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Being 1st....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Gus *has* to be 1st at EVERYTHING. Emmet has begun to say "I like 2nd." Well does he have a choice?

If Emmet succeeds at anything 1st, Gus throws a total tantrum and shouts things like "Why is Emmet always 1st?!!? I WANT TO BE FIRST!!! EMMET CAN'T BE FIRST!!"

It can be about anything-running up the stairs, going pee, getting dressed (and not just in general-EVERY INDIVIDUAL PIECE OF CLOTHING!), being served, pouring juice, drinking juice, finishing juice, getting in the van, having car seats buckled, having car seats unbuckled, getting out of the van, changing the channel, getting the mail, returning home with the mail, etc.

Gus actually expects Emmet to ride slowly so he can get to the mail box 1st, then Emmet has to wait for Gus to ride past him on the way home so Gus can get home 1st. If Emmet doesn't cooperate Gus flies into a rage, screaming, thowing himself on the ground, shouting mean things like "I don't love you anymore!" and even bit him once for "not listening"!

I'm sure it sounds petty, but it's getting to the ridiculous point and I'm not sure how to handle it anymore....

post #2 of 10
OH boy treelove, that must be very frustrating for you to keep hearing him play that scene over and over!

My 2 cents on the matter.....

Explain to gus that being first is a special privilege and perhaps you can have him taking turns being first with his brother. YOu could tell him that the tantrums and biting are not acceptable and result in timeout.

Does this behavior happen more when he is tired? that always seems to be the case with my 3 year old.

When I read over my comment, I'm thinking that 'she probably has already done that!' anyways, I wish you luck!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. He *always* seems overtired! What I mean is, his "normal" behavior is that of an overtired child: cranky, sensitive, bossy, angry, frustrated, teary, and demanding. He is a wonderful child-he's also smart, creative, cuddly and talkative, but I would say 50-75% of the time he's ready to melt-down at a seconds notice.

I think maybe I will *pick* who goes first at each activity for a few days and see if that reduces it. Like Monday Emmet can get the mail, Tues. Gus can etc.
post #4 of 10
Well, that would be frustrating. If you're going to try to alternate who is first on certain days ect, have you thought about making a chart? It could be fun, with pics of the mailbox, ect, and then you could put each of theiir names on index cards, and use sticky velcro or st to alternate whose name goes first under each activity.

Emmet sounds pretty tolerant. What is his normal reaction to this? My dd sounds more like Gus, no way would she tolerate never being first.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll get some more enlightening advice!
post #5 of 10
What about Rescue Remedy! Or a homeopathic remedy which matches his temperment? Do you know a homeopath?

My ds is also me first and "I'm the biggest,strongest, fastest etc." I've explained it's not always good to be first. I'm afraid he's going to learn it elsewhere and it'll be hard on him! I'll be here to comfort him.

Maybe ask gus how it feels not to come in first. Maybe use this opportunity to talk about feelings of disappointment and what do we do about it. Or how to talk about our feelings. And how can we empathize with others when we feel this way. With simple words and explanations maybe it can be a learning experience. The books i've read talk about the importance of teaching boys how to talk about their feelings and other people's feelings as well. We tend to nurture these tools in girls more than in boys.

Good kuck!
post #6 of 10
Well, I am a twin. I have a twin sister and what you are describing sounds alot like my youth with my sister. I wasn't over active or anything, but I was more dominate and therefore I think she has suffered. To this day, she has low self-esteem and she looks to me for advice and how to handle situations. I was always the over achiever and got alot more attention from friends and family. I wish my mother would not have let that happen!!!!!!

I suggest you choose who goes first. And as they get older try to get them involved in seperate things that they each excel in. that way they can be important in different areas and hopefully that will make them see each other as equal...not one is the alpha and one is the beta!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Invaluable insight! THANK YOU!
post #8 of 10

No, I'm the engine!

Katie has to "be first" a lot too. It hasn't become as extreme as you've described, but she always has to be the "engine" to the house, to the car, up the stairs, etc. If s/o else is the "engine", tantrum, tears, etc. regardless of time of day (say I'm three over and over again). Sometimes we just _have_ to get sister or whatever, but we haven't resolved that one. Anyhow, book time.
post #9 of 10
My son has also gone through the me first syndrome. The good news is that he is coming out of it, only occasionally does he ask to be first (he will be 5 at the end of March)

When it was at its worst, we talked alot about how much fun it was to be first. Then we frequently suggested that since it was so much fun, maybe his little sister would like a turn at being first. My husband and I also took turns being first. He seems to respond well to statements like, "Think about how you would feel if you never got to be first, that is how your sister feels when you insist on being first every time."

We also stopped allowing him to be first if he threw a fit about it, we started just letting him vent, and then when he calmed down we talked about asking someone to wait for you instead of screaming at them for being in front of you. It has taken some time, but it has gotten much better. Hope this helps...

post #10 of 10
My son Anthony has gone through that stage. He seems to be transitioning out of it. Thank God! His sibbling is much younger so I think there is less he can compete with than with your children. I hope it might help to let you know they do grow out of it.
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