Tribulations of ‘Older Kid Influence’

Boy. Wow. Holy shtfreaks. My girls have met with a doozy. Starting a new school is the kind of tricky time where I don’t want wind in their sails or bees in their bonnets. It’s been enough of an uphill to have Eldest fit in with girls who’ve known each other a year. Younger, initially, was fine. And then we meet Brat. Capital ‘B’ fully intentional and completely repurposeful.
Brat, it turns out, is the progeny of an ex-aquaintance of my family. We’ll call this person Ispini (It’s Irish, pronounce it ‘Ish-pee-nee’) So Ispini and Brat, it turns out, have kind of attached themselves to my girls. Brat is in the same class as Eldest, although they don’t sit together. Eldest likes Brat well enough but we’ve had a serious Brat and Ispini saturation since school started 2 months ago and, to be honest, Eldest is a little sick of her, going as far as to say, ‘I don’t want her as a friend.’
This is, I think, a marginally profound thing for a 5 year old to come out with. This isn’t a petty ‘best friend one day, enemies the next and playdates on Saturday’ kind of an issue. Since the start of the friendship, Eldest has taken ‘quiet time’ breaks from Brat because Brat is SO intense.
Par Example. Brat doesn’t use common manners such as please and thank you. Brat demands.
If Brat does not get her way (spontaneous playdates, treats, to jump in lake-size puddles etc) she WILL tantrum.
This kid is 6.
Brat expects- EXPECTS- a continuous train of snacks to be provided whether at home or out
Brat also doesn’t seem to be able to finish up in the bathroom properly.
Brat routinely wont clean her room, pick up her clothes, so much as hang up her coat or pass an item to on
request.
Brat speaks fluent Whinge, Wail, Moan, Scream and Nag
Brat is also, unfortunately, quite indulged, quite ignored and very very smart.
Brat, actually, is fine once she gets used to non-home routine. I don’t mind her. I have no problem having her over, though she is a lot to take.
She is, however, a bully. Teachers are aware, Ispini is aware and ignorant and the kids in school, for the most part, do steer clear.
So when Eldest decided that she didn’t want her as a friend I secretly applauded her for knowing her own mind and being aware that the friendship had become more of a boss-underdog kind of thing.
Which brings me to Younger.
I have always thought of Younger as a very strong person, very determined, really knows her own mind and is able to stand on her feet. Brat is eroding my Younger from herself.
In the last 4 weeks there has been such a significant change in Younger that sometimes I think, ‘Is this actually my kid?’
Younger now has violent tantrums, is unprecedentedly rude and intolerant and is constantly on the verge of tears. She is also wetting the bed. Seriously bad sign.
Now, being objective, I would put this down to many factors; new school; new friends; old- school teacher (who is the sweetest hard-arse I’ve yet come across) as well as change in routine and growing phases. I would be deluding myself and know how stupidly wrong I was. Sure they’re all stages and they manifest in different ways but this is not minor adjustment.
I found out something quite intimidating today.
Eldest plays with other kids in her class because she doesn’t often want to play with Brat who is very controlling. Fair enough. It turns out that Brat dragged Younger away from her friends and made her play with her. (Excuse the grammar there)
If an of Younger’s friends came over, they were literally pushed away.
Younger had 2 accidents today. In school. In public. This is a whole new LEVEL of Parent-Freak Out.
Hub and I have decided (as of 2 weeks ago) to scale back playdates with Brat (which is hard as she comes out of school screaming that my 2 are going over and Ispini goes ‘Okay! Then Let’s go!”
I’m not a great person for confrontation. I am fundamentally diplomatic and it gets difficult to refuse playdates when a lot of people are in your face and kids are making a whole lot of noise and other parents are watching with quiet interest when I say ‘No’ and Brat erupts into screeches of complaint.
I’ve tried backing them away from Ispini and Brat as a whole but there are 5 and 1/2 hours everyday were I am not in control and the teachers on the yard can only do so much.
Not expecting answers. Just venting. And I cannot stress enough how hard a time I have saying no to people other than my family and close friends.
Sigh.
Rant over.

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4 thoughts on “Tribulations of ‘Older Kid Influence’

  1. Aw this breaks my heart love! You maybe would need to say to the mother that brat is alienating all of youngests friends and would she please have a word with her? It just sounds like very bad parenting from Ispini (cool neame, haven’t heard it before!) Teeno out xxxx

  2. That’s rough. I agree with teenocoggs, though; a polite and pleasant request might do wonders. And if Ispini gets in a huff over it, maybe Ispini won’t let Brat play with your kids anymore. That’s okay, too, right? Hang in there.

    • Thank you.
      It is difficult but she is slogging through it. As are we as a whole. Elder seems to have cultivated a distance now, successfully, my Younger is, unfortunately, now a changed child. So much so that it takes a spade and acres of hugs to delve through issues that she is aware of but seems reluctant to discuss. Exhausting!

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