Jealousy Among Siblings
I am a mother of two children, a 9-year old boy and a 4-month old girl. When the baby was still on my womb, my son was so excited to see his sister. But when I delivered my baby, I noticed that there was a change in his behavior. He always wants my attention. He even wants to sleep beside me during night time. Though I make it a point that I meet his needs, is there a possibility that he feels jealous at times with his sister?
Just a thought - sometimes with sibling rivalry the older child can seem to digress with their behaviour. For example, older children may start asking to be breastfed again or want to sleep close to you. It sounds to me like this is what may be happening with your son. You could try to talk through what he is feeling with him and ask for him to help you with the new baby in his special role of older brother.
I've noticed this question coming up more and more in the forums, so you're definitely not alone, and I'm hoping you'll find some help here.
Here's one thread you may want to look at called 3 Year Old Jealousy Issues
Your son is older, so you may want to involve him more in your baby's care. When you go to visit someone, let him be the one carrying the baby in. She will get the attention (most people always comment on baby or pay attention to baby before they acknowledge anyone else first), but then they'll usually speak to the person holding the baby next. It might make him feel like "she's mine", which is completely different than feeling jealous.
As baby gets older he will be able to feed her too. Now he can rock her and swing her and bounce her, and he could possibly even hold her while walking around (you can try a sling - I remember my 9 year old son putting a sling on and putting baby in while he held her). Baby would need to be about 6 months old, probably, before trying the sling with baby on the hip.
It sounds like he was used to having your attention, and now he's having to split that attention with his sister. It's good that you're conscious of this and I'd encourage you to give him more "touches" during the day. A hug here, a pat there. You may be all "touched out" if you're nursing your baby, but it sounds like your son may need to know he's still very important to you, and the way this happens is by you making eye contact with him and connecting during conversations (really listening).
Hope this helps,
I have read the thread, 3 year Old Jealousy Issues. It is somewhat similar to my case, the only difference is the age of our children. As much as possible, since he is old enough, I make sure that he has a role in taking care of his sister. I give him tasks that I know he enjoys doing like helping me out change nappies, bathing the baby, and singing to the baby. I know that he is still in the stage of adjustment that is why I understand if he has sudden change in his behavior. I also noticed that he wants to be hugged a couple of times in a day and he also enjoys hanging out in our room sharing stories. However, sometimes when I mention things about his sister, he also wants to be included. Example, when we play with the baby and talk to her with positive words such as "smart girl", "pretty baby", "adorable", my son also asks me if he is just like his sister.
Thanks for the advice Kate!
He's been an only child for a long time. It's just going to take some adjusting and it is fantastic that you are sensitive and "in tune" to what he is feeling. It sounds like you are doing a lot to include him and I would just encourage you to continue doing that. It might also be a good idea to have special time with just him and also to really point out how great he is with his sister. You can say things like "See how she's looking at you? She loves you so much and knows you will always love and care for her." or "You are the BEST kid! You always do X,Y and Z and you are the most wonderful big brother your little sis could ask for." The more you point out how great he is with his sster and how much she looks up to him -- the more he will be encouraged to continue that and also to happily step into his "big brother" role. Kate was right on in suggesting you have him carry her into places when you visit friends and family. I'm sure he'll do so proudly!!!
Keep us posted.
Christie has offered some great advice!
Also, if you can have some special time just with him, this may help him to feel more secure. Even if it's just taking him out for an ice cream cone or a cup of hot cocoa or for a walk while you leave baby home with daddy for 30 minutes - this will go a long way towards helping him feel secure... that he's still important to you, and baby's no more important than he is. I'd make a point to do this at least 3 times a week or more, if possible. You'll notice good changes in him once he's feeling more secure.
Do keep us posted.
Ok I'll keep you posted! :)
I have my sons, aged 2 and 1. When I was pregnant with the youngest, my eldest was so sweet (he hugs and kiss my tummy) and he's like that until my youngest starts to interact with others. My eldest will try to get my attention, he would throw things at his little brother and do things that would make you notice him. So I thought there must be some jealousy. So what I did, whenever I do my errands I would take him with me and eat burger and fries and just bond with him. In that way, I am creating a bond between us and at the same time teaching him to the practical ways of life.
Hope this helps.
Good luck to all of us, mothers.
Thanks proudmumof2boys. Indeed that is a great way of showing your son that he is important in your family. Keep up the good work!
I have a 15 year old and a 14 month old, recently I've noticed that my 15 year old is starting to get impatient with her baby sister now that she is starting to be more active. My baby is a handful and very active so I do understand my teenage daughter. However, I would like her to be a little bit more understanding and patient of her baby sister. How can I convince her without sounding like I'm favoring the little one?
I would suggest that you make sure that you are the main caregiver for your 14 month old when your 15 year old is home. I know it can be very tempting to ask her to change a nappy, feed her, play with her, or put her down for a nap because she is very competent and it helps you have time to do other things.
But the 14 month old is your child and you should be her main caregiver. This just means that you make a point of doing all those things I mentioned above. My guess is that when your daughter realizes that she's not expected to do these things, she may actually want to play with the baby or feed her or lay down with her. You can also ask your daughter to take the baby on a walk or to the park, if you feel comfortable doing that (it depends upon your neighborhood and how mature your daughter is).
Talk to your daughter and ask her what you can do to help so that she doesn't get frustrated with the baby. Maybe just giving her an opportunity to talk about it will give you insight into what needs to change so that the 15 year old enjoys her baby sister rather than resenting her. Oh - and one other thought. Be sure you're are giving your 15 year old quality time so that she doesn't feel that the baby is getting all of your attention. Baby obviously needs more of your attention, but if you can take your 15 year old out for breakfast once a week, or make time to ask how school was each day, she may appreciate the one on one, eye to eye time from mum and that may give her more patience with the baby.
I may have given her too much responsibility with regard to taking care of her baby sister. Thanks for the advice! :)