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Step Sibling Rivalry

Posted by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:26 AM
  • 9 Replies
I have an 8 yr old son who has to room with my stepson who is 12. Lately the SS has been annoying me because he's been ignoring my DS....they were "bro-skis" always together, never fought and for some reason he just started giving him the cold shoulder. My DS is sensitive and gets his feelings hurt easily, my SS is a hard ass and doesn't really give a crap who's feelings he hurts, he can be a bully sometimes. How would you handle the situation? Let it be? I feel like I have to step in and defend my DS, but also teach him to toughen up a little, and I need to do something to soften up my SS so he can stop being an ass...Help!
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:26 AM
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:44 AM
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Your SS is 12, he's getting to the age where having a little brother is annoying. I'd say it's totally normal. I'd ensure that the older boy isn't being horrible to the younger boy, but I'd also have a talk with the younger boy about how his step-brother is getting older and isn't going to want to hang out like they used to.

There's a pretty big difference between 12 and 8. 

by Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:49 AM
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This is totally normally whether it's bio or step siblings! It is likely the pre-teen phase .... just wanting his own space and time alone at times. As long as he's not being aggressive or abusive in any way, try to give him some space - both physically and emotionally.

by Gold Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Seems pretty normal for his age, to me. Like others have said, try to make sure that he has his own space and privacy and time to just chill.  

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM

 When my SS first came to the house he was glued to my DD. They were best buds! As time has gone on, they argue 24/7. Partly is just normal sibling fighting, but, when out of hand, I punish SS or DD for beind rude to their sibling! If you need time alone, than say so! I seperate them for an hour each day so that they have their "Me" time and after that they are good to go! I also try and get them involved in an activity that BOTH of them can do together and enjoy! (Basketball, riding bikes, chalk, ect!)

*~*Mommy to Allyana(7.5.08), StepMom to Aidan(6.5.07), & My Angel Baby Jovanny(3.6.10)*~*

by Bronze Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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The Skid is turning into a teenager, your son isn't yet.  This kind of thing just happens.  Unless the SS is physically assaulting your DS or going out of his way to say mean things to your DS, leave it alone and let them sort it out.  

Ignoring your DS or not wanting to hang out is developmentally appropriate for your SS as this point in time.  It will probably repair itself as your DS gets older, but if you try to force the relationshp you could end up damaging it long term.  

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 3:04 PM

 This seems to be about normal, there is a 10 and a 12 year age gap between my younger sisters and I so they're more like siblings than like Aunts, my 11 year old sister will sometimes pick on DD [out of love type of way] and sometimes lately she will just want to be left alone. I think that this is just the norm for the age, wanting to be left alone and not 'bothered'.

Just make sure that you explain to SS that if he wants time by himself to let you know and then try your best to explain to DS that SS needs to be by himself just like other people do sometimes.

by Ruby Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM
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Maybe get him his own room and space. He is 12. The age gap probably didn't matter at one point in time but now it does. Maybe your son annoys him and he can't seem to get away. My dd is 12 and for all these years my 6 year old has been her best bud but lately she really just wants him to go away and stay out of her room. I can't blame her. Who wants a little sibling under foot?
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by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM
I can't say it sounds abnormal, SD 5 does this occasionally to DD 1. She is use to being the only child at her mom's house, so she sometimes needs her me time. She entitled to that, but when it really hurt DD I reminded SD of how much DD looks up to her. SD spends a lot of time following me and wanting to do everything I do, so I explained to her that the way she wants to do what I do is the way her sister feels about her.

I realize that specific psychology may not work with a 12 year old, but maybe see if there is some kind of ritual he'd be willing to start with his younger brother. Playing a game or catch or anything they could do together to give SS and DS some bonding time. Then give SS his space and explain to DS that he needs some time by himself. See if you can make a compromise of some kind with SS.
by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM

I can't see any rivalry here, it isn't as if they are fighting over something they both want, in fact, they want the opposite. Your SS wants to be left alone, your DS doesn't comply.

What is the custody situation?

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