Help! My DD, 5, has made several comments about how she thinks I love her brother (3) more than her, that I talk to him more (?), cuddle him and am always "busy" with him. It breaks my heart into pieces when I hear this and I don't know how to repair this damage. I think she truly feels this way--not just saying it invoke a reaction. I admit, once her brother was born, life changed drastically for her as she was so young and he was a difficult baby and although he's a lovely child, he still proves to be quite demanding, has health issues that consume me at times, etc. And he does often think that he deserves my lap, or my undivided attention and rather than "put up a fight", DD just walks away sadly.
Since she first made one of these comments, I have stepped up my efforts to spend time along with just her, but honestly, it's so hard because he no longer naps and that had been our special time together. I often take her on the weekends to coffee, to a park, or something just the two of us, but it's not proving to be enough to make a difference in how she's feeling. DD is also a highly sensitive child and I worry that perhaps I am giving her the vibes that I prefer her brother?! OMG I hope not..it's not true, it's just that he's younger and has always been more demanding.
Does anyone have experience with this issue and can you offer some ideas, suggestions, etc.? I'd appreciate it!
One thing that we try to do in our house, is to also have the younger sibling have to be patient and wait while the needs of the older sibling is met.
In a family the older sibling is most often the one that has to wait for parents attention until the younger siblings are satisfied. More so with demanding younger children.
Three is actually a great age to start your son on having to delay satisfaction and grow a little patience. It doesn't have to be more than 1 or 2 minutes. And your daughter will realize that she too is important.
Our youngers are just infants and our DD is 3.5 yrs old. But even if baby is crying we pat him and say, "Just a minute little guy, I am just finishing __________ with your sister".
You can say things like "You can sit with Mama in a minute...but first I have to finish cuddling/reading with/kissing/etc your lovely sister".
She will get the hint that she isn't always pushed aside for a needy little brother.
Just let her sometimes come first and she will start to feel like she doesnt always come second.
Me 40 . Partner to mamacolleen 33 . DD born July 2009 . Twin boys born Nov 2012.
We are a family that loves
Luckymama, I would also try to make DD a priority while DS is around so she doesn't think she's only first when he's not around. While its great to have special time when she has your undivided attention, she also needs to see that sometimes she DOES come first even if her brother protests. I would try inviting DS to join you and tell him it will be his turn soon but finish what you're doing with DD. Unless he has a serious matter that needs attention NOW (not sure what his health issues are) he can wait a couple of minutes from time to time. As I mentioned above I'm not there yet but this is my plan for when we shortly become a family of four. My brother was 5 years older than me but certainly I had to wait from time to time when mom was busy with him. Just do what you can to show your DD that she's a high priority too from day to day. You sound very sensitive and thoughtful of your children's feelings and thy are very lucky to have you
Thanks for the thoughtful replies! I appreciate your suggestions. I have realized that I am at fault for not putting DD first more often and the past few days I have really begun to right that wrong. Not sure yet if she has noticed this change, but at least I'm aware and working on it..and hopefully it will eventually help her feel just as important as little brother. I also have to remember and recognize that it's the little things that matter to DD...lots of extra hugs, minutes alone together, etc.
This is great as well and I'm using it:
"You can say things like "You can sit with Mama in a minute...but first I have to finish cuddling/reading with/kissing/etc your lovely sister". She will get the hint that she isn't always pushed aside for a needy little brother."
Any other thoughts are appreciated!