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Old 08-23-2010, 02:18 AM   #1
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My son says he doesn't like his brother

My 3 year Eli old told me and DH the other day "I don't like Sammy. (Almost 1 year old.) I want him to go away." DH explained that Sammy is his brother and is here to stay bec he's part of our family. Eli said, "Sammy isn't part of our family. He doesn't look like me and he doesn't look like Daddy and he doesn't look like mommy."

That just about sums up their relationship. Big brother doesn't like little brother. He's often trying to hurt him- bite him, pull his hair, squish him, hit him, kick him, you name it.
Of course, there are times that he is loving to him as well, but the physically hurting his brother is too frequent.

Of course, it doesn't help that little Sammy is a whiny clingy kid who almost always wants to be held, so I can't give as much attention to Eli. And when he is down on the floor, he is chasing after his big brother, taking his toys, breaking his things, and of course, biting him.
Oh, and when Sammy is asleep, then Eli needs to be quieter so Sammy doesn't wake up, as he is a terrible sleeper and will be even more clingy and whiny if his sleep is cut short.

I try to give Eli as much one on one Mommy time as I can, but it's hard, because the second Sammy is asleep I feel I need some alone time to recharge from a really difficult baby.
My husband does give Eli lots of one on one time as well.

Anyhow, what do I do to help form some love and eliminate the dislike between my sons?

(P.S. Both are home with me full time.)

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:38 AM   #2
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

The one piece of advice I picked up from here that really helped me is whenever Eli hurts Sammy intentionally or not, DO NOT react to Eli first. Give your attention to the hurt one first, making sure they are okay, exagerating a bit, "poor so and so, are you okay". Involve Eli in making sure he is okay, give him the role of big brother protector. It teaches compassion, and doesn't give attention for negative behavior. Its late, and I hope that made some sense, lol

I have a 3 year old who I can completely 98% trust around my youngest, but she still has her moments. She has really clung to the role of big sister/little baby. She likes to make sure that her sister only has "safe" toys etc. We just made sure to tell her all the thjings that she, as a big sister could do. I'm kind of rambling, but maybe try and instill some big brother protector in Eli?

I just wanted to add, my SIL has 2 boys, and her second was the more dificult child and they had a lot of sibling rivalry, fighting etc. I think that my girls are saving it for their teens
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:18 AM   #3
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

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Originally Posted by sugacube View Post
The one piece of advice I picked up from here that really helped me is whenever Eli hurts Sammy intentionally or not, DO NOT react to Eli first. Give your attention to the hurt one first, making sure they are okay, exagerating a bit, "poor so and so, are you okay". Involve Eli in making sure he is okay, give him the role of big brother protector. It teaches compassion, and doesn't give attention for negative behavior. Its late, and I hope that made some sense, lol

I have a 3 year old who I can completely 98% trust around my youngest, but she still has her moments. She has really clung to the role of big sister/little baby. She likes to make sure that her sister only has "safe" toys etc. We just made sure to tell her all the thjings that she, as a big sister could do. I'm kind of rambling, but maybe try and instill some big brother protector in Eli?

I just wanted to add, my SIL has 2 boys, and her second was the more dificult child and they had a lot of sibling rivalry, fighting etc. I think that my girls are saving it for their teens
I do try to give Eli big brother roles and he does a great job of it. Its just the rest of the time...
Don't get me wrong- he does love his brother. Its just a love/hate relationship going on there.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:46 AM   #4
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

I'd have you husband take Sammy for a day/afternoon (once a week, twice a month, something regular) and spend more one on one time with Eli. I would guess that one of the reasons he dislikes his brother is that his arrival has limited his time with you.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:50 AM   #5
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

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I'd have you husband take Sammy for a day/afternoon (once a week, twice a month, something regular) and spend more one on one time with Eli. I would guess that one of the reasons he dislikes his brother is that his arrival has limited his time with you.
If only Sammy would like my husband, that would help a lot. But Sammy only wants ME!
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

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But Sammy only wants ME!
Man, I've been there with DS. Super-clingy. And having a howling baby in the other room is only distracting when you are trying to do anything else at all. I can only imagine what it might be like to have a first child trying to compete with that level of cling.

