Sarah Thompson

I feel like I'm caught in a situation of competing and incompatible needs, and I'm hoping someone with some experience can guide me. 

My children are 10 1/2 and 7. They are close and very sweet together. My older son, Wallace, is so gentle and accommodating with his brother; sometimes I feel he's too much that way, willing to set aside his desires because of his brother's jealousy of his time and attention. Lately, Wallace is getting more assertive, making plans with friends that don't include Lysander or putting him off when he wants to play. It feels natural for him to do these things and I want to help Lysander, the younger, in finding his own way. 

When I can come up with a fun alternative, everyone wins. However, that is not always happening, because Lysander has been uninterested in making his own friends or playing with me. I tell him that it's okay for Wallace to want some space. It seems like he needs help with the grief and anger of that sometimes. That's where I come up a little short. If I had to assess my greatest weakness on my parenting journey, it would probably be too much passivity at times-allowing Lysander to get his way because he was making the most disturbance; the "squeaky wheel," if you will. I have come to recognize that this isn't fair to Wallace, but I need some advice on helping Lysander through that frustration.