Author Topic: Advice please  (Read 1198 times)

Offline greenbabies83

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Advice please
« on: Apr 16, 2007, 11:58:12 PM »
Hey,

My family has grown some what in this last few months, my sisters two children have come to live with us and my five year old son appears to be finding it difficult!!

He is generally happy and has never been spiteful to other children. I understand that he may feel a bit put out and jealous but he has started to be very spiteful to my two year old nephew. When asked why he just says he is annoying me. I have tried the usual discussions and explanations but this has not solved the problem.

I guess i'm wondering:

To what extent is sibiling rivalry normal?

Should I disapline this behaviour, I don't want him to think it is acceptable, but also do not want to breed futher resentment?

Do you think it is just teething problems, how can I help resolve the problem?

Any advice greatly appreciated!! ???



Lust For Life

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17, 2007, 09:59:13 AM »
to what extent is it normal? VERY.

Do you remember what an enormous adjustment it was to go from being a household of only grown-up(s) to one with a baby in it? - Even though you were expecting it and had tried to prepare yourself a bit?

I always tried to think of this when my eldest child became a big brother - the leap was enormous, and despite our telling him it was going to happen and trying to prepare him, a small child is even less able than we are to "imagine" what it will be like to have your whole home environment changed beyond recognition!

Your situation is different, and your son had already met his new siblings - but living together is still completely different to playing together for a day or two at a time.  And that your parenting role now extends to them - your role is no longer only to protect and look after your own child, but also the other two.  As long as there's no conflict of interests, that's not a problem, but what if, as you say, one of your charges is being mean to another?  I struggle with this issue LOTS and have posted previously about it - and my two both came out of my body and have lived together since birth ::)

Just to even things out a bit, me and my kids must often come across as awful on these boards, but I frequently hear from people who know us in real life that my kids are amazing and lovely - and they are.  And whilst there may well be better paretns than me out there, on balance I don't do a bad job either!  I don't ONLY scream at them like a fishwife, I also cuddle them and love them and take them to football and swimming and museums etc.  I just don't often post about the good stuff and it's less shocking and therefore less memorable if I do.

You ask if you should discipline the bad behaviour....  it depends what you mean by discipline.  You should, as you already say, definitely make it clear that it's not acceptable.  And saying "that's not very nice dear" in a playschool voice isn't enough ;D (I have heard this said in response to truly outrageous behaviour in sandpits etc :o).

However, as you point out, this is a complicated situation and a period of adjustment for everyone.  How old are the new additions? 2 and ?  Is your child the only one old enough to have a chat about rules with?  2 can be old enough for a bit of that?  I am thinking along the lines of the discussions reception classes have about being friendly and not making people upset, and even small children may be able to understand that home is the place they want and need (and hopefully do) to feel safe and loved.  And if your son can understand that that's what HE needs, the trick is getting him to accept that the other children (and you) also need that.

The tricky part is that children DO struggle with the basic concept that they are not the only important person in the universe.  So really understanding that they shouldn't take away someone else's feeling of safety doesn't get through very easily, as at the time, they are far more concerned with protecting their own space/toy/access to their mother.

Not sure if this was very helpful.  I can't remember from the other thread if you are already getting some help from social services - between SS and friends and family, it should help if you can spend some "quality time" alone with all three of them separately - and try and fix it so that the kids who are with someone else are having a fun time doing something exciting at the same time, so that they are all equally jealous!  The exciting thing doesn't need to cost money, but should be a bit special - maybe cooking is something a bit too tricky to manage with all three?  so in a 1/2 split that might be an option?

And if you can get a bit of time for yourself do something YOU really want to do, whether that's socialising or yoga or swimming or cinema or kickboxing or whatever!


Offline greenbabies83

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #2 on: Apr 17, 2007, 11:20:54 PM »
Thanks for your reply, alot of what you said makes sense!! I't very hard to see it when your stuck in the middle x

My neice is 7 months old, there are no probmlems here, he appears to accept that she is a baby and requires more attention. Plus he thinks she is toooo cute, which she is of course!!!

I guess I just have to hope that things will settle down, in the mean time i'm gonna go with the lots of love, hugs and kisses for all. Try to get them to spend positive time together and keep them busy ;D

I'm lucky to have great partner to share the strain and of course we do manage to make a little time to 'relax' xxx

scifisam

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #3 on: Apr 18, 2007, 12:34:54 AM »
I've been watching Malcolm in the Middle online recently, so I am now of the opinion that such sibling rivalry is completely normal, especially among boys.

You do have to discipline it (partly because, imagine if he were reacting like that to a visitor of that age - what would you do then?) but balance it with extra rewards for good behaviour, because this is a tough time for him.

Also, the two-year-old might really be annoying him without meaning to - if the little one likes him, he might follow him around and want to join in everything, and he's not used to that yet. Or he might be playing up too, due to the changes in his own life.

It really sounds like you're coping very well with all of this - your kids are all very lucky. :)