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Old 09-09-2009, 10:05 AM
 
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Hi, my wife and I have a 2 year 9 month old daughter and a 10 month old son. Our daughter does not do well with her brother. If he is crawling in her direction she'll scream. She thinks he is going to take anything she is playing with. If my wife or I is coming down the stairs with him, she'll scream "No!". In short, any sight of him basically freaks her out. If he's strapped in his car seat or in the cart at the store she usually isn't phased. It's when he's on the loose that she freaks. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes she will play with him and interact with him if we encourage her. But usually she just screams at the sight of him. We keep waiting for it to get better but it isn't happening. Any suggestions or advice for help would be appreciated, thanks. I'm not sure what's going to happen when he starts walking!
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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Absolutely normal behavior. Have you spoken with her about why she feels this way. That would be my suggestion for a starting point.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:31 AM
 
Location: SATX
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Did this just start recently or has it been like this since he was born (10 months)? I have 2 children that are 2yrs 9 months apart in age, and my oldest did not care too much for his little brother as an infant, and several times tried to smother him with a pillow. He did learn that this was not appropriate and stopped doing it. They still have very different personalities and the oldest doesn't always like playing with his brother. He does play with him some times, but the younger one is much more demanding of the older ones time, and my big boy has to cut him off (say I need to be alone now).

It sounds like your daughter is jealous and a little irritated that she is not the baby anymore. Have you been able to give her some individual special time away from the baby? This is a balancing act, because you do not want to over-indulge her and let her think that she can have 100% of your attention all the time, but she does need to know she is still special. Some occassional (once a week or every other week) one on one time with her is a good idea. Also, she needs to continue to get reinforcement from you in what your expectations from her are, such as: 1) DO NOT scream when you see your brother
2) He is your brother and you should love him.

I would not tolerate my child screaming over every little thing, such as being next to her brother, but you also have to expect some of this behavior until she matures a little more and is not so self-centered (depends on the child, but usually by 3 to 4 years old).

Last I would like to add, that you shouldn't force her to play with her brother. My 2 boys have different personalities (as already stated) , and although I like it when they play together, and most of the time they play reallly well together, there are times when the older one just wants to be left alone. This is acceptable, and with my children I call this respecting personal boundaries ("space" is the word I use with the kids).

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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It gets worse. She will probably always have jealousy issues with him and not really understand why. He took away here exclusiveness. It is something that you will just have to deal with all the way through. Even when they get older and ebcome closer, the jealousy issues will remain. One of my siblings still has serious issues towards another that go way back to when we were kids, even though we are all aproaching 50.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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It gets worse?! Oh no! Anyway, thanks all, to answer some of the questions...yes, we have talked about it to her...she'll say things that don't make sense like she thinks he is going to hurt her. And admittedly, he is a hard charger and goes right for her whenever the opportunity presents itself. But I'm certain he's never really hurt her, and if so, obviously not intentionally. It wasn't always like this...she never really embraced him or anything but until he started crawling she just seemed to not even know he was there.

She does get one on one time...usually he goes to bed an hour or 90 minutes before she does, and when he does she gets 100% of our time. Also, one of us will occasionally take her out to the park, etc. Might be a good idea to do a bit more of that but as it stands I think she's getting a good amount of one on one time.

I think we do have reasonable expectations but we've always definitely told her that this is not appropriate behavior and it needs to stop. I see very, very small signs that she is getting there but she has a long way to go.

Please keep the suggestions coming! Good to know that this is not uncommon but what I was really hoping to hear were some tips on how to help her accept him a bit more from other parents that have been in the same boat!
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
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My sons are a year and 8 days apart. My oldest was always trying to sit on my youngest. I have several pictures of him trying to roll onto him or literally sitting on him.

Your son may be a "bruiser" when he crawls over to her. Babies tend to pinch, pull hair, drool on etc. It may be that he truly is too ruff for her to handle, so when she sees him coming, she fears being pinched etc. Which would mean she truly does have a fear of him.

Until he grows up more, this will not be very correctable as far as getting him to not hurt her. Simpy because he doesn't mean to do it. I would try talking to her and explain when he does come over to her, he likes her and wants to be close to her, but he doesn't understand yet that when he pulls on her hair or pinches her arm that it hurts her. I think if she knows that he isn't being mean to her, it might help her reaction to him.

