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Worried about sibling rivalry

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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  • 2 Post By appletree
  • 1 Post By NinjaCakes

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May 15th, 2013, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 14
My daughter is nearly 2 and a half and up until recently has been excited about the prospect of having a baby brother.

She used to talk to and kiss my belly and I bought a "I'm going to be a big sister" book and tried to explain what was about to happen.

But over the last couple of weeks whenever I mention it she instantly goes on the defensive and said she doesn't want a baby in the house and doesn't want a brother.

Now I do realize she may not even know what she's staying but she's a smart little girl and I'm worried she is a bit too spoiled and is going to find it hard to cope when the baby arrives.

I am planning to do all the sensible things like ensure I still have plenty of quality alone time with her, and that she has the same with her daddy and all of us together as a family and I've got plenty of common sense and ideas as to what to expect and how to help her get through it but all that said.... any advice from moms of 2 and more would be greatly appreciated!
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May 15th, 2013, 07:26 PM
MeggysMommy's Avatar 3 + 1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,202
I'm nervous about that too! My daughter is around the same age as yours and seemed to be liking the idea of a baby but I wonder how well she really will when she realizes that baby sister isn't leaving.
Cay wife to David mom to Megan 10/01/2010 and April 7/14/2013

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May 15th, 2013, 11:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 240
I had the same issue as this but a reversal.

My daughter who is 10 was furious and mortified when we told her.
Every single thing she could think of as a negative baby related she would express verbally. IE (baby screaming in public) "See what I mean... EXACTLY."
I would endure probably over 20 comments a day in regards to this.
As you can imagine... it impaired my happiness and joy for the entire 1-2 trimester.

I have diligently worked every single day on involving her. I have pulled her out of school every single time i have had a scan.
My eldest is 12, she has no qualms. (that said, obviously there was that 2 year age gap with them but my eldest child is very much a pacifist and didnt complain once)

So I think you will have to tackle this from her own level. She is obviously having reservations for reasons. Often people just put it down to expecting this to happen and "putting up with it" / "forcing them to deal with it" Its not necessary and this kind of approach is absolutely going to lead to a hell of a lot of problems down the track.

Ask her why she doesnt want a baby in the house are and work from her perspective, not one from yours. She is clearly showing a leadership energy, shes not going to take the word "no" in life, well. This is where you have to use these as strengths. She will like positions of duty and importance (some kids just go with the flow) and what you're going to find is some hardcore rebellion if you don't nip this in the bud.

Something has shown her that this little one is starting to take the limelight off her. This can be as simple as her hearing the excitement in your voice talking about the baby and then when were feeling drained around the house, we may not appear so overjoyed or elated to deal with our kids who are already here.
They are so ridiculously observant.

My advice on this is to not only plan on making time when its baby time but now. I have found NOW is the essential time because she is not seeing that time slowly robbed from her.. she basically expecting it to get less and less.
I would smother her with attention, happiness to the point where you have to smile through your own exhaustion.

Keep baby topics to a minimum around her so it isnt the only topic that she is hearing or at least make the topics 80% about her and then inject the 20% of necessary baby things in.

Allow her to take that role she craves, picking things out etc.

You have a very determined child. It is going to be a struggle for you sometimes in life with her but this will be her strength and for that she will be a fiercely protective sister. It isnt simply a matter of sibling rivalry with your daughter, she is a lot brighter and even at that age can forsee the kinds of things coming up in her life that will impair or impede it.

Simply put.. the baby cannot be seen as an obstacle she has to "work around" and by doing that each has to have separate limelight's. She has to understand she doesnt have to "share" a limelight because she actually has her own.

Basically if you want your long term life to be a lot stress free, the priority is her- right now, I know how tired you are and i know how painfully tiring was is for me but it will pay off. I promise.
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May 16th, 2013, 05:42 AM
tela's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 15,207
i worry about this a lot. DS is 4 and has been the center of our world for his entire life. he seems excited about his baby brother, but he also doesn't understand that momma can't get on the floor and play with him (i can't get up!) and that sometimes i need to sit with my feet up when i get home from work. i try my best not to let it affect our time together too much, e.g. we can still play but he needs to bring his toys over to the couch or i sit with my feet up on the deck chair outside while we sword fight (he loves playing pirate, lol). i'll try to do the same things once the baby is born - we can still still play while i'm nursing as long as he brings the toys over to me. it will be an adjustment for everyone.
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May 16th, 2013, 05:48 AM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
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Location: Florida
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My DD will be 3 the month before the baby is born. She talks about her baby brother a lot, but lately has also been telling us that she is a baby too, and wants us to hold and cuddle her more and she "zombie walks" around the house saying she is walking like a baby, or crawls. I'm sure it will be a big adjustment for everyone.

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May 16th, 2013, 10:53 AM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Illinois
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I think appletree has hit on some very important points. Some children do see things we wouldn't expect them to, and something has clearly left an impression on her that has her thinking baby is a bad thing for her future. Communication is a huge tool - definitely do ask her why she thinks the things she does. Let her know you are interested in how she feels, and that you'll listen. And as hard as it might be - goodness knows kids say some things we'd never expect - be careful not to punish her or criticize her for what she says she thinks or feels. Try to be relaxed and accepting even if she says something that blows you away. It is important that she doesn't think she is wrong for feeling something. If she feels bad about her feelings, she'll feel bad about herself, and she eventually she may stop talking about her feelings at all.

I wholeheartedly agree with spending a lot of time with her now, and making sure she knows that she is still important too. Setting up situations for her where she has power to make some choices would be good for her I think. Helping her feel in control of some things will ease her anxiety.

Originally Posted by -erin- View Post
My DD will be 3 the month before the baby is born. She talks about her baby brother a lot, but lately has also been telling us that she is a baby too, and wants us to hold and cuddle her more and she "zombie walks" around the house saying she is walking like a baby, or crawls. I'm sure it will be a big adjustment for everyone.
This reminds me of a little girl I knew once. She loved her baby sister dearly but she would often regress to what she saw as a baby like state. She frequently told us that she wanted to be a baby because they get all the attention. It is totally normal for kids to regress!
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