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My 7-year-old daughter is disappointed that she has a brother, three and a half years old, instead of a sister. My son is a very active, bright, and loving child. I see a conflict in her for she loves him but hates him at the same time. My husband and I have done as much as we could to show her how we love her by action and words. We spend a great deal of time with her every day. But nothing is enough. Both my husband and I have OCD. My daughter is very much like us in her behavior (incessant). She whines a lot, which makes all of us feel very irritable. Any suggestions on how to convince her that she is important and loved?
I would suggest not continuing the same "dance" with your daughter. She is learning that she can and does get a lot of attention by being demanding, whining and never getting enough. Since she will naturally not change her role in the "dance" (why should she when she has so much power?), you have to change yours.

OCD notwithstanding, you must be satisfied that an appropriate (not excessive) amount of daily pleasant interaction with your daughter is fine. Interaction with her peers, friends and other adults should round out her social development.

I would respond to her whining by saying something like," When you want to talk about this and not whine, I'll be in the other room." Then leave her presence. Hold your ground and don't let her get you frazzled; that's one of the goals of this negative behavior. That and perhaps drawing your attention away from her less demanding brother.

Take a look at Faber and Mazlish's book, Siblings Without Rivalry. They give many examples of how to empathize with your daughter's conflicted feelings towards her brother while letting her know how special she is.

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