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Question
Posted by: LdK | 2011/07/05

raising children

I have 2 girls (ages 6 and 8). The youngest one is a very obedient, sweet little girl who always does as is expected. The older one is a a bit of rebel and I feel that she is looking for more attention albeit negative attention. My husband and I dont know what to do anymore.. we praise her when she does something good, we talk to her about her behaviour, but still she is nasty with her sister. She tries to be good and to listen, but seems as if there is always a constant battle between us and her. Please give me some advice or a name of a book I can read to help me with her. I dont want to break her spirit by hitting or punishing her all the time.. there has to be another way???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Often one can manage this sort of situation, by giving her extra attention whenever you can catch her doing something good and right, and withdrawing attention when she misbehaves - yawning, looking bored, ignoring her ( if possible ), even The Naughty Chair. If she persists, express the rules very clearly, and the consequences. For each day she is pleasant to her sister, she earns a star on a chart, and 7 stars in a row earns something (modestly small ) she likes. Any time she is unpleasant to her suster, she gets no star that day, and maybe even loses 2 existing stars.
Hitting is useless. Punishment in the sense of losing affectionate attention, and losing privileges and pleasures, does work, so long as it is applied consistebntly.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Karla | 2011/07/05

Because you say that you don''t always want to punish her and hit her, I assume that you do? I fully beleive in hidings, but perhaps, in this case, that is the reason why she is nasty? If your other daughter is very good, never gets punished, then the older one may be feeling threatened by her. Maybe she thinks that your younger daughter is the favourite and that you love her more because she doesn''t get punished, and that''s why she is nasty (jealousy). She may TRY to be good so she can, in her eyes, also be loved as much. What does she do that is so nasty? Perhaps just some time together, just you and her, may help. Maybe go out once a week or so, just so she knows that she is special. Kids are funny, but maybe the fact that it is just you and her and not the younger one with may make her feel that she is the only one special enough to go out alone with mommy, and then she may be nicer to her sister because she may then feel sorry that your other daughter isn''t as " special" . Not like that is the case, but I know that worked in my family (MAJOR sibling rivaly). :)

Reply to Karla
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/07/05

Often one can manage this sort of situation, by giving her extra attention whenever you can catch her doing something good and right, and withdrawing attention when she misbehaves - yawning, looking bored, ignoring her ( if possible ), even The Naughty Chair. If she persists, express the rules very clearly, and the consequences. For each day she is pleasant to her sister, she earns a star on a chart, and 7 stars in a row earns something (modestly small ) she likes. Any time she is unpleasant to her suster, she gets no star that day, and maybe even loses 2 existing stars.
Hitting is useless. Punishment in the sense of losing affectionate attention, and losing privileges and pleasures, does work, so long as it is applied consistebntly.

Reply to cybershrink

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