A 2 1/2 year old who is very jealous of his 16 week old sister
Do you have any advice on dealing with a 2 1/2 year old who is very jealous of his 16 week old sister? The first 12 weeks he was very loving and attentive towards her, but it`s as if he has realised she is "here to stay", and now throws things, grabs or hits her and is generally naughty when she is around. We have tried "time out", telling him no, and positive reinforcement without much success. He gets plenty of individual attention from us. We have to be with her constantly and/or have them separated for her safety, which has become quite difficult. Many of our friends with kids of similar age are experiencing the same thing. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
As you mentioned, sibling rivalry is extremely common (in fact it is an important time for children to learn how to socialise with others by “trying out” new behaviours). However sometimes it can be excessive, or become dangerous for one or both of the siblings. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by giving your son some individual attention.
Another idea is encouraging your son to help in the care of his new sister. He is able to bring you a nappy, face cloth, help choose her clothes, etc. so he feels he is assisting you. He may even like to breast or bottle feed his own “baby” while you are feeding your daughter. You could give him a doll or a teddy – he might even like to put nappies on his baby too!
All the Best!
29 Nov 2007