What worked for us when I needed a break was to have DH put DS in a carrier and go for a walk around the block. Frustrating for DH at first, because DS would howl, but eventually the motion of walking and the closeness of the carrier would calm him. Plus, having them both out of the house helped me not leap to "just do it myself" mode, which wasn't helping. Maybe something similar might work for you?
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

I know this sounds terrible, believe me, I do, but I'm gonna say it anyway...

My DS was the most clingy, possessive, whiny, crying-all-the-time-for-no-reason little baby. He's almost 2 and he's improved a while lot, but he still is sometimes very much a handful.

My DD is energetic, and excited all the time, loves to play and learn. She's 3.5

Being that they are so close, we haven't had much trouble with DD not liking DS. But I had some issues with DS being SOOOOOOO clingy.

The only thing that helped our situation was for me to leave my DS with DH and take DD somewhere with me. Anywhere - the store, the park, to go fill the car with gas, etc. At first, my DS went crazy with wild tantrums. I cried and cried b/c I felt terrible. But the truth was that my DS NEEDED (IMO) to learn to be a little less dependent on me, and less clingy. Of course, I still loved him and snuggled with him and played with him, but a couple of times a week I left him with Daddy for a few hours while I went out.

In time, DS learned that even though mommy leaves, she will ALWAYS come back. He also learned how to have fun with another human besides me - which was SO wonderful! In turn, he started exploring his world more, and making new connections with his sister and other people in his life. He started realizing that he could sit on the floor NEXT to mommy and play with his toys, that he did not have to be ON TOP OF mommy.

He's much more secure now. He still favors me, and has his moments where I am the only person in the world to him. But that's ok b/c it's part of his personality, whereas before I think his extreme attachment to me was inhibiting his ability to learn and grow.

I know that's not easy advice and you can take it or leave it, but it really worked for me.

I also think that if you could get out with your older one, you could give them some more attention, and it would also maybe help teach your younger one some more constructive play habits.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

I agree with Kiliki, that leaving your clingy child with your dh will be hard, but would be a good idea for everyone involved. You know your dh will take good care of him, and sure he'll be upset without you, but eventually he'll get used to trusting someone other than you to take care of him. Start small and take a short trip somewhere that will take you 30 minutes or less. Work your way up to longer trips so you and older Ds can do things together. My older kids even love to go to the grocery store alone with me whild dh keeps the rest of the kids. No, the grocery store isn't really fun, but they love that they get to go alone with mom and be a big helper.
As far as him not liking his little brother, it's pretty normal, and will probably be an issue for a while, at least it is in our house. We never had issues when the new baby is little, but once the baby gets older and more mobile, the other kids definitely get annoyed and frustrated that the little one is in their stuff. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard one of the kids tell another one "I don't like you", "I wish you weren't my brother", etc. I remember "hating" my brother plenty when we were kids. To me it's just a part of having siblings. There are days you hate having to share anything with them, including mom and dad.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

I'm betting you could find some kind of sibling book, even "new sibling" to let him know what to expect, and how to act. Also some emotion books to help him learn how to show his emotions properly, instead of hitting, ect.
Books are usually a great help!
And can you wear sammy in a carrier more often so that you can do more with Eli, but Sammy still gets the closeness he desires?
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: My son says he doesn't like his brother

I have been experiencing this same thing with my 2. My advice is to make sure that you do plenty of 1 on 1 things with your oldest. Also, try to have "play" sessions with the both of them and work with them during. Also as your youngest becomes more active, I think you will see a change. My oldest is alot better with my daughter now that she can play with him better and show him that she has feelings too. There will always be days and times when they fight and "hate" eachother, but there will be lots of good days too.
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