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Daughter jealous of her brother

(23 Posts)
Notjustaprettyface Fri 27-Dec-19 17:50:08

No matter what we do , my adult daughter ends up comparing herself to her adult brother and thinks we prefer him etc
We have talked about it and obviously told her that we do not prefer her brother but she won’t have it !
For instance , she had us round for a sit down meal on Christmas Eve and my son had us round for a buffet on Boxing Day so she thinks she did more than him and that he ‘ got away’ with doing very little ; she also says we complimented him on the food but not her !
I don’t know what to do , she seems very petty and I can’t take it any more
Actually , I find it despicable that she said that about her brother ?
Any idea what I should do ? Anybody else got similar problems ?

Calendargirl Fri 27-Dec-19 17:58:53

Sounds like your daughter has an inferiority complex about her brother. Did he do better than her at school, sports, career, whatever? Did you praise his achievements more than hers, or is that just how she perceives it?
I think all you can do is reassure her that she is just as much loved, valued and appreciated as he is, and leave it at that. If she brings things up, don’t rise to it. Let it pass.

PamGeo Fri 27-Dec-19 18:09:25

Refuse to get into it with her, you can't win her round because it's as she sees it. If you have tried talking about it and she doesn't feel any different then don't but if she ever does again, just listen, listen carefully to what and how she says she feels.
Telling her when you think she has been rude is fine, you'd do that with anyone but don't get defensive on his behalf . I'm sure you look at them both and think you've raised them the same, treat them the same, loved them the same but if that's not how she feels it is then you have to try very hard to see it through her eyes and feel what she is saying. It's possible she is just jealous of him about everything undeservedly so, but what if some of what she thinks is right ? Is it possible ? Some people are easier to be around than others, less demanding, less critical, just more comfortable to be with. These can't be measured so easily but can be very obvious to the one feeling the difference. How do they get along with each other ? can they be friends without their parents involvement ? Maybe it's not all about how you can fix this maybe you could just ask her more questions on her views as she sees them. Good luck and hopefully you'll get to a happier place with her.

Tedber Fri 27-Dec-19 18:13:23

Ohhh sibling rivalry! VERY difficult to deal with!

Not really experienced it myself thank goodness. I loved my brothers and they love me and my children all seem to love each other. Sometimes I get a little huffiness if either thinks I may be spending too much time with one or the other but..I just tell them to grow up!

I think just ignore any comments and carry on doing as you are doing. Would your daughter have preferred you to go to her brothers on Christmas Day and hers on Boxing Day? Probably not!

Was she like this as a child? Two of my GC (boy/girl siblings) are constantly squabbling with the girl, the elder, being very jealous with anything to do with her brother! ("He get's this, he get's that etc etc) when in fact, SHE gets much more attention because she is so demanding! Yesterday she was complaining because "He's touched me with his feet?" I said he breathing the same AIR as you???

Hoping she grows out of it........ smile

TrendyNannie6 Fri 27-Dec-19 18:26:14

You say no matter what we do your adult daughter ends up comparing herself to her brother and thinks you prefer him, as you have already explained that you don’t , it sounds very much to me she is jealous of him, she thinks he got away with doing very little, but he invited you round he did what he wanted to do, sounds very silly on her part, does anyone else in your family think you prefer your son, or is this just her

vampirequeen Fri 27-Dec-19 18:40:39

Try not to get involved. I know it's hard and you find it upsetting but I can virtually guarantee that her feelings started in childhood and have developed over the decades. By now they are fixed in stone. As a child who has similar feelings about a sibling, I'm amazed that she actually puts her thoughts into words to you. I have been known to say things to friends but I would never upset my Mam in this way. I think that's very unfair of her because she must know that she's putting you in an impossible situation. Rise above it. Be firm. The next time she moans simply tell her that you respect her feelings (which will be very real to her) even if you don't agree with her but that you are no longer willing to be dragged into this sibling rivalry....and refuse to be drawn any further regardless of what she says.

timetogo2016 Sat 28-Dec-19 09:37:18

She believes her own bull...t
Ignore her and maybe she will grow up and act her age.
It is quite common my sister used to say I was my dads favourite when I asked for an example she couldn`t give me one.
There`s a lot of attention seekers in families.

Luckygirl Sat 28-Dec-19 10:14:41

Laugh it off when she says such things - just give her a hug. The more you talk about it the more credence you give to it.

Madgran77 Sat 28-Dec-19 11:44:05

I wouldnt get into your views on what she said as "being despicable"..that just adds to her feelings of being less favoured or not listened to or whatever

I also wouldn't try to counter her views directly or to try to justify etc

1. I would tend to respond with generally caring and appreciative remarks so.... " We enjoyed both meals, and it was lovely having your lovely sit down meal. I really liked the way you cooked the ***! Can I have the recipe?"

2. Alternatively ask her to explain her feelings and then just listen, dont argue, dont justify etc. When she has finished ask what she wants you to do differently. Listen again. And then take it from there.

At this point I would do my first suggestion and see how things go flowers

Niucla97 Sat 28-Dec-19 12:02:09

My son and his wife endure the same kind of thing. They have a daughter and a son. Both in their twenties but still living at home. The daughter is the elder and she has a boulder on her shoulder where her brother is concerned. 'Golden Boy!' He is no angel but is mostly easy going. He tolerates a great deal. He is thoughtful and generous. he contributed to Christmas buying things including the tree and the turkey- which she refused to eat as he had bought it!

She does nothing at home to help.

Christmas Day she excelled herself. She was lovely until her brother's friend arrived. It was like Jekyll and Hyde, so disrespectful in her parent's home. She went out with a friend for a couple of hours When she came back she wasn't even civil almost ignoring the guest.If she did speak it was an unnecessary sarcastic remark.

