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SD9 is a bully...

GreenEyez's picture

Hi everyone,

A bit of background: SD9 lately has been exhibiting some interesting behaviour. Over the summer, SKs went to spend CO visitation time with BM and BM did one heck of a job manipulating SD9 to the point that she is a whole different child. No longer happy and bubbly. SD7 has told us that while there she was treated like garbage and SD9 was treated like a queen. SD9 was allowed to do whatever she wanted and would not get in trouble. SD7 on the other hand would get in trouble for everything. Now she is sneaky, manipulative and, lately, a big bully to her sister (SD7). She will pick on her at school and gang up on her with her friends, leading to SD7 coming home crying a couple of times. She says shes afraid of losing her friends if she doesn't do what they say. These same friends at one point backstabbed her and who was there for her? SD7. DH has been consequencing her by grounding her and taking away privileges, however she doesn't seem to get the point and continues to be mean to her sister.

Today SD9 let SD7 know that she will no longer be partnering up with her on twin day (which she had promised she would), and instead will be going with her friends. Essentially, she ditched her sister again. Now SD7 has no one to partner up with.

I feel that this is SD9 reflecting BMs behaviour along with not happy with being here loving with us, as she does not get the freedoms that her mother gives her. BM treats SD9 like a best friend rather than a daughter. On top of that, we recently found out from SD7 that BM has told SD9 to listen in and report to her. DH has told her that she is no longer in the circle of trust of our family since she has overstepped boundaries. SD7 stated that she refused to let BM know about what was going on which makes sense as to why BM treats her badly. SD7 brought up the bullying to BM and she basically just shrugged it off by "talking" to SD9.

Is this sibling bullying normal for this age? My sister and I never bullied eachother however we were 5 years apart.. How can this be stopped? I can see that DH at this moment feels frustrated and lost. Any advice?

fourbrats's picture

is pretty normal at that age. I would let the "twinning" thing for school go because that is so minor int he grand scheme of things and in the end, SD9 should want to twin with a friend rather than her younger sibling. They are in different classes and the social jump from 7 to 9 is quite large. 

As far as the other bullying...take it to the school. Have them step in to deal with the mean girl group. 

In terms of your husband, this isn't the first time he has said something that I personally feel is putting too much on a child that age. Telling a 9 year old that she is "no longer in the circle of trust" when she is doing what the other parent has requested of her is too much. There are better ways to handle this including explaining to the child why she shouldn't act like a spy for mom but also reinforcing that she can tell her mom anything she wants because you have nothing to hide. This is what I told my kids when they were that age: If ANY adult tells you to keep something a secret, unless it is about a present or a surprise party, then that is when you tell me or your dad or another trusted adult. I taught them that there was a difference between telling about your day, week and family and spying. Spying is looking for something wrong. Telling your parent about your life is a conversation. 

GreenEyez's picture

Thank you for the advice!

DH has discussed with her before, exactly what you said, the difference between spying and a conversation. He has also explained that it is not her obligation to spy for BM and that she can let BM know that if she has any questions about our personal life, she can give DH a call (all of this was said in a more kid-friendly way - even the circle of trust comment that was mentioned before). 

fourbrats's picture

I told my difficult child about the three services she was shocked. It really does work! I explained to her that because I spent my time making phone calls and have a parent/teacher conference instead of at work and doing chores at home then she had to do said chores. She was about 9. I never had another issue at school. Now at home? I swear that child has been trying to make me question my sanity or put my in an early grave since she was toddler but the school issue was handled. Even now (at almost 18) she knows that if she goes too far then she will owe service to the household. The silver lining is that all four of my bios willingly give back to the community through volunteering because they were exposed early, even if it was a form of discipline. They found out that they enjoy it. 

GreenEyez's picture

I read your post on the services and thought that it was a great idea. I think teaching kids to give back is essential in helping them turn into good, productive people.

tog redux's picture

As the youngest of 4 who was bullied by siblings and still holds resentment even now when I'm middle-aged - your DH should not allow SD9 to bully her sister.  The twin day thing isn't really "bullying", it's rude, but I do understand why she might want to do it with friends and not her little sister who is 2 grades behind her.  But the picking on her and ganging up on her, needs to be addressed. My siblings making fun of me, ganging up on me, and excluding me (which they still do to this day in grown-up ways) caused lifelong issues for me.

GreenEyez's picture

Thank you for sharing your experience. DH has been trying to stop here at home but the minute she's back at school she goes right back following her friends and bullying her sister.

As for the twinning thing. I totally get it that she would want to do it with her friends. However, I'm just a strong believer if when you make a promise to someone you have to keep it. They had everything planned out together down to the outfit. And then last minute she was ditched which sucks cause now she's all alone and has no one to participate with.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, I agree it's wrong - but doesn't feel like bullying so much as the other stuff does.  Unless she's saying, "Eww, why would I want to go with YOU?" kind of thing.

Can DH speak to the school and ask them to try to prevent the bullying? Can SD7 be taught what to do about it? Personally, I don't think sibling bullying is EVER "normal".


GreenEyez's picture

She specifically chose an outfit that SD7 didn't have, and made that very clear to her that she chose it so she wouldn't be able to twin with her. That's where the hint of bullying struck me. But again, I get that there's a social gap and maybe in this situation it was less of a bullying thing and more of a "I want to go with my friends" thing.

As for the teasing, I agree. I feel that taking it to the school should be the next step and will suggest it to DH. DH has talked to SD7 about what to do. Like DH told her to do her own thing at recess and to no longer plan stuff like these twin days with her. However, she has such a BIG heart that she doesn't have the strength to keep away.

