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Old 05-17-2011, 07:26 AM   #1
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How to handle jealousy?

Quick background... DD was born after 7 long years of infertility and 1 year after our twin boys died in my arms. Needless to say we appreciated every second with our healthy baby girl and never took a thing for granted. She was an easy baby and life was like a fairy tale. Both DH and I work full time outside of the home, but every evening was all about DD from the minute we got home until she was in bed. We spent the time sitting on the floor playing with her, going to the park, ect ect. DH and I saved all of our chores and entertainment time for when she was asleep. While we are pretty strict in terms of discipline, she was spoiled rotten in that she had our undivided attention all of the time.

Fast forward 3.5 years and DS was born. DS is a challenging baby. He spent his first 4 months screaming, didn't nurse well, didn't sleep well. Nothing was easy with him at all. Now, at 11 months things are getting better. He learned to crawl last week and has started saying a few words to communicate. He is finally sleeping predictably and long enough so that he isn't constantly over tired.

So in essence, DS has taken alot of our time and DD hates it. She is having a really hard time adjusting to having to share our attention and it hurts my heart. She says things like, "You don't want me anymore so you can spend all your time with him. I'm just stupid". She resents the time I spend nursing him. She gets angry if DH plays with him. She puts herself between us and the baby so we can't pick him up and he can't get around her. That said, she is fiercely protective of DS too and if I correct him by saying sternly "No glasses!" she will instantly say "Don't be mean to my brother!". She is affectionate with him and I have never seen her be aggressive or violent toward the baby, thankfully.

Right now she gets to stay up 45 minutes after DS goes to bed and I spend that time with her in my lap watching a movie or reading books. DH has taken her on errands just the two of them. I try to let her help whenever she wants to with DS's care (like baths and diaper changes). We've brought home special "big kid" things for her that she loves like workbooks and a scooter. I let her lay in bed with us while DS nurses and she nurses her babydoll. When she says mean or sad things I usually respond with "I understand that you feel xxxxxx but this is the way our family is made."

Nothing seems to be working and even though I try not to let it show I think she knows that her words effect me. I need ideas on how to handle her and how to respond to her to help her through this jealousy! I also want to give DS the attention he deserves beyond meeting his basic care without having DD right there trying to prevent it.

Thanks!

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Old 05-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: How to handle jealousy?

My potentially jealous daughter has me all day an night, so there are some changes coming for sure. She is quite a bit younger than yours, mama, but I couldn't read without saying that it sounds like you're doing everything right.

I've given a lot of thought to the jealousy issue and to parenting in general. I've found that if I am consistent in my messages and the foundation of what I'm doing is sound, things work out great. So far.

I'm sorry you're going through this, I also worry about my daughter's heart once her brother arrives.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
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There's another thread I saw on this. But I'm on my phone and wouldnt be able to link it. Basically, I think you need to communicate to baby when you're doing things for your daughter. Let her see that the baby has to wait sometimes too and that she can come first. 'DS, you're going to have to wait, DD needs some juice/mommy time/etc'.

Sometimes I think all the 'big girl' things just reinforce the idea that she has been replaced as the baby.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: How to handle jealousy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
There's another thread I saw on this. But I'm on my phone and wouldnt be able to link it. Basically, I think you need to communicate to baby when you're doing things for your daughter. Let her see that the baby has to wait sometimes too and that she can come first. 'DS, you're going to have to wait, DD needs some juice/mommy time/etc'.

Sometimes I think all the 'big girl' things just reinforce the idea that she has been replaced as the baby.
I didn't think of either of those things, thank you for the suggestions!
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