So is my daughter the only kid who is mean to her baby sister? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-08-2010, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't get any replies to my last thread and am worrying now that my 3  year old dd is the only kids who's mean to her baby sister!!!!


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#2 of 10 Old 12-08-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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Hmm. I didn't see your previous thread, but I'll put in my 2c to get the ball rolling.

 

Ds1 was 25 months old when ds2 was born. I think most if not all older siblings are "mean" to younger siblings at some point in time, so more details of the problem you're having might help.

 

I'm remembering one time ds1 kept grabbing ds2's hands and squeezing.  I was seeing this as "mean", but one day actually asked him WHY he was doing that.  He said, "I'm trying to play with him."  Oh!  well I can help with that and it really drove home that I don't always know his motives if I haven't asked him!

 

When ds2 got mobile one thing I did was set up an area for ds1's projects (train tracks, blocks) that the baby couldn't get to and mess up.  I kept this up for a long time and still try to be conscious of it (they are 4 and 6 now) because messing up someone elses project really breeds badwill, not just for kids.

 

Despite the fact that he was home with me full-time, ds1 still felt the need occasionally to get my attention by pestering or hurting his brother.  This was (and is) extremely annoying.  But since I know that he mostly loves his brother, I think, wow, he wants my attention to badly he's willing to hurt his brother, he must really need attention.  Then I would figure out a way to get some one-on-one time with him (obviously not immediately to avoid rewarding him for the behavior).

 

In sum, I guess, try to understand her motives and respect that her needs as a "big kid" may be different than the baby's.

 

hth

 

Lara

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#3 of 10 Old 12-08-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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Oh boy... I actually laughed out loud when I read your thread title.  The answer is a definitive "no".  Your child is definitely not the only 3 yr old to be mean to a baby sibling.  I didn't read your original thread, so I'm not sure exactly what the scenario is, but I'm sure it's a lot like what was going on in my house 3 yrs or so ago.  What we did was a) try to make sure older sib got lots of one on one time, b) watch her like a hawk, and c) wait for her to get older and, if not outgrow her frustrated feelings, at least have better impulse control to not act out in a rough manner.  The good news is that, though it has been a rough road towards sibling unity things are a million times better now.


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#4 of 10 Old 12-08-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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 My 3 yr. old is mean to her baby brother!  Not all the time, but occassionally she will pinch him, knock him down, or take a toy away that he is playing with.  If she's out of control, I send her to time-out.  If she's just acting impulsively, I try to re-direct her and remind her that DS doesn't like xyz.  More often, DD is just annoying to her little brother.  She gets in his face and will goo-goo really loudly at him or she'll poke his nose or his belly.  She is starting to learn to keep her distance, though, because DS is getting really grabby with hair.

 

*sigh* I figure I'll be dealing with this stuff for a good 15+ years.  It'll probably get better when DD goes off to college.  At least that's when me and my sister started getting along Sheepish.gif


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#5 of 10 Old 12-09-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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You're definitely not alone.  My dd is very well-behaved and really quite obedient for her age, so it hasn't become a huge problem for us, but she is definitely mean to her brother on a regular basis.  She has done most or all of the things mentioned in the previous post.  (I have such a hard time not laughing when she does the really loud "boo boo boo" in his face.  It's not nice, and he doesn't like it, so I try to keep a straight face, but its pretty funny!)

 

My dd was 2y7m when ds was born.  Each time he goes through a developmental phase or growth spurt that puts him more in her space we have an adjustment period where she is "meaner" to him.

 

I do as a previous poster mentioned and redirect, remind her to be gentle and kind, and when necessary send her away from him or remove him from the situation.  I've had it pretty easy, and I really feel for parents of older siblings (especially toddlers) who are more persistently unkind to the little ones.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-09-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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So not alone.

 

I was listening to an interview of a father the other day. He was talking about his two daughters and said something like "She loves her little sister but sometimes her hugs are more like how a python hugs a sheep."

 

My two girls are 3.75 years apart. I'm not sure how the little one is going to survive some days. If it isn't the python hugs or the occasional bump it's deliberately leaving choking hazards where the baby can get it. 

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#7 of 10 Old 12-09-2010, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Phew, thanks everyone.  DD1 was 2 years 7 months when the baby was born as well, Sunnygirl!!

 

Here's my original post:

 

'My 3 year old has never snatched from, hit, or hurt, any other kid.  She is so sweet and wonderful. Except to her baby sister!  People who know her can't even imagine it when I tell them.  She snatches, grabs, pushes her, knocks her over, hits her....pure evil! It makes me so so so angry to see someone hurting my baby!  I guess she's jealous and resentful. It's usually over a toy she wants, but only if the baby has it then she wants it. Sometimes she's literally kissing her one minute and hitting over the head the next!

