My 10 year old purposefully annoys her 12 year old sister. Ideas for how to handle?

"I read the article on sibling revelry:  I agree. I have 12 & 10 year old girls. My 10 year old has ADD and she purposely annoys her sis! Ideas?"

Asked on Twitter by @Junebug724 to @ChildPsych
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Parenting siblings
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 30, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for contacting

Your younger daughter most likely looks up to her older sister and looks to her for approval.  Even without the ADD issue, younger siblings can be annoying to the older ones.  But make sure your 10 year-old is getting the help she needs for her ADD through her school and through her doctor.  Make sure you as a parent are getting assistance through her school and are connected to a support group for parents of children with ADD/ADHD.

Try to engage your girls in activities where they have to work together as a team, rather than competing against one another.  Ideas can include completing some kind of project together or doing chores together.  

Praise your older daughter when you see that she is patient with her younger sister.  Praise your younger daughter when you see she is respectful of her older sister's feelings and personal space.

You may also need to work with your younger daughter more closely on the issue of boundaries and respect by using a behavioral chart where she can earn points and privileges through good behaviors.  It might help her to see on a chart how her behaviors not only affect others but also herself.

If you would like more assistance on this issue or any other parenting concern, please call or e-mail our toll-free Hotline.  Counselors are available 24 hours every day for parents and children of all ages.  

Thanks again for reaching out. Take care and best wishes to you and your daughters!

Cynthia, Crisis Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline

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