D.M. asks from Clayton, CA on October 21, 2011
Arguing - 12 Year Old and 4 Year Old Girls - Mom Is Ready to Loose It
My 12 year old and 4 year old daughters argue constantly. 9 times out of 10 it is initiated by the 12 year old. For example:
4 year old, "Mommy, our kitty is gray."
12 year old, "No it isn't, it is calico. It might be mostly gray, but really it's calico."
4 year old, "No, it's gray, look at her."
12 year old, "Ugh, do you even know what calico is?"
4 year old, "No, but she's gray! Look at her!"
and it goes on and on and on. At home, in the car, during the day at bed time, you name it.
Ok, so for my question(s)...
Do you ignore the arguing? Does it drive you crazy like it drives me crazy? Should I just let it go. Because what happens is since it is usually starting with the older one, I say something to her and she starts to feel like I ride her a lot and gets sad. I don't want to sweat the small stuff, and I don't want to try to control the person she is. But when she argues with everything and everyone it drives me crazy. I don't even start conversations with her sometimes.
How do I get her to stop arguing? More important, do I try to get her to stop arguing. OR do I accept her for who she is?
L.C. answers from Dover on October 21, 2011
Oh, I don't ignore it. It does, in fact, drive me insane and I do all kinds of things. Some out of practicality, some out of frustration. I have:
Explained that I expect more of him because he is older and needs to hush
Explained that his sister needs to be free to discover the world just like he did
Made my older child leave the room
Done the exact same thing to him - corrected every minute error of fact or grammar in every single statement that came out of his mouth until he wanted to scream and then said, "Doesn't feel good to be treated like you're dumb, does it?"
Enstated the "He who picks the fight, gets the consequence" rule.
It's better, but we still have our days. How about you come back on and tell us what works, or better yet, make a teaching DVD out of it and sell it and become a millionare and the title of Genius of This Century.
1 mom found this helpful
K.U. answers from Detroit on October 21, 2011
I would just have a heart-to-heart with the 12 year old - she should be able to understand that you are not trying to pick on her, but her always trying to correct her younger sister and getting into arguments with her is more than you should have to listen to and she needs to learn to just put a cork in it. You might want to just correct her with something short and simple, like, "OK, that's enough now."
1 mom found this helpful
A.S. answers from Kansas City on October 21, 2011
I have a 15 year old stepson, and 13 year old step daughter, and a 4(almost 5) year old son living at home full time, with a 9 year old step son we see every other weekend. Surprisingly, the older ones all seem to be pretty patient with the youngest, but the 13 year old and 9 year old do this CONSTANTLY when he is with us. It drives me NUTS!!! I sent my sd to her room just last weekend, because she picked at her brother for an hour straight, everything he said, she contradicted or found something to argue about. Finally, I said "Enough!! Leave him alone, he wasn't even talking to you." She pouted for a few minutes, but after I went in and helped her realize how she was coming across, she appologized to her brother, and was better...at least for the rest of that day! lol
✤.J. answers from Dover on October 21, 2011
My kids are only 17 months apart & argue constantly. It drives me absolutely batty. I refuse to get involved, break it up, declare a winner, etc. I ignore it for as long as I possibly can, then nicely tell them to knock it the hell off a couple of times & then send them both to their rooms for about half an hour or so. Every single time, without fail, they'll both whine about how it's not thier fault, they didn't start it, blah, blah, blah. I don't care who started it, not one little bit.
J.P. answers from Lakeland on October 21, 2011
This is how sisters are. My daughter and step daughter are about the same age as yours and they argue a lot too. They do love each other and get along most of the time. It was the same for me and my older sis. I am sure it drove my mom nuts. I just let the girl’s figure it out on their own, unless someone is yelling or crying.
I would remind your older child that her sister doesn't understand all that she does yet and she will as she gets older.
K.G. answers from San Diego on October 21, 2011
My 11 & 51/2 year old are like this too and yes it makes me Bonkers!!!! Most of the time initiated by the 11 year old. What really gets me is the frequent "MOM"!!! in the middle of the arguments. I think it's a lil jealousy on the 11 year olds part. Good Luck!!! I feel for you!!!
M.R. answers from Phoenix on October 21, 2011
Based upon your one example, I would recommend you tell and teach and role model to your pre-pubescent, soon to be know it all teenager, to be NICER in her responses.
The 4 year old is learning about her world, just the way the 12 yr old learned about her world at the same age, and if she thought long and hard, she could probably remember a few misconceptions she had about her surroundings. And we are both here to teach her, to teach her about everything her little 4 year old brain comes up with, and even teach her nice manners in how to answer politely and interract with one another.
So, go be a good role model and not a lousy role model. Your 4 year old little sister looks up to you, and always will.
So, in essence, YES, absolutely yes, stop the arguing.
Work with the older daughter until she gets it right.