 

I try to spend time with her and all that, but it's so nearly impossible and I never could give her all the attention she really wants.  It will never be like before the baby was here.

 

I know things are always phases, but what if she's like this forever?

 

Anyone with experience like this?'


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#8 of 10 Old 12-09-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jecombs View Post

 My 3 yr. old is mean to her baby brother!  Not all the time, but occassionally she will pinch him, knock him down, or take a toy away that he is playing with.  If she's out of control, I send her to time-out.  If she's just acting impulsively, I try to re-direct her and remind her that DS doesn't like xyz.  More often, DD is just annoying to her little brother.  She gets in his face and will goo-goo really loudly at him or she'll poke his nose or his belly.  She is starting to learn to keep her distance, though, because DS is getting really grabby with hair.

 

*sigh* I figure I'll be dealing with this stuff for a good 15+ years.  It'll probably get better when DD goes off to college.  At least that's when me and my sister started getting along Sheepish.gif

my 7 year old DSD does this even. *sigh* sometimes i remove the older child. sometimes i just remove the baby.
 


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#9 of 10 Old 12-10-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plarka View Post

Phew, thanks everyone.  DD1 was 2 years 7 months when the baby was born as well, Sunnygirl!!

 

Here's my original post:

 

'My 3 year old has never snatched from, hit, or hurt, any other kid.  She is so sweet and wonderful. Except to her baby sister!  People who know her can't even imagine it when I tell them.  She snatches, grabs, pushes her, knocks her over, hits her....pure evil! It makes me so so so angry to see someone hurting my baby!  I guess she's jealous and resentful. It's usually over a toy she wants, but only if the baby has it then she wants it. Sometimes she's literally kissing her one minute and hitting over the head the next!

 

I try to spend time with her and all that, but it's so nearly impossible and I never could give her all the attention she really wants.  It will never be like before the baby was here.

 

I know things are always phases, but what if she's like this forever?

 

Anyone with experience like this?'



I hadn't seen your original post.

 

I know it can feel impossible to give an older child enough attention, especially when she's acting like a total jerk.  winky.gif  (Speaking of my child here, not yours, of course.)

 

It isn't a quick fix, but finding ways that don't feel like extra work for you to connect with your older dd and help her feel important and empowered can really help.  I worked really hard on this when ds was born, and since then have slipped from time to time.  I find that if I renew my efforts in this regard it can really help to shift things.  Here are a few ideas:

-Do something with dd while ds is sleeping, for us this is often sitting and reading books together, something that can be difficult to do with a littler one's help.  It also gives us a chance to physically reconnect.

-Enroll dd in helping with tasks:  get diapers, clothes, etc for changing the baby, help fold and put away laundry, help unload the dishwasher and put things away, help cook while ds is in the backpack or playing on the floor, etc.

-Give dd time without ds when they are having trouble -- play with him in a different space, put him in the backpack, let her play in her room with the door closed, get her set up at the table with a big girl activity.

-Talk to ds about how great his big sister is and how lucky he is to have her around to help him (while she is present, of course).

-Look for opportunities to talk with dd about the great things about being older and being a big sister...i.e. she doesn't have to wear diapers anymore, she has lots of teeth to chew all kinds of yummy foods, she can run and jump and climb, she is tall enough to reach things, etc.

 

So, if I am working on those kinds of things, it gets better, but it takes time and isn't foolproof.  They fight, and she gets mean.  I also talk to her a lot about helping ds learn to share, etc.  I make her give things back to him that he was using because it's his turn and she can use it when he's done.  I help her negotiate a trade for some other really exciting item rather than snatching things out of his hands.  If she hurts him, accidentally or intentionally, I am working with her on asking him if he's okay and telling him she's sorry, or trying to help him feel better.

 

It's a big, complex thing, and it will definitely have its ups and downs.  I remember my mom being ready to kill us for our constant bickering, but once we got big enough, she could send us away to work it out on our own (out of earshot), and even kick us out of the car to walk the rest of the way home.  )

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#10 of 10 Old 12-14-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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You've gotten some great advice!

 

Dd was 3.5 when ds was born. I was so concerned about her "meaness" towards her  new sibling that I even mentioned to the pediatrician! He advised that it was totally normal and the situation would resolved itself with time and to not leave them alone together without supervision. Sure enough, we went through a period when I felt like I couldn't leave dd in the room alone with her lil' brother. :( But, with time, ds grew big enough to defend himself, dd matured and began to see some positives to having a brother, and now, at almost 4 and 7, they play together for literally HOURS at a time, with very little bickering. They've grown into great playmates for each other and help each other tremendously. We still have the occasional squabble, and probably always will, but, the meanness is just a memory. Hang in there!

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