By John Rosemond
The Buffalo News
Q: Whenever our 11-year-old son has a friend over to play, our 15-year-old daughter interferes in ways that eventually reduce our son to tears. Mostly, she’ll make fun of him or make him the butt of cruel jokes. Is there some way of making her understand how hurtful she is being? Does our son simply need to ignore her? This sibling rivalry has become extremely disruptive to our family. Help!
A: There’s sibling conflict, which is almost inevitable. Then there’s sibling rivalry, which parents create by attempting to mediate sibling conflict. Then there’s outright verbal or physical bullying by one sibling toward another. You’re describing the latter, and believe me, your daughter is not going to stop bullying her brother because you try to help her see the error of her ways. Expecting your son to simply ignore his sister’s taunts is equally unrealistic. Full story.