I had what started as a benign conversation with my seven-year-old daughter last night.
It turned into something much deeper. We were talking about her friends' families and how many kids they had. Didn’t seem like much until she said, “When I have kids, I’m only going to have two, so one doesn’t feel left out … like me.”
I could feel the Hulk-like fist plunge straight into my gut. She had the saddest, most heart wrenching look on her face. I felt sick. This is an issue we’ve been dealing with, but the way it was delivered this time made quite an impact.
A little background: Campbell, my 11-year-old, is a tomboy who loves sports and detests anything girly. Caiden, my nine-year-old, is a soccer-loving, rough-housing boy to the core kind of kid. Carys, my seven-year-old, is very girly, very social, very sensitive and doesn’t like to sweat.
You can see the dynamics here. Carys is the odd man out. She’s always nice to them, trying to win favor with them, but it doesn’t work. So now she tends to tattle on them.
It’s a vicious cycle. Carys seems to get along fine with them individually. When they’re all together, it’s a no go.
I’ve talked to the older two about it until I’m blue in the face, but their “inclusion” only lasts a short while. I tell Carys that her relationship with her siblings is a changing thing and it will have its ups and downs.
It’s not much of a consolation, but I’m kind of at a loss. I think it’s a fine line with punishing the older two, unless it’s something bad of course. I don’t want them to completely turn against their little sister.
Is this one of those things you keep a close eye on, but it just sort of works itself out?
Lynda is the mom of three and a reporter and anchor for WRAL-TV and Fox 50 morning news. Find her here on Thursdays and on her Facebook page.