View Full Version : Advice wanted

08-05-2013, 12:26 PM
I am new to this forum and really want some advice from others :-)

I am currentky looking after a brother and sister (2 and 4). When they first registered their Mum told me that the sister is very close to the brother, how sweet I thought. BUT basically unless her brother is right next to her she crys constantly. If he just moves a few inches away from her, she will cry and then move next to him. The other day she fell asleep and we took the oppertunity to do a fun activity with him as activities are limited when the sister is awake, she woke up to find him not there and then there was hell to pay until he returned. Nothing we done could distract her from her upset.

We initially thought it was because she did not know us but each week it is getting worse. TOday she refused to eat her lunch unless she sat on the brothers lap, which I would not let her do therefore she has yet to eat today. I asked her to get her boots on to go outside and she was adament that her brother should do it for her, this battle I did win.

Her poor brother is clearly fed up of her, he keeps saying that she is annoying him and he is very clingy and cuddly towards me.

Her Mum is not very approachable on the subject, last night I received a text from her basically saying that the girl was upset about coming to us today and that we should allow her to be with the brother at all times. I explained that we do not keep them apart but also explained what happened that day when she fell asleep as I thought maybe that was what she was talking about.

I suppose my question is, is this normal? I have googled close sibling relationships and from what I have read this is a little extreme. I am in a bit of a muddle over this as I also have my own children, one of which is nearly 2 and he is beginning to pick up on her crying and is becoming very anxious now himself.

Would you work on getting her to enjoy time here without the brother constantly having to be around or would you just let her cling onto him knowing it was causing him grief when I know he loves coming here? Or do I politly inform the Mum that I can no longer have them due to the effects on my own son? Oh so many questions!!!

08-05-2013, 06:06 PM
I can't really help there, not a childminder yet... But it does need to stop soon this little boy will be going school,

your going to have to find some kind of activity to keeps her focus of her brother for a while that she really enjoys,

my daughter who is know 8 would never leave my side as a baby and cry till I came back if any one babysat, I got a childminder but she just cried in settling in, as I was a single mum and didn't drive, the childminder was nice and picked her up after her school run, and it did the trick, she was so focused on the car journey then playing at the house she didn't notice me, my daughter is 8 now still glued to me but I can breathe, so it did the trick..

So I hope you sort it its not the fair on the big brother xx

08-05-2013, 06:57 PM
Oh Beckiew

The first thing I would address is the fact that the situation is effecting your son, this should not be the case and he should not suffer.

Secondly, the situation is affecting the older brother, this also should not be the case and he should not suffer.

Thirdly, the situation is affecting you, and this also should be addressed as nobody should be suffering, I can imagine and feel the tension in your home is at breaking point.

You have two options: deal with it or don't deal with it - To deal with it I think it is going to be a very very hard task as you are going to have to convince mum and it sounds like she is thankful that her son takes responsibility for his sister (this isn't right and should not be) and in effect he is her comfort blanket to the extreme and this probably helps mum.

I have always been told and personally of the opinion that an elder sibling should not be burdened or expected to deal with the needs of another sibling, when my second child was born I was very careful not to put on my eldest to fetch and carry to help me look after the baby. As I am very careful not to put on my children now 12 and 15 to help me look after the little ones that come.

It does sound like the eldest boy does not relish the situation and now seas his sister as a burden, and this has to be dealt with it will only get harder for everyone concerned when he disappears off to school and you will be left to pick up the pieces.

Were they in childcare before they came to you?

If you take this task on board you are dealing with very very high emotions within your home, ask yourself if this is fair on your son?
I'm afraid there is no magic wand here just a LOT OF HARD WORK.

Good luck

blue bear
08-05-2013, 07:44 PM
you need to sit down with mum and tell her how it is, what you plan of action will be for dealing with the girls anxiety, how you have the boys best interest at heart. This is the way it has to be or you cant carry on with care.

she is two and will get over this but what happens when brother goes to school and she will be older and find it harder to cope with the separation.

Poor little boy, he deserves to be able to play and do what he feels like without the huge responsibility of his sisters happiness.

What actually happens at home? is the brother always there for the sister or is it just when they are away from home?

What is the little girls self confidence like both at yours and at home and what is mums plans to build the girls self confidence when out and about.

The biggest problem I see is the mum who is not dealing with the situation.

08-05-2013, 08:06 PM
I think if it was me I would approach it from the angel that you are concerned when brother goes to school what the girl will be like? So it might be worth trying to conquer this now instead of never the time?
Also agree it seems mum will be your biggest hurdle

09-05-2013, 02:24 PM

Thank you all so so much for your replies and advice.

Well after posting yesterday we took both of them into the woods and it was a nightmare. Obviously being just 2 she was slow where as her brother just wanted to run ahead and have some fun so was quite rightly getting very annoyed with her.

When the Mum turned up (I had not read your replies at that point) I asked to have a chat with her. I explained that whilst in the woods brother got very frustrated with sister and the look on her face was not too good. She seemed angry that the son would feel like this. I explained that neither child is getting the most out of being here due to the closeness of them, brother not being able to do older boys things and sister not doing anything at all a she is too scared to let brother out of sight.

I suggested when they come back next week that she brings sister into house with me whilst my partner collects brother from the car. That way sister may have a chance of getting to know me and give her the opertunity to do something fun rather than crying. I am not particulary hopeful that this will work though :-( but it really is my last option now.

When sister is crying, nothing gets through to her. She is very strong willed. I have tried distraction ignoring her and even being firm and almost shouting over the crying, but none of it distracts her from the tears.

Like I said this is my last ditch attempt, I have to put my son first, plus I am heavily pregnant and she wears me out!! I don't like the thought of giving up on a child but at the end of the day, if the Mum is not willing to accept the situation then there is not alot I can do really. During a conversation in the past the Mum said she was fine while brother went to pre school without her, though now they both attend one togather. Maybe she just does not like me? I have never encountered a problem with a child like this before.

Thanks again to you all xx