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3yr old jealous -acting out

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#1 dpr81

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

I am not sure if I am posting this in the right place...

I have a 3.5yr old and a 7.5mth old. My son who is generally a well behaved little boy - polite, knows right from wrong has turned... When my daughter arrived he wanted nothing to do with her for the first month or so and I never pushed her on him, I figured when he was ready he would come around. That he did, he would help with bath times, brushing her hair even washing her, playing with her, a dream!

I have been noticing the last couple of weeks as she is getting older and starting to interact a lot more as opposed to just rolling on the ground, he has become a little jealous. He has been off from daycare for 2-3weeks and is due to start up again in 2 weeks time. My daughter is teething and very clingy at the moment I am trying my hardest to share my time with them both

I hit my limit of being understanding just now when I caught him pushing her while she was sitting back into a wooden dresser! Enough is enough they were little things before that maybe I was overlooking but this I cannot. Has anyone else been dealing with this, any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!!

#2 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

I have a just over 3 year gap between my 2. (Now 1 and 4).  Both girls.  

I find occasionally taking just the big one out by herself really improves her behaviour (to the movies, or out to a coffee shop or similar)

When the baby sleeps, I spend time doing stuff with older DD that we can't do when the baby is around - lego, board games, etc.

I've found a couple of activities that interest both of them - they're both happy enough to play with musical instruments, a few of the bigger Little People sets, and with the water table and swings outside.

#3 beabea

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:58 AM

Oh yes. They do this. Then the younger one grows old enough to be a playmate and things are better again.

Taking the older one on solo trips out was definitely a help, but hard to organise for us.

Playing when the baby is asleep also good.

I think the biggest thing for us was pushing harder on the "mum's helper" angle. I added chores, including general housework as well as baby care, until his idle hands were sufficiently occupied. It seemed to give him a sense of purpose and importance, as well as just something to do other than pick on his sister.

We also talked a lot about looking at things from another's point of view (he was just developing that ability - it usually comes between 3 and 4 in most kids). We talked a lot about his role and responsibilities as a big brother, etc.

I also found out about a concept called "facilitated play" which was in a book about... Successful Preschoolers? for 3-5yos. Basically it's unstructured, child-led play, but you step in where necessary to guide and extend the play (for example, if you can see one getting tetchy, you might ask a question about what they're doing which refocusses their attention and gets their rational side turned on, or you might step in and play along for a moment to keep the game moving along a peaceful path, then once they're ok you step back again). This is great for when you're NOT trying to cook dinner, etc - although it might still help a little under those circumstances if you can keep your attention on more things at once than I can, or if they are relatively peaceful together!

There were times when I had to separate them for everyone's safety when DS was feeling extra-surly and I had to get something done. We did a lot of time-out over that period. I tried to paint it more as a practical solution to a problem than a punishment - they were getting at each other and we all needed space to calm down. I had DS practice meditative techniques such as breathing and counting to ten. I often sent him to his room to do this when he started showing early signs of jealousy so he could calm down and return in a controlled state. I tried to point out the signs to him in the hope he could learn to self-regulate and take himself off when necessary, which worked to a certain, mild degree.

I also remember DD spending some time in the back carrier during dinner prep etc, for her safety.

Anyway, they still have their tiffs but it's not so frequent nor so much of a worry any more, so there is hope!

Edited by beabea, 15 January 2013 - 03:04 AM.

#4 icekool

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

Yes, this happened to us. We have DS1 who was 4.5, DS2 who was 2 9 months when DD was born. DS2 was terrible after a few months after DD's arrival. Although he had DS1 to play with, DD was always a threat. DS2 started to become rough with her and I could never leave the room with him alone with her (even if she was in a cot or porta cot). It did take time and he would always say to me, I don't like DD.

What I realised was that he missed the quality time we both had before DD arrival. Since DS1 was in kinder, we would go out together, spend time playing etc when I was pregnant. So when DD was sleeping or safe to be on her own, I tried my best (as tired as I was) to do the things we use to do. He loved going to shops or supermkt and help me with the clothes or groceries. I would buy him little treats because he was a good boy and mummy's special boy. I would constantly tell him that DD loves her brother so much. Would also "pretend" DD bought something for him from time to time. Generally make him believe DD loves him sooooo much.

Eventually DS2 saw that she wasn't a threat. That mummy can get frustrated with DD too and it wasn't just him. When DD learnt to kiss, I would make sure DS2 got one although initially he just didn't want to be close to her. But it was the special quality time I had with DS2 that reassured him he is still special to me.
DS2 is turning 4 next month and DD is now 14 months so things are better with him. DS2 now loves DD as he understands that she is not a threat and I also think it has to do with maturing more. HTH.

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