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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having an issue with my kids that I could really use some advice on. My five year old son is one of those kids who is always ON - loves to be the center of attention, talks a mile a minute, is bright to the point that I think he could probably be classified as "gifted." He is also very spirited/high needs/sensitive/explosive at times. My 2 3/4 year old daughter is mellow, quiet (though she has a huge vocabulary), imaginative, and easily overwhelmed by stronger personalities.<br><br>
My problem is that Ds constantly interrupts conversations that Dh or I are having with Dd. He also jumps in and answers any question that I try to ask her - be it how something makes her feel, what letter she is looking at, what sound an animal makes, etc. Then, when he does this, she tends to shut down and look to him to continue the conversation for her, which he gladly does. I feel like she is being lost underneath his personality and boisterousness. I've tried explaining to Ds *why* she needs to answer for herself, etc. (Like, "Rhiannon really wants to learn to read letters, and she's having a hard time learning when you don't let her think up answers for herself") etc, but it doesn't seem to help. I admit that sometimes I get frustrated and send him out of the room, which isn't helpful in dealing with his behavior, but at least lets me get a few minutes to talk to Dd one on one. I've also tried getting him involved in some other activity that he can do alone while I work with Dd on learning whatever she's interested in learning at the moment, but he'll even yell things from other rooms in order to get in on the conversation (which is actually a little funny, if I do say so myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ).<br><br>
Anyhow, I'm wondering if anyone here has any suggestions on how to deal with this. I really feel like Dd is being short changed by this, especially since she is the middle child, squished between the new baby (who needs a lot of attention) and DS1 who DEMANDS a lot of attention. I find myself counting the months until he can go to kindergarten in September, just to be able to talk calmly with DD, and I hate feeling that way.
 

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My oldest does this to my middle child as well. I think it is likely typical older sibling behaviour. The oldest is used to being the only talker and there is a shift when the next one develops the ability to talk too. I generally just repeat the question to ds2 and wait for his answer. If ds1 continues to answer and interupt I gently say something like, "that is great ds1, now I am curious what DS2 has to say. Ds2 what do YOU think?". Like most things it needs to be repeated 1000 times <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Sometimes asking very specific questions that only ds2 can answer helps too. And making sure to have one-on-one conversations with the older helps as well. Often dh and I will sort of tag team them at dinner. I will ask one something while the other is talking to the other. Then we switch. Or we ask them both the same qustion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I know part of the problem is that I'm home alone with the kids a lot - Dh works a lot of hours, and is often not there for things like dinner, where it would be really helpful to have another adult to engage one child or the other. Dh does usually take one or the other out alone on his days off, even if it's just a quick run to the store, and I try to use that as one on one time with the other child.
 
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