Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jealous Sibling

Questioner: dale

Subject: jealous sibling?

Question: I have a daughter who will be three in October, and a three month old son. My problem is, my daughter wants to hurt her brother, she will grab his arm and try to pull, or if he is in a bouncy chair she will try to jump on top of him. Why is she acting like this? We try to provide her with as much of our attention as possible.

Answer: Dear Dale:

She is three and her entire life of three years has only known attention. No matter how much attention you give her she feels a LOSS. I would suggest you go to the book store and find books in the children's section appropriate to her age on siblings and feelings about siblings. I would also get a book with feeling faces and help her identify her feelings and develop her feeling vocabulary (this will help for many years to come and for other reasons as well!)

Of course you cannot allow her to hurt the baby. Try to involve her in his care in a safe way. Make sure the time you are spending with her is one on one and uninterrupted. Then spend time with them together and talk to her as you do. Explain to her that her brother cannot do things for himself. He needs this or that and does she want to help.

Check out the previous questions and answers about bedtime routines and see if incorporating these suggestions alleviates some of her anxiety about her brother as well. These type of activities may go along way to restoring her relationship with you and herself.

Lastly, she will eventually come around.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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