And YES. I dont either. My sister and I are 5 years apart and never bullied eachother especially at school. So this is new to me. And even though I'm disengaging from this situation, it hurts me to see SD7 being treated like this. I just find it super cruel and not normal.

tog redux's picture

The twin thing is probably rough for SD7, I get it. People normalize sibling bullying, but it's not necessarily normal.  Some "teasing" maybe - but not to the level of bullying.  I have a niece who is 7 years older than my nephew and she never bullied him.  The worrisome part too is that SD9 is becoming a bully, period.

GreenEyez's picture

Right! And based on what I see, she's doing it to follow friends. So, what other paths will she be willing to follow to please her friends? Kids get involved in stuff much younger than back in our times. I see it through my profession, and knowing that that may be the path she might be going down is quite scary. 

STaround's picture

thing, and I dont think that is bullying.  I do think mom and dad have to tell older one she has to let the younger one know in advance, that she did not want to do the twin thing (but she may say she did).

I am very close to my siblings and I think a large part of it is that my mom never insisted we be friends, but be polite to each other. 

GreenEyez's picture

The funny thing is that SD9 was actually the one who planned it with SD7. It was her idea to go twin together and then she ditched her last minute. I'm pretty sure (knowing SD9) that it's because before she had no one to go with and now her friends asked her so she ditched her sister for them.

So yes, I agree with you in that DH should let her know that she should have told her sister earlier or maybe should have just not planned anything at all with her from the beginning if she was really just choosing SD7 as a last option.

Rags's picture

Fighting was never even a think in our home when my brother(s) and I were growing up. That is because it was not tolerated by our parents.  If we ever fought the consequences were clear and dire.  When dad (USMC) got home from work, we would have to go to the back yard and fight dad.  That never happened. Not even once.   He did not raise idiot sons.

Though I am 6yrs older than my surviving brother we have always been extremely close. There were very few kids where we lived then and fighting with any of them severely limited the pool or potential friends.

What your SD-9 is doing to SD-7 would have gotten SD-9 fully destroyed in my parents home.  That kid would be a quacking sniveling mess.

As for Twin Day... SD-9 committed to SD-7 and is attempting to back out at the last minute.... Nope. She should have no choice but to deliver on her commitment.  Changing her mind is fine. What isn't fine is changing her mind at a point that SD-7 has no options.  So, Twin up SD-9.

Also, it is time for DH to invoke the "these toxic POS kids are not your friends and you will not be spending time with them anymore" parent card regarding SD-9's group of friends who are targeting SD-7.

My SS began expeperimenting with a new group of friends about halfway through his Sophopmore year of HS.  His usual large group of friends were great.  The new group were a fringe group who were into "fight club" activities, vandalizing, etc...  So we ended that in a hurry.  Of course SS insisted on defending them as "not bad people" and was convinced that they should not be judged by their appearance or their edgy vandaling hobbies.  SS was hell bent on rescuing these kids from their neglectful or abusive family situations.   As his parents we had to protect him from himself as far as his choice of the new group of friends was concerned. Fortunately he was starting to realize that they were beyond salvage before we invoked the nuclear option, which we invoked anyway.   After his Sophomore year of HS we sent him to Military School for his Jr. and Sr. years.  Which was extremely positive for him though the SpermIdiot trashed the end of that experience.  It still was a defining experience for SS.

If SD-9 lives in a state of abject misery when she behaves as BM has manipulated her into behaving, with the clear message that she is suffering because of the bullshit BM has loaded her up with then she will at least be making a choice on how she behaves.  If she repeats the BM bullshit behavioral influence, then she is choosing the consequences.

It is your job and DH's job to apply the consequences for SD-9's choices and invoke a state of abject misery for SD-9's choices.

IMHO of course.


GreenEyez's picture

Great advice as always from you Rags! I always appreciate your word especially since our situations are similar.

As an update, SD9 twinned up with SD7 at the end after receiving some heavy consequences. DH also told SD9 that if the bullying continues, he will personally take it to the school and talk to the principal about it, which means if the group of girls gets in trouble, she will too and that will be her problem and hopefully a lesson learned. SD9 is no longer allowed on any electronic device unless it's to talk to BM until she can prove to DH and I that her behaviour has changed. BM says she will be keeping the phone due to her behaviour (not that I buy that. It's always empty words with her). We made it clear that we have a 0 tolerance policy with her now due to the choices she has made. SD9 only hangs out with these kids at school. So far, so good.

After all of this, SD9 was the one to make the decision to tell her friends she will not be twinning with them since she made a commitment with her sister (not like she would've had a choice at the end anyways as per DH lol).

Rags's picture


I share what has worked for us or what makes sense. I am pragmatic in my life including in my relationship and parenting.  I don't spend a lot of time delving deeply into the foundations of why stupid decisions are made or crappy behaviors are perpetrated.

It protects me from getting sucked down the toilet with idiots and it minimizes the disruption to my life and my family to just confront behaviors that interfere in our lives rather than give the behaviors, dramas and the perpetrators of it credence or credibility by investing any of my/our time and happiness into the shit show than necessary.  

Pavlov's dog was behaviorally manipulated by consistent application of stimulus.  I figure that crappy behavior that is met with the consistent application of unpleasant stimulus will work just as well on those making crappy decisions as a bell and food worked on Pavlov's puppy.

Keeping it simple seems to work.

At least for me.

Kids with baggage from parental divorce and manipulation by the toxic half of their broken/blended family at some point need to be held to behavioral and performance standards regardless of the source of their baggage and influences of all of that on their decisions.  The background is barely fixable but kids can be supported and motivated to move beyond the influences of the shallow and polluted half of their gene pools. If they are unfortunate enough to have one or more sides of their family that are toxic.

Keeping it simple works.

Maybe it has something to do with green eyes. Mine are green too.