Tired of it.....

incognitomomOctober 29, 2010

Favoritism. I am sick of it! My younger sd favors my ss over everyone and is downright hurtful about it. Case at hand: sd is in a sport through the park district. The park district has these "fun nights" where kids in the activities can come have open gym time and they have different things to do in different parts of the park district. We did not know that kids in these activities can bring friends not in the activities to the fun nights.

Anyways last week dh and I both had to work and had a relative watch the kids and bring sd to fun night. As my relative was dropping sd off one of ds's friends came up to the car and asked if he was staying. DS told him he was not in any activities there and his friend told him that he could go with him. My relative asked one of the chaperones if it was correct and they said yes. So my relative asked sd if she had enough $ for both of them to get in because my relative had no cash on her. SD had a $20 from me and it was only $7 to get in so she had plenty. She then told my relative that she didn't want to pay for ds to get in because she wanted money for snacks and wanted to hang out with her friends with him not around. (She would have still had snack $ and the park district is huge!). My relative didn't force it and ds didn't get to stay.

I am livid!!! This was money I gave her and I find it so selfish.

But then, the same weekend, she had some of her own money and bought ss some game card from Walmart for this online game he likes to play because he was crying about his membership being over and DH and I told him that he would have to wait till a holiday to ask for it is a gift. We were not buying it for no reason. He has other things he can play with at home.

It bothers me because I know she can be kind, but she choses who she can be kind to! Older sd wanted to borrow some tank top of younger sd's that looked good with a shirt she had and younger sd said nope. But ss wanted to borrow a ds game and sd had no problem with it.

We have talked to her about how much she hurts sd and ds when she behaves this way. Then she will pout and act like she feels bad, but it continues.

I feel like she should be punished for not giving ds part of the money I gave her so he could get into the fun night. I told her that this thing through school that all the kids are going to this weekend is off limits to her unless she can pay her own way. Told her I will pay for ss and ds to go, but not her after her selfishness. I know she has $5 left and that is exactly what it costs to get in....so she can go if she choses pays her own way. DH thinks I am being too hard on her. He always excuses her poor behavior because she has such a hard time dealing with bm's absence. What do you think?

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mattie_gt

I can see how it would upset you to see one of the kids being favored over the others by your SD, but I'm not sure it's really a siblings' responsibility to be "fair" to the other siblings. Also, I think the alliances among siblings tend to shift over time; the youngest may be the one who is excluded for years for being too little to keep up, but then may become closest with the only other boy or girl in the family when they get older, for example.

Years ago I ended up giving Christmas presents of very different costs to my nieces; one had been given to me (tickets to an event) and there was no way I could afford to buy the other an equivalent gift. Their mother said that she had no problem with it; the girls had such different interests anyway (the one would have been bored to tears at the event, the other would have crawled over hot coals to get there), that life was not always going to treat them fairly and that they might as well learn that as early as possible.

I wouldn't punish SD for not sharing the money that was given to her. Yes, she could have been more generous - but she didn't have to be. It was her "fun night", she's the one in the sport, and DS hadn't even been planning to go. I don't really see that she did anything wrong to be punished for, honestly. Again, she could have given part of the money to DS for admission - but then again, she could have given away all the money for admission to kids that couldn't afford it and she's not being punished for not doing that! I don't think it's really fair to her to be punished for subjective behavior (being selfish) rather than breaking a defined rule.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 11:18AM
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silversword

It's horrible to watch something that's *not fair*.

That said, you gave her the money, right? The money was for her? And $20 - $14 for two admittance = $6 left? If she were to be "fair" they would each have $3.00 which, if your area is anything like mine, would buy a bag of chips and a soda if they were lucky. Plus little brother is there, which reduces fun.

You gave her the money. Not to pay partially for little brother. It would have been generous for her to help him out, but I don't think it was particularly selfish not to help him. Nor do I think it's selfish to loan a game but not a shirt. They are not equal loans.

Disappointing for the little guy, but lesson learned. Now he knows he can go to the next fun night for $7. Start saving.

$20 - 7 for admittance = $13 for snacks. That's a lot of snack money. I'd revise the amount I gave her next time, but not as punishment.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 11:54AM
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parent_of_one

I agree with others, it would be nice if she shared, but she didn't have to. also some people do not like others to borrow their clothes, game is entirely different story.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 7:10PM
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lonepiper

"I don't think it's really fair to her to be punished for subjective behavior (being selfish) rather than breaking a defined rule."

I disagree - I think I may punish or ground for selfish behavior. If talking to her doesn't help, then how else are you suppose to drill the basics into her? Everyone, to a degree, is selfish, however, teaching children by example and reminding them when they commit a selfish act (with means necessary to get the point across) sounds reasonable to me. JMO.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:10PM
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imamommy

When I read the first part of the post, where SD refused to pay DS's way into open gym & she had money YOU gave her, my first thought was... Next time she wants to go, she can get the money from someone else, not you. I don't think it was very nice the way she explained why she wouldn't share.

That being said, depending on her age I understand her not wanting DS to hang around. Preteens & teens don't want little siblings to tattle on what they are doing, even if they are not doing anything wrong. They don't want tagalongs & even though it's a big place with lots of kids, I can understand her feeling that way.... but it doesn't excuse it. I'm not sure it's 'selfishness' as much as it's being a teen. I remember my sister was horrible to me when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, she was in Jr. High & when her friends spent the night, she was mean to me. She shoved me into the swimming pool in my pajamas to look like a big shot in front of her friend. One of her other friends met me & told her "she's not hideous!" I don't think it's nice or necessarily normal, but I do think some kids do things as teens because they wanna look cool to their friends, etc.

I'm not sure I would use the word 'punish' but there are consequences to her actions. I would have a talk with her about how she treats family & if she is not going to be nice or fair to everyone, then she won't get to do certain things... if it depends on YOUR effort, time or money. Treat others the way you want to be treated is a regular saying (and practiced) in our house.

As for favoritism... I think it's natural to favor your sibling over a step sibling, just as kids usually favor the birth parent over the step. Those bonds run very deep & it's kinda understandable. But, I don't think it's right to allow blatant unfair treatment of each other. Some of what you describe is common sibling rivalry.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 2:23AM
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incognitomom

DS and SD are one grade level apart. I understand the normal teen stuff and sibling rivalry. I guess why it bothered me is that I KNOW if ss could have gone sd would have given him the money. DS will ask sd to play basketball with him or a game and she will say no. SS will ask the same thing and she says yes.

It is hurtful and I guess I take it to heart because I have stepped into the mother role for my skids and tried to ease the pain of their bm not being in their lives and my family and I do everything to make them feel like they are part of our family...not an outsider. I go out of my way to make them feel like they are just as much my children as ds is. So when I see one of them purposely trying to make ds feel left out I take it personally. He has gone through a lot with sharing me and my time with them.

But I did think about my punishment being too harsh and I talked to sd about it. I told her how much her behaviors hurt ds and make him feel left out. I compared it to how she felt when bm threw a party for her 3 little kids since bm has done NOTHING for birthdays or holidays for my skids in years. SD said she feels awful and jealous and I told her that is how ds feels when she does things for ss that she will not do for him.

This talk is similar to ones we have had in the past with sd. Lets see if it makes a difference.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 3:43PM
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catlettuce

Hope so. She has got to learn she is not the only one that gets hurt feelings along with treat others as you would like to be treated.

I most certainly would.send your Ds to the next fun night with $20. And I wouldn't even offer the option of going to her this time.

Maybe next time if she "gets it". Kwim?

Good luck,
-Cat

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 5:11AM
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