Sibling Tension

Dear Sara,

I have a twelve-year-old daughter from my first marriage and a two and four-year-old from my current marriage. The problem is that my twelve-year-old hates my two little ones. She screams at them and will smack them if they get into her things. I really would like for everyone to get along and I could sure use her help if she was more patient. What can I do to have some peace around here?


Dear Darcy,

You have to realize that your twelve-year-old has a lot to deal with. She was your only child for about eight years, she experienced the breakup of your first marriage which is difficult for a child and now she has to deal with two younger siblings which take up most of your time while she is probably starting to go through puberty.

Your daughter needs your time and attention just as much as the two little ones and she probably is resentful of them. I’m sure you have your hands full but try to make some time for her. Ask your husband to watch the little ones while you and your daughter spend some time together doing things she likes to do. She’ll be off on her own soon so make sure you build a relationship with her now.


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