I love her to bits and she can be such a kind, sweet caring person (to others) I really was ashamed of her and I know my son was upset. I have told her that I was disappointed and that she was very disrespectful.

We'd had a lovely day apart from her attitude. It really upset me to see her behaving as she did.

Starlady Sun 29-Dec-19 03:34:37

So sorry about this, Notjustaprettyface! It must be exhausting! I don't agree that you should keep reassuring DD, not to the same extent, anyhow. IMO, whenever she complains, I would just remind her that you've told her you love them both the same - and then change the subject.

As for her saying DS "got away" w/ doing less, I would have pointed out there's no rule about what you "have to" do for family or how much, if anything at all on Xmas - especially not on Xmas. But the moment is past, of course.

One concern.. . Did you and DH compliment DS but not DD? Have there been other incidence where DD felt you praised her brother but not her? Even if only when they were kids? (Sometimes adult sibling rivalry is a leftover from childhood sib rivalry, as I'm sure you know.) I've seen situations where the parents fell into the habit of focusing on the achievements of one child over the other's (maybe b/c that one child was struggling at some point, etc.) One of my friends is CO from her DD and family, partly b/c she always sings the praises of her DS while barely noticing DD's accomplishments. I get the impression it's b/c her DS has yet to find lasting love, lives alone, and my friend sees him as "lonely," etc. IDK for sure, but I do know she fails to see that she does this, let alone how much it hurts her DD. Could you and/or DH be making a similar mistake? If so, please be more careful about this. But still, please don't get drawn into any silliness like comparing celebrations, etc.

janeainsworth Sun 29-Dec-19 07:44:51

I’m afraid I’ve got no time for that sort of thing, OP.
My ACs know that if they indulged in that kind of manipulative behaviour they’d be told to stop being ridiculous and the subject would be changed.
It was a long-standing family joke that one of my staff was my favourite child and so they transferred all their jealousy to her grin

Daisymae Sun 29-Dec-19 09:11:41

Sibling rivalry runs deep. I do wonder whether your son was favoured? A little?

Grammaretto Sun 29-Dec-19 10:14:22

You have reminded me janeainsworth of how to dissipate the rivalry!

We host volunteers who are often young travellers from other countries. They help in the house and garden in return for bed and board. Although all our DC are long gone and are parents themselves, if I so much as mention these youngsters
favourably in the presence of any of my AC, all hell lets loose.

I think that the rivalry/jealousy exists just below the surface and most of the time we control it but your DD hasn't been able to do this for some reason.

I went through a long stage in my teens of avoiding my DS for years and it wasn't until we both had DC that we realised we had lots to talk about and she became really nice!

Remember Mark Twain:
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."--Mark Twain.

janeainsworth Sun 29-Dec-19 10:23:21

Yes Grammaretto my DDs frequently locked horns in their teenage years but apart from having a rule that anyone who wasn’t prepared to be civil to other family members had to stay in their own room until they had got over themselves, I didn’t interfere or plead with them to be nice to each other. They are now very good friends 🙂

janeainsworth Sun 29-Dec-19 10:24:20

We had a book of Shakespearean insults which they hurled at each other. The insults, not the bookgrin

dragonfly46 Sun 29-Dec-19 10:27:43

I have something similar to you notjustaprettyface.
My DD is the oldest and has always lacked confidence. She is beautiful and very intelligent. My DS is not so academic but makes up for it with common sense, charm and charisma.
At school my DD was bullied to some extent and decided she would rather sit on her own making me very sad. My DS on the other hand had many friends. DD used to thing I loved her brother more though nothing could be further from the truth.

Now they are around 40 they get on much better and since she has married my DD is gaining more confidence. They don’t see each other as much as I would like as they lead completely different lives but they do like each other now.

Summerlove Sun 29-Dec-19 14:02:18

Your disdain for your daughters attitude rings loud and clear in your writing, as does how you feel she’s picking on her poor brother.

Are you sure there is no credence to her claims?

All you can do is reassure her you love them both the same, even if, as she feels, you like him much more

Doodle Sun 29-Dec-19 14:56:00

I worried that my older son would think I favoured his younger brother because I was always making excuses for him (the younger one) as to why he didn’t, phone, text, turn up etc etc. It worried me a lot. Nothing my older son did made me think he would feel that way but one day I just cornered him and told him that I had loved him from the second he was born and never loved his brother more although I loved them the same. I felt better after but whether he had ever been concerned or not I don’t know. He’s very level headed so I doubt it.

Grammaretto Sun 29-Dec-19 16:31:29

DM used to take each of us aside and tell each one that we were her favourite. We promptly told the others so she was caught out!

I never felt that she had preferences apart from thinking her boy could do no wrong...
Being in the middle I got the best and worst of worlds. I didn't have to fight the battles to be allowed to stay out late/have boyfriends/wear high heels and makeup. But I wasn't confided in either so could feel left out. I certainly didn't ever wish to be my younger DB and be the spoiled baby.

With ours, I find one DS easier to talk to than his siblings,. Does that imply favouritism?

Sielha Sun 29-Dec-19 23:59:29

This sounds very familiar to me - 27 year old daughter with 2 kids and 30 year old son with 1 son. The sibling rivalry has never ended even though she clearly gets more than him, especially in terms of help (he lives over an hour away). I have different relationships with them but feel I am close to both and yet I have always felt I can relate more to my son (similar personalities) so I suspect that my daughter senses that. Into read the responses on here

Sielha Mon 30-Dec-19 00:00:28


quizqueen Mon 30-Dec-19 00:22:18

Don't mention anything of what or when you do things with her brother, then she has no 'evidence' to go on!!