well as your excellent attempts to be even-handed in how you treat the children, try to go beyond the "chocolate for her, chocolate for him" stage, and set aside a little special exclusive time for each of them - some time, whatever you can afford to give, JUST for her alone, and some JUSt for him. She may not yet understand that love is infinite - that however much love you give her brother, it cannot reduce the love you have and give, to her.
Its interesting that she emphasizes that her brother is NAUGHTY ( usually something that bothers a parent rather than a child ) and yet dislikes being scolded or corrected when she herself is naughty.
I would be a bit more worried about her statements about hating both parents and thinking of running away, beause even if she did not actually intend to act on these ideas ( and some kids do ) they indicate quite deep distress. Maybe rather than focussing on her feelings for her brother ( which is what their actions push you to do ) it would be worth focussing more attention on her feelings for herself.
I like nicholas's point about teaching respect - which one does by displaying it, and commenting on it, rather than by lectures.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: nicholas | 2011/06/21

Teaching your kids to tolerate each other is not the solution. you tolerate the inflation rate or bad driving. Rather teach your kids the core values of being a FAMILY. Don''t make choices based on circumstances and social pressures. Defining your values as a family makes life simpler. When you’ re sure of your core values, decision making becomes much much simpler. When faced with a choice, you simply ask yourself: “ Does this action align with my values?”  If it does, you do it. If it doesn’ t, you don’ t. Instead of fretting over what’ s the best thing do to, and standing shilly-shally in times of crisis, you simply let your internal compass guide you. Decided on what values you should be living as a family and live them, your kids will learn from them and start to live those values. There is no need to come up with twenty values five is enough, these are your core values!

This is how my wife and I bought our two kids closer, just as your daughter dislikes her brother. So did our daughter dislike her younger brother with a passion and she was not ashamed to say so. We too feared it would never end and drive them apart one day. One of the values we decided to teach them would be RESPECT, a great moral value to live! Please don''t confuse respect with tolerance, as tolerance doesn''t necessarily imply any positive feeling, and tolerance is the same as contempt, which in all fairness is the opposite of respect.
Respect to us as a family meant, “ caring unconditionally”  and as the years went by we started to notice little changes between the two and the most noticeable for me was one Sunday sitting at the Spur in Gaborone watching both kids playing at the jungle gym section at Spur. An older boy pushed my son from jungle gym bring screams for “ Daddy!” . I was halfway to him when his sister jump between the older boy and my son “ screaming leave my brother alone!” . I stopped there and turned around to my table with a smile on my face. Thinking she would not have done that a year ago.

Reply to nicholas
Posted by: Honest | 2011/06/21

l have never liked my sister. I did not like her when she was born and still do not 50 years later. All you can teach her is to treat him with respect and be civil.

Reply to Honest

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