Sibling woes

We insisted that my daughter go to my son’s 5th grad graduation. After all, her brother went to her Girl Scout ceremony.  That’s what we do.  We support each other by going to each other’s events and celebrating milestones.

She was not happy to be at the school after being there all day and all week.  She was done with a capital D.  She sat on the floor and sucked her thumb.  (Wish she’d give that up!)  She said loudly that the singers were stupid and that the music was lousy.  She didn’t care that her brother got an award, and even ripped his name out of our program.  She asked for a piece of paper and a pen to draw.  She wrote me a note that said, “I hate you.”

I don’t know if she was hot and tired (the school has no ac in the record heat!), or jealous of her brother’s attention, or dealing with the busy-ness that the end of the school year was bringing, or all of the above.  In any case, she was miserable and we were, too.

Finally we let her go hang out in the lobby but she got a consequence of missing her favorite Saturday morning cartoons for not being respectful and polite.

The next day she had to clean up her room and skip tv.  I had a job interview, so Dad was in charge.  When I got home after lunch, she was still in her room.

At least she listened.

She asked if she could come out of her room, and I told her that Dad and I would have to discuss it and decide.  In order for her  punishment to end, she had to apologize to us and to her brother.

To us: “I was wrong to be mean to you and say I hate you and not listen.  Next time I will listen.  I’m sorry.”

To her brother: “I was wrong to disrupt your graduation and I’m sorry.”

We forgave her.

But on the lighter side, she did draw some awesome pictures saying that the loved her family and on good days she claims that her brother is her best friend. I guess we must be doing something right.I wonder sometimes if we do the right thing in making our kids attend each others’ stuff, or if we do pay too much attention to the boys and our girl gets left out. Balancing is difficult!

How do you know when you are doing the right thing?

4 responses to this post.

  1. You can only do your best, and if you discover you have made an error in judgement, them be sure not to repeat the same error. Is your daughter the one with autism? If so, then you handled this the only way you could. If she is not autistic, then she acted like a brat, and I really think you were too lenient on her. She pulled your chain good!

    Kids need to respect authority and be aware of cause and effect. Is she older or younger than her brother? If sibling rivalry and jealousy is an ongoing problem between them, work on getting them to face it, and assure them that you love both equally. I told my kids my heart was elastic – it could stretch to love ALL of them equally. Spending individual “special alone time” with each child is a great way to SHOW you think they are special. Actions always speak louder than words where kids are concerned.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    Kids Books With a WOW Factor!


    • No, she’s the only one without autism, LOL. She did act like a brat. And she did pull my chain good. My struggle is that sometimes “dealing with the situation” right then and there is more disruptive than ignoring and delayed consequences. She is the youngest, and I admit that sometimes I feel some “mommy guilt” over how much more attention that her brothers get. I try to spend as much special alone time with her as possible. I’m looking forward to our “girls” week-long vacation later this summer!


  2. OOOOOOH my gosh, yes! My older son graduated from 8th grade this May…a HUGE deal in a Catholic school. My husband came home and said, “So, who did you get to babysit Max?” I recalled Max’s EXTREMELY lengthy pre-school graduation, and replied, “He will go and support his brother.” My husband looked at me as if I had lost my mind. In essence, I had.

    It was in an older, echo-y, church with a mighty large organ. There were all sorts of exits with stairs to explore (like the choir loft stairs, oh my!) and even an elevator.

    Boring ol’ graduation could not hold a candle to that kind of stuff.

    I can’t believe I am reading this today. My husband and I JUST decided not to send Max to his district’s extended school year, called Autism Camp. We went to the Open House last night and realized that we would be putting him in a situation that went against the goals we had for him. Six boys, all on the spectrum, for five hours, four days a week. While I was excited about the academic portion, and the structure the teacher was presenting, I don’t feel my kiddo will learn how to appropriately socialize in this setting. BOY, did we talk this one over. The teacher in me hates our decision. I was looking to that as being the bridge between K and Grade 1. My mom gut, however, hated the idea of it. Mom gut always wins. Plus, my husband and I felt the same way before we even sat down to discuss pulling him, so the dad gut was working at this, too.

    Trust your mom gut! And be ready to make and learn from mistakes. My Facebook status right now? “Parenting is hard.”


    • My daughter is not on the spectrum, so I agree with Margot that she was being bratty. I also suspect that she may have undignosed adhd… but that’s another subject. Thanks for the reminder to trust my “mom gut”– I need to remember that more often. 🙂


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