Originally Posted by Plarka
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. (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. )