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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dh and i are struggling with our dd (4) and our ds. Mostly with how to handle our dd and her sibling rivalry. it started early- I read _Siblings w/o Rivalry_ when my ds was only 3 months old because our dd was already getting edgy and pushy.<br><br>
The main things are that she's rough with him- he'll be crawling and she'll grab him from behind and keep him from moving. he screams. She goes in for a hug and more or less chokeholds him. We've nipped that one a bit by guiding her to hug him around his waist. When he comes near if she's on my or dh's lap, she instantly kicks or hits. She does the same if he comes near her while she's playing. but then in the next instant- she grabs his toys from him.<br><br>
We've asked her to tell us if she wants him moved while she's playing and we'll try to redirect him, but in the time it takes us to get to him, she'll often give him a swat or push him away roughly. We often have to tell her up to 5 or 6 times to stop pushing him or doing whatever else she's doing that's causing him to scream. Then we get irritated and speak not-so-nicely at her, or grab her hand away.<br><br>
i recognize that our reaction is perpetuating the cycle, and a lot of this is par for the course at her age and his age. but- anyone who has btdt have any words of wisdom? i just feel like we're harping on her all the time and not fostering any kindness toward her brother (who she does love... there are examples of that too.)<br><br>
tia-
 

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I haven't been there but I know what helped our eldest go through the transition was for me to set up mommy-daughter 'dates' with her. Ours are a little over 3 years apart in age and when our youngest was that age it was difficult on DD1. Even 15 minutes alone with her, out of the home in some fashion renewed her. We also setup a space for DD1 that was just for her, that her younger sister couldn't get into for play with special toys etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
those are great suggestions... we do try and get one on one time with her- both dh and i- but i have to say, it's usually dh that gets the solo time with her. i need to be better about that.<br><br>
we have tried a bit of her 'own space' kind of thing... telling her to play in her room if she doesn't want to be bothered, but she hates to be alone, so that doesn't work. now we tell her to build or play up high- at the kitchen table, or in her Learning Tower, where ds can't reach. that works better. but i think she still always feels put out, yk?<br><br>
i'm wondering specifically about what are some things people say, or approach in conflict. or, tips on dealing with the <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I feel angry when I see you hit your brother!<br><br>
You can move away.<br><br>
Is there something ds2 <i>can</i> play with?<br><br>
Offer him a trade.<br><br>
Don't push. Say, "Mama, help."<br><br>
He just wants to play with you. Can you think of a way?<br><br>
---------<br>
Hope those help. I'm interested to see what other people say. I do find short and consistent is helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks. i say similar things, but not so short and consistent. i'll try that. Often my suggestions to dd (like 'move away' or 'can he play with xyz while you play with nop'?) are met with a long winded tirade on her part of of why that can't be. of course, her responses may change as we get better at responding and she doesn't feel to blame so much...
 

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<b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">To older child:</span></b><br>
It's not ok to hit. Use your words or get us.<br><br>
Gabby wants to see what you are doing. Can you explain it to her?<br><br>
Is there another toy she can play with?<br><br>
Gabby is a baby. We have to help teach her how to share/talk nice/not hit. If she sees you hitting, she might learn from that. Can you help me teach her how to use her words? ((This worked great because my DS was really into teaching DD))<br><br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">To Younger Child:</span></b><br><br>
It is not ok to knock down Cameron's toys. He worked really hard on that and feels really sad that you knocked it over.<br><br>
Cameron needs some space right now. Let's go play over here.<br><br><br>
I think it is really important for the older child to know that you know it is not ok for the younger child to act that way. It has really helped our DS to know that we understand and respect his frustration. Plus, we can help verbalize his feelings for him to his sister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks- today i felt much more competent when responding to things. we actually had a different interaction after dd threw a tupperware at ds when they were playing outside on the deck. i actually got really sad and brought her inside and sat down and talked about how it made me sad and i wanted us to feel safe in this family. i got all teary and dd got all teary and , well, i wouldn't do that every time, but i didn't want to respond in anger anymore. we talked about how ds' curiosity is a lot like hers but for different things and anyway, it felt like a more connecting interaction than previously.<br><br>
MtBikeLover- i have started to address ds as well, and i do think that will help.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>xaloxe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8134680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I haven't been there but I know what helped our eldest go through the transition was for me to set up mommy-daughter 'dates' with her. Ours are a little over 3 years apart in age and when our youngest was that age it was difficult on DD1. Even 15 minutes alone with her, out of the home in some fashion renewed her. We also setup a space for DD1 that was just for her, that her younger sister couldn't get into for play with special toys etc..</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Newmainer, my kids are the same age difference as yours and I find my daughter is a lot less difficult when she and I get some mommy/daughter time. Even taking a walk through the neighborhood after dinner has been great for us.
 

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FWIW, we've starting talking a lot with DS#1 about how many people are in our family, and what each one might need at a certain time. I'll ask him (as a reminder) how many of there are, and he'll count us off and name us. Then I'll ask him what we each might need at that moment. (Usually it's me and the two boys at home during the day). And as he thinks about it, he feels acknowledged about what he needs and also sees that each of us has different needs sometimes.<br><br>
I've found the sibling issues to be very hard lessons to learn for DS#1 at his age, but important ones, to be sure, not just within our family but in life. Now, when does that empathy kick in. Age 5? Two more years, two more years! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Heidi
 
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