Posted in Siblings, Adult Children

My older daughter is not nice to her much younger sibling (14 years apart). I get angry because I expect more from her, then she shuts down. I don’t know what to do.

  • Tamika
    Apr 22, 2018

    Honest conversation once you have calmed down is key. I also make sure not to lean too hard on my oldest daughter as a helper and caregiver. Spending time with the older one like you used to before the sibling is good for easing resentment. Ask her what she is feeling in those moments of irritation. I also find that talking while driving is good because they are captive and there is less eye contact. Listen to her without interrupting or judging, make it a no punishment conversation. And also be sure the younger sister isn’t being a pest.

  • Aurelia
    Apr 23, 2018

    Your adult child is recently an adult. She has self discovery on her mind, not child rearing. When you tell her to help out and then get upset she thinks and feels you don’t respect her as an adult capable of forming her own relationships. That’s why she retreats. She’s figuring out her relationship with her sib and is bothered when you try to establish it for her. She wants to be in control of her life. You can ask her to help but if she says no, try hard to be ok. Try very hard. Deep breathes. She’ll appreciate you treating her like an adult who has her own wants and will eventually come around. Don’t fret. It wasn’t until I allowed my 19 yr old to dictate her interactions with her 4yr old bro that she got closer to him. They found a happy medium where both got the level of interaction they wanted. It also helped he was a year older and his social skills improved. I know it’s hard, painful, and aggravating but if you let her alone she will make their relationship work.

  • Joe
    Apr 23, 2018

    Is she the oldest? Was she the only child before the sibling came along? If that’s the case, I feel she resents the attention the younger sibling gets and sometimes they get jealous of them. But you may want to set aside special Mom and daughter day and go out together; just the two of you and spend some quality time to get to know her at he stage in age. Read more about teenage behavior because it’s also their age and the stage they’re going through. Trying to figure out where they fit with others. But just try to set time aside just for her. Her reasoning development it’s not fully developed until past 18. I’m speaking from experience. My daughter is 18 now finishing her 1st year in college and it’s been a great change in behavior towards her younger siblings and towards us as well. My wife started giving her special attention and going out just with her and it helped a lot. I hope this advice would help your situation.

  • Sara
    Apr 23, 2018

    When a second child comes along, the older child experiences displacement, both from their place in the family and in their identity (and identity is HUGE in the adolescent stage). Also, she may not know how to get what she wants from the youngster in positive ways. Making time for just her periodically is a must, so she knows she hasn’t been replaced. Also, think if there is another child her age that you both respect who has younger sibling(s) and encourage her to talk with them. There are benefits that come from being an older child (automatic hero status, opportunity to learn positive parenting skills from you, if that is something she wants in her future, etc.)