The oldest child is known to be bossy, sometimes extremely bossy. They tend to throw their weight around and feel entitled to show their authority over their younger siblings because they are older and they been there and done that. The older sibling figures that their younger sibling is their responsibility and they have every right to tell them what to do (which is true) and reprimand them if necessary (which is not true). For those who may say that I hate on the eldest sibling I’m not because I’m one of them. My point is as the oldest sibling; I didn’t have authority to reprimand my little sister but was responsible for looking after her. Kind of confusing isn’t it. As soon as your younger sibling does something on your watch, your parents will get on you when they screw up and your punishment seems harsher than the one they gave your younger sibling. If I don’t have the right to punishment my sibling, what’s the point of me looking after her like she was my child? Noticing how The Don try to reprimand Bam Bam really made me uneasy because he is not the parent and The Don is trying to be. I think some guidelines need to be addressed.
One day the family was eating dinner. Bam Bam started using his fork but after awhile, he started using his fingers. The Don told Bam Bam, “Use your fork. If you don’t use your fork I’m taking it!” Now I think to myself, “Oh, that’s how I sound like.”
When The Don does something bad, I usually say, “If you don’t stop doing (fill in the blank), I’m taking it.” I usually take a toy away if The Don is misbehaving. So when I heard The Don talk to Bam Bam like that I told him, “Don’t worry about what Bam Bam is doing. You focus on your food. I’m the parent and I’ll handle Bam Bam.”
Maybe The Don feels that he wants to assert some power over his brother because he feels I assert power over him. So to explain to The Don what his roll is as big brother. I had to let him know that he has a responsibility to protect his brother but he doesn’t have a right to punish him. I told The Don, “I understand you want to make sure that your brother is using his fork. You can encourage him to use it but it’s not your place to make him. If you feel Bam Bam is doing something wrong, you need to tell Mommy or Daddy and we will handle it. Your job if you’re alone with him is to make sure he doesn’t do anything to hurt himself and he is doing the right thing. You can encourage him to do the right thing if he doing something wrong. If he doesn’t listen to you, then you let mommy and dad know and we will decide to reprimand him or not.”
As an older sibling, I understand what The Don is going through. As older siblings, we are taught to look after our younger siblings and if the younger sibling doesn’t listen to you, we are the blame instead of placing the blame on the real person…the parent. The parent is the boss and if the younger sibling isn’t listening to the older sibling, it’s the parent’s responsibility to let the younger sibling know to listen to their older sibling if they are right.
When The Don tells Bam Bam not to do something and he’s right, I tell him good job in telling Bam Bam what the right thing to do.” This way, The Don can feel like he’s has a say in regards to his little brother without feeling he’s being punished for looking out for him. I think The Don likes protecting his little brother. Giving him the right tools to do this will make him a great big brother. I believe he’s a great big brother already.