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Do I ask her to play dumb- exclude her?

Okay, so my 4 yo daughter is really smart. She's one of those that you don't really teach to read, somehow they just figure it out, and she has common sense too. My 5 yo son is smart too, but more like most kids are. Also, she is almost two inches taller than him.
So, he is frustrated because he wants to feel like the big brother and teach her stuff and maybe at least get to say the answers first when we do activities. Today I sat to read with them and she recited the whole book almost before I could turn the pages and he stomped off and said 'Well maybe I should just be a 3 year old!' .
I do stuff with them for alone time, it's good bonding, but it doesn't help the matter.
Should I be thinking of ways to get him to feel like the older brother or just tell him it doesn't matter who is oldest?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:56 PM on Jul. 31, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • This is a typical girls are more mature than boys. Poor guy, hes really struggling with this. Instead of dealing with the issue with your daughter, who obviously is not the one with the problem, you should be dealing with your son who is the one with the insecurity. Dont ask her to play down to his issues, ask him to step up to the plate and accept that his sister is just a different personality. Shes not smarter than him , but she likely has more motivation and processes differently. Just the difference between boys and girls. They are obviously very close in age and I would do what I can to repair this rift with your son because one day....this sister of his will likely be his BEST friend and greatest supporter. They have the potential of being very close. Encourage him to do his best and let them do separate activities. They dont need to do everything together ALL the time. They are individuals.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:12 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • Do NOT ask her to play dumb, that'll lead to serious issues later on.


    Instead of them just yelling out answers, try asking each child a specific question and make sure your daughter knows when it is not her turn its not ok to answer.


    Answer by Gealach at 11:58 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Do not ask her to play dumb. She will think that it is not ok to be smart. My parents did that to me. They said, oh your sister wants to feel better about herself. Try not to get such good grades. WTF???
    I went with it and regretted it. (I was just obeying my parents!)
    Teach him instead that she is at his level in some things but below in others. She will always need him to be her big brother, but most of all her friend.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:05 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • Man thats tough. Perhaps you just have to be patient and let them each find their own knack. I mean like maybe he'll be good at math, and she'll be a bookworm. I don't know other than that. Good luck.

    Answer by usdragonflies at 12:05 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • boys mature slower than girls

    Answer by BUSYLOVINGHIM at 12:12 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • I agree with asking them different questions, and making sure that each one has their chance to answer. Today I was reading to my two boys (3 and 5) and after each page I would stop and ask each one a question about what I just read. I was trying to assess their reading comprehension, and they took turns answering the questions. If one didn't know the answer, then the other got a chance.

    I also think you should find somethings that your son is really good at, and point those things out to him next time he is feeling down about himself.

    I worry about my oldest son, because his little brother is almost the same size, and will probably be outgrowing him in the next few years. So far he doesn't seem bothered by it, but who knows how he will react if/when his little brother becomes bigger?

    Answer by my2.5boys at 2:22 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Find his strengths, point them out and help him to let them show. Point out when he does something really well, not just when he does it better than her. It is not a competition, but a time for you to talk about differences between people.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 6:23 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • I have the same issue but a little opposite. My older daughter is more talented in most everything she does. My poor younger daughter is skinny and lankey. My older daughter seems to excel in everything, she was an elite english horseback rider, now plays select soccer, was on a all star cheerleading squad at one point too. My younger daughter is talented at soccer but not the same extreme as her sister. Naturally her father and I never said anything to her but she is starting to notice the difference. She wants so badly to find her own talent and succeed at it but just hasn't seemed to land it yet. I feel so bad for her. Although she is certainly much better at school than her older sister. So that is where we make our emphasis with her. Her big sis might be the athlete in the family, but she will be the scholar!!

    Answer by goincrzynonnie at 7:11 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • Seriously, ask your DD to play dumb? That's a great way to make her think that's the best way to get ahead in life.

    My DD sounds like yours, at 2 mine does know her ABCs and can count to 20 and recognize words. I wouldn't care if she had an older sibling that was not on the same level. Just find something that does intrest him and that he can excel at and make him feel good. Maybe getting him involved in a sport or a club or anything like that.

    Answer by beautyqueen616 at 7:56 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • Please do not ask your daughter to play dumb!!!!Continue to praise all of their accomplishments and it will even out.Explain to your son that each child has their own special ability.Sibling rivalry is natural.


    Answer by moomers at 8:46 AM on Aug. 1, 2009