‘My nine-year-old girl is moody and I don’t like her at times’

John Sharry: See feelings of dislike as a ‘wake-up call’ that something needs to change

It is very common for older children to feel ‘usurped’ by their younger sibling and to feel that their parent favours the younger one. File photograph: iStock

It is very common for older children to feel ‘usurped’ by their younger sibling and to feel that their parent favours the younger one. File photograph: iStock

This summer, The Irish Times will offer tips, advice and information for parents on how to help their children thrive during the holiday months. Read all about it at  irishtimes.com/summeroffamily

Question: My nine-year-old girl is moody, so much so it affects the balance of our family of six. She is our eldest and I’m always on edge as to what her mood will be. I find as a mother I don’t like her at times.

Don’t worry I don’t show this, but I do have to do a lot of giving out ... as she can be so mean to our youngest two-year-old. I constantly hear, ‘I don’t care about her’ from her. I reinforce my love for her, but I don’t like the behaviour. School is also hard for her as she struggles with friendships and finds it hard to connect socially with her peers.

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