The Taming of the Crew


I need help understanding the difference between sibling rivalry and sibling abuse. I know I'm supposed to punish both children equally when they fight, but what about in a situation where the older child is habitually picking on and bullying the younger? For example, this morning, 10yo sister wouldn't let 6yo brother go downstairs to make his breakfast, then wouldn't let him in the dining area while she was eating or cleaning up. She used physical force both times to stop him, "beating him up" in her own words. 8yo brother also got involved in teasing and "beating up" the 6yo. This kind of thing is a regular occurrence in our home. Should I still punish the 6yo equally when the older kids (especially the 10yo) regularly tease and bother and hurt him unprovoked?

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