Advice for Moms

emmalee3
I am heart broken :(
January 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

 My daughter (3 1/2) just told me I love her brother (2 months) more than her...I feel awful. I try so hard to give my full attention to them both, but apparentley I'm not doing a very good job. She said "you love him more than me!" & broke down crying. I, myself had to fight back tears after hearing that. & she just went on about me loving him more. Has anyone been through this with their children? My daughter LOVES her brother sooo much. She is always talking and kissing him, always trying to hold him and help with him. Help!! Will this ever get better or is it just something that is apart of siblings?

Replies

  • LindaClement
    January 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    3yos are immature, so their ability to express complex emotions is naturally immature, too.

    If she had a grown up brain (and tact) she's have said something more like 'I feel left out because you always seem to be doing something for him and not me.'

    Reassure her that this is how you cared for her as an infant, too. Kids her age typically LOVE to hear stories about themselves as babies.

  • Roo1234
    by Roo1234
    January 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Read the book Siblings Without Rivalry this can be a very normal part of the relationship, but it doesn't have to be the definition of the relationship and there are many things you can do to help both of your children develop a healthy, noncompetitive way of seeing and dealing with each other and you.

  • kirbymom
    January 23, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Oh my yes! That is very much a normal reaction to a younger sibling.  She is just learning she can control her surroundings with her emotional outbursts. Of course she loves you and her brother. And she knows you love her too.   You should here what older kids say.  You just can't let their words get to you. 

    Don't we adults tell children to say to other children ...sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. ??   Why then, do we not listen to our own advice?    

  • kirbymom
    January 23, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    This is SO true! 

    Quoting LindaClement:

    3yos are immature, so their ability to express complex emotions is naturally immature, too.

    If she had a grown up brain (and tact) she's have said something more like 'I feel left out because you always seem to be doing something for him and not me.'

    Reassure her that this is how you cared for her as an infant, too. Kids her age typically LOVE to hear stories about themselves as babies.


  • Bmat
    by Bmat
    January 23, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    The older child sometimes feels this way because attention that had been exclusively theirs is suddenly shared. People come in and ooh and ahh over the new baby, and the older child watches.  The older child is asked to help with the baby, which is fine and also well-intentioned, but the older child doesn't get reciprocation from the baby.  Don't let the complaint get to you. Be sure to include the older child whenever you can. When feeding the baby, ask the older child to tell a story, or read to her. When changing the baby, go over counting or the alphabet song with the older child. Admire the older child as much as you admire the baby. The baby benefits from all of the attention, and so will the older child.

  • la_bella_vita
    January 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

     I have 4 and none of my children have ever said this to me BUT I know it's common and I said the same to my mother as a child! lol. Just carve out some time for her. Remind her that you love her. Try to get her involved. Good luck!

  • xoxRachelxox
    January 23, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    You just have to tell her that since he is younger, you have to do more for him. It doesn't mean you love her any less. Then, I'd try and include her in as much as you can when caring for him. Let her help you feed and change him. Ask her to get the diapers for him or toys. That kind of stuff. Have her be mommies little helper. 

  • RLT2
    by RLT2
    January 23, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    My DD was 2 when I had my youngest.  Shewas about 2 1/2  when she told me: It's like you forgot you love me!".  Oh my god, I was devastated. I cried for a long time, days. I thought I was doing a good job, guess not as good as I thought.  I got over it and so did she. It was a big adjustment for her and she was angry. I realized that the only thing I could do was wait it out and keep on loving her. :)

  • Sweet_Carol_126
    January 23, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    You will have to work on it but it is perfectly normal. A baby gets so much attention. Someone comes to the house brings a gift for baby but none for her. People talk about the baby and not her. She is a little jealous and afraid you don't love her as much. So tell her how important she is and how you couldn't do without her as she is your big girl and your helper. Let her bring diapers for you. When baby is sleeping, hold her and rock her like you do the baby and read her a book. If people are still bringing gifts for baby, have a few little things around to give to her at that time. You may be more tired. You have to have some alone time for her. But you could also probably have her sit beside you as you feed the baby and talk to her or have her hold a book and read to her. Baby needs to hear reading and hear your voice, too, as your voice was important to the baby.  you can have your daughter help you with cooking.  Give her just little jobs that she can do, nothing with knives.  She could add flour or liquid to a bowl.  She could help unload the dishwasher by putting cutlery away.  Get a little stool for her to stand on if necessary.  Then always compliment her and tell dad how much she helped you today.  Be sure to tell her that you love her so very much.  She is your princess.  You are the queen, of course.  She could help you make thank you cards, either by stamping or by coloring the front or sticking in a piece of paper to help thank people for the items they got for the baby.  Tell her that people brought lots of things to her when she was a baby.  Show her her baby book if you have one.  Tell her about when she was born and now she is bigger and her brother will grow up more and be able to play with her.    Good luck to you. 

  • orngblsm
    January 24, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    She is just feeling displaced, and it is very common with new siblings.  She had your undivided attention for three and a half years and now she has to share with a baby.   It is a form of sibling rivalry.   It is early days yet, and she will come realize that you don't love him best.  You might want to ask her why she feels that you love him more.   She probably doesn't even really understand it herself.  You are not going to be able to give both your full attention.  You can't give both 100% attention, 100% of the time.  So don't beat yourself up about it.  You simply do the best you can.  Also, realize that you are still recovering as well and that factors in.  This is where dad needs to step in and help out with baby and household duties, so you do have some unpressed time to spend with your daughter and to rest up as well.

    What seemed to help most with my boys was pointing out to the older one how much he could do on his own that the baby couldn't do for himself, which was why the baby needed mommy so much.   Also, try making baby's naptime into special time to spend with just the older one.  Read a book, watch a movie, make cookies, color a picture, or do a simple craft together.  Having a new baby means the entire family needs to adjust.  Try to be patient and don't take what she says personally.  It does get better.  Hang in there, mom, and congrats on your new addition.

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