He is small, cute and parents always defend him… It will be less serious if he is the one who gets caught. No?
Without having the maturity of the big ones, the little elders already have much more physical strength and skills than their younger ones, which generally allows them to become heroes. When this is the case, the dynamic is quite extraordinary and the children each find a role to play that suits them and values them.
In other families, however, the elders use this force in a more or less cruel way in order to impose certain things. Occasionally, plans are even made that involve letting the younger ones get picked up instead of the older ones, picking up for them, or just getting into mischief. When should we intervene in this "power" game?
When it's jealousy
Sometimes, it's since the arrival of the youngest that something is wrong. The eldest who didn't like a baby stealing his parents' attention still doesn't appreciate being applauded for such trivial things as saying the word grapefruit or stacking a few blocks. Before the age of four, your child followed his impulses and annoyed the youngest almost by reflex, but ingrowing up, this is no longer the case. If he keeps putting his little brother or sister in impossible situations, constantly blaming him for everything he does wrong, and making him do all the tasks that are asked of him, c is perhaps to get your attention. For some very attention-deprived children, being nagged is better than nothing.
If you suspect this is the case with you, rather than regularly squabbling him and making him look like the wrong brother or sister, spend a few minutes a day with him as a duo. You will quickly see if extra attention does him the greatest good. Also maybe seeing how well a bigger one (you) does solo with a smaller one (him) will make them want to replicate that relationship and take care of their little brother or sister instead. to enjoy it.
When it's laziness
Maybe you have noticed that your eldest makes his little brother or little sister do everything. "Go get me some juice!" », « Go throw away my container! », « Go ask mom if we can go to the park! ". It's handy to have a little valet handy! Especially since often, the youngest is so in awe of his older brother or sister that it's child's play to make him do anything.
In this case, it is usually enough to talk to them about it and the dynamic will change. As soon as the oldest is officially told that he must take care of his tasks whilealone and that the youngest will know that he can answer him "do it yourself", there will be discomfort in asking. When you give longer tasks, such as cleaning their room, you can watch out of the corner of your eye or keep the youngest busy while the older one does his or her business.
And when it is voluntary?
If your kids are kind of stuck in a vicious circle, and the older one just takes advantage of the younger one's naivety and kindness, that's another story. You will need to work on the relationship the children have.
Of course, we would like the love that the older one has for his younger brother to be enough to make him pleasant and protective, but all is not so rosy in the world of siblings. Sometimes it is up to the children, and the children alone, to command respect. If this is the case with you, rather than giving the youngest a victim role, teach him to respond and defend himself. If the other asks him to perform tasks for him or to perform questionable tasks, let him say no. Maybe he doesn't even understand that he has the right to refuse it and if he manages to stand up to this other child much bigger than him a few times, the two will learn good lessons and their relationship will improve.