I'm a lucky mama to 2 high spirited boys, aged 4 and 10 mths. DS1 has had some difficulty adapting to being a new big brother, and we've tried really hard to help him with the adjustment by trying to understand and validate his feelings, helping him work through his issues, making sure he gets lots of cuddles, special time with daddy/grandparents etc. New issues have arisen lately since DS2 has started to become very mobile and has started playing with DS1's toys. Of course, he's soooo interested in everything his big brother is doing, and wants to get into everything, which (understandably) is very irritating to DS1. I don't believe in forcing kids to share, but rather encourage waiting for a turn when someone else is done, but DS1 does not want DS2 to share or touch any of the toys in the house (whether they're his or DS2's)....ever. We agreed to have DS1 keep a bag of his 'special toys' that he didn't want to share, but then everything became his special toy, and DS2 was supposed to play with nothing. If DS2 was playing with something that DS1 had been playing with and put down, we asked DS1 to give him something else. This then turned into DS1 grabbing whatever was in DS2's hand that he wanted (and he wants everything that DS2 has at that moment) and replacing it with a single block/stuffed animal etc. We try to acknowledge that it's hard to share toys/space/mummy/daddy with a baby. We try to have him imagine how it feels to have toys grabbed, to be yelled at when you come near someone else; DS1 knows that this doesn't feel good (it happens to him with his cousin), but this still doesn't stop him from doing it. I'm so tired of the grabbing and selfishness, and am frankly a little shocked and sad that DS1 flat out refuses to share with DS2. I'm even noticing this unwillingness to share if we're around other kids, which has never happened before; DS1 has always been really good at sharing and taking turns. Any suggestions? I'm really at the end of my rope and in need with some positive language and suggestions to help this situation before DS2 becomes old enough to start grabbing back. Thanks!
If I were you, I'd go head and nix the idea that everything that was there before your DS2 came along belongs to DS1. That seems to be what DS1 thinks. Unless the toys are something DS2 can/will destroy or ruin in some way, he should be able to play with everything. The earlier the idea that in a family life very little belongs to just one person is understood, the easier it will be later.
My 3yr old likes pollypockets and Legos. I have a hard time doing multi age playgroups as many of her things are not safe for younger kids. I also have a personal passion for toys from the 70's and don't want mouthing babies feasting on lead and such.
I have a large age gap between kids, but even still my oldest got possessive over her old baby stuff.
I would start now with separating into a ds1, ds2, and a family pile.