You could try having her get a toy he likes when she sees him coming to her rather than her screaming. Than maybe he will grab the toy from her instead of grabbing her.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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It will get better with time. Just be patient, and try not to start drinking until after they are in bed.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:25 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,427,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
Hi, my wife and I have a 2 year 9 month old daughter and a 10 month old son. Our daughter does not do well with her brother. If he is crawling in her direction she'll scream. She thinks he is going to take anything she is playing with. If my wife or I is coming down the stairs with him, she'll scream "No!". In short, any sight of him basically freaks her out. If he's strapped in his car seat or in the cart at the store she usually isn't phased. It's when he's on the loose that she freaks. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes she will play with him and interact with him if we encourage her. But usually she just screams at the sight of him. We keep waiting for it to get better but it isn't happening. Any suggestions or advice for help would be appreciated, thanks. I'm not sure what's going to happen when he starts walking!
Like another poster said...pretty typical. 2 1/2 yr olds are very territorial and have very limited interaction even with children their own age. They will maybe play with another child their age for 10 minutes, if that, and then go off and do their own thing. They don't hold conversations and each other's attention for long, if at all.

Not sure about the screaming part...it's up to your wife & you to nip that one right away.

But the competition she feels be it a cracker may go to him first or he even looks at a toy & that leads to mass hysteria....yep, pretty normal.

I have a 20 month old & 3 1/2 yr old. All sorts of things happen on any given day.

But we don't allow screaming, pushing or hitting. It has happened and I'm sure it is going to happen again, but we are strict on the physical aspect of it.

Don't think there is any way to "perfect" the management when they are at this age other than being very firm on what you do & do not allow.

I've also noticed that the more they "see" us, the little less commotion that occurs. I still interact with my children, but I also have jobs that have to get done...they know I'm right there & I check in on them every 5-10 minutes...it keeps ME in control...not them!

Your toddler isn't head of the home, you are...so, gotta step up & take charge.

Not sure what you are waiting for

If you are waiting for a RATIONALE TODDLER ...you're going to be waiting & waiting & waiting....

I will say that to expect her to correlate responsibilty, emotion, care (in regards to him being left alone in his carseat & she doesn't care)...she is a little young yet to see much in that area...she's still a young one herself!!...give that one some time...within the next year you should start to see a change in how she she relates to her sibling in that manner.

Last edited by 121804; 09-09-2009 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:49 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
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One of my friends explained it to me this way. What if your husband brought another wife home and explained to you that this was his new wife and he loves her, but he still loves you just as much.

Those children are a lot younger than we are and probably have more to deal with than we realize. I have noticed that my youngest grandchild flinches when the older one comes close. We went on vacation together with our son and it was interesting to say the least. The baby kept stealing the older childs toys and the older child would push and hit. Once she slapped the baby and then kissed her. Guess Mom made her kiss the baby when she did something bad to it. Mom has a degree in special education and does a great job trying to bring peace. Once I heard her explain to the older child that one day the baby would be older and be able to defend herself, so she might want to be nicer to her. We can all tell that the younger child is built like my 6'2" husband and probably will be a lot bigger than the 3 year old. This may get really interesting. I have noticed that my dil makes a big deal out of the fact the older child is a "big girl." She is teaching her how to act like a "big girl." This gives her a special identity.

The child cannot help the jealousy. She wants to be number one again, but watch to make sure the new baby does not harm her by biting or pulling hair. Another explanation is that maybe the scream gets your attention away from the baby for a second. Sounds like she needs attention and yes sometimes these feelings go to the grave. Hopefully not. My sister was very jealous of me and really treated me badly when we were children and then she got it because my brothers would take up for me and really give her a hard time. It is just learning to get along. As adults we were best friends. There is hope.

Just keep loving both the children and keep both safe and do not make them feel guilty about their feelings. Hopefully the love will come if it is not too big an issue.

Last edited by NCN; 09-09-2009 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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Something to keep in mind is that until around age 3 or so kids don't often relate emotions/feelings/senses to anyone or anything other than themselves. They are still playing independently and not cooperatively. So, to her, her brother is merely a 'toy' that now moves towards her, makes noise and all around intrudes upon her existence as she has known it. She hasn't yet learned how to interact with another child.

So, to help her adjust, she needs to learn he is a child just like her, that he feels joy, anger and pain and that he sees and hears all the things she does. Use words that relate to all those things to help her verbalize what's new to her. Explain that he does all the same things she does, albeit differently due to his age. He sleeps, eats, goes potty, plays and so on.

The more she learns that he is like her. the better it will become. It's just that for now, at her age, it's completely age appropriate for her to not engage in a positive manner with her little brother.
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