Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

3 Bumps

How do I deal with my 4 year old being jealous of his new brother?

My 4 year old son has been acting out really bad lately and I understand that he is just jealous of the new baby, however that is no excuse to be incredibly naughty. He has been doing things he knows he isn't supposed to and throwing some serious attitude around. I have been spending as much one on one time as I can with him but it isn't getting any better. Every time we do get to spend time together it seems like he is sabotaging it on purpose. "shh, if we are quiet we won't wake up your little brother and we get to play longer" and he yells his head off and stomps around making as much noise as he can until the baby is up. What's the deal?? What can I do? Please help me ladies, I'm pulling my hair out here.

Answer Question
 
AbsynthLynn

Asked by AbsynthLynn at 11:33 PM on Jan. 10, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 7 (175 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Is there a way you can maybe incorporate him into the whole process? Like, when you feed the baby, have him sit with you, snuggled up on one side, and watch a movie or read a book. Get him a doll (my ds had one, he's now 18 and turned out fine :-) ) anyway - get him a doll, and when you change the baby, have him change his baby. When you put your baby down for a nap, have him do the same, etc. Also, maybe let him do things like get the clean diaper, pick out the baby's clothes (from a weather appropriate selection of course), etc.

    Also, I don't know how your extended family / friends have been, but I would encourage them to not just be coming over to fuss over the new baby (which is natural), but to also make a big deal out of "what a great big brother he is", "how proud he must be to get to help Mommy with the baby" - that sort of thing.
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:45 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I think you have made a very common mistake, when it comes to parenting siblings. Parents often believe that sibling rivalry is about the feelings *between* siblings --it's not. It's about parents.

    One of the things that parents do not understand is that children understand, at a really basic level, that babies need loving care... children are fascinated by infants and love to be involved in their care. That is not to say that they're not furious about their parents' distraction, what they feel they've lost in the way of attention, stuff or time... but that the focal point of their rage is their parents, which feels incredibly dangerous.

    Add to that terror, the terror the child feels when it is implied that the only way the child can get his needs met is to make the little one 'go away.' Or, their being able to see that the parents are actually willing to make the other one 'go away.' They know the baby needs mom and dad...
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:45 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • cont

    This way, instead of maybe feeling like here's this new baby coming in and taking over, and I can't even play with my mommy without having to be quiet sort of thing - which, btw, I totally understand, but then, I'm not 4... :-) - he can start to feel some sense of "ownership" of the baby - this is HIS baby brother / sister sort of thing :-)
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:47 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I THOUGHT MY YOUNGER GRANDSON WHO IS THREE WOULD BE JEALOU OF HIS NEW BABY BROTHER BUT SINCE HIS MOMS PREGNANCY AND BIRTH HE ISNT. WE TOOK HIM TO HEAR THE BABYS HEARBEAT AND SEE IT ON THE SONAGRAM. WHEM HIS BROTHER WAS BORN HE HEARD HIM CRYFOR THE FIRST TIME FROM THE HALL WAY. HE TOLD EVERYONE THAT WAS HIS BABY BROTHER. LET HIM HELP YOU IN SMALL WAYS. LET HIM KNOW TO THATS HES SPECIAL TO
    stressedoutgran

    Answer by stressedoutgran at 5:23 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I suggest keeping him as involved in things as possible. Remember to give him tons and tons of time and attention, just like you did before baby. Let him know how special and important he is to the baby in being big brother. Try to remember that he is 4...acting out is his way of showing how he is feeling because at 4 he cannot verbalize all that he is feeling. We have a 3 yr old son and a 5 month old son....our 3 yr old had a hard time at first, but has gotten much better. I just try to make special dates for just him and I...grocery shopping, whatever... My Gma gave me the best advice...she said, "imagine one day your husband came home with another wife, and wanted you to just act like your normal self.." Meaning it is a huge adjustment for a sibling to go from the only person in your lives to having to share your time, attention, love with someone else... GL! Be patient with him. :)
    MomOnTheRun11

    Answer by MomOnTheRun11 at 4:14 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I'm having the EXACT same problem with my 3 year old son. My baby is now 11 months and it's STILL going on. He does just like your child. I try to play with him when the baby is napping but he'll get loud on purpose.

    He hits her all the time. I've tried time outs, removing myself and the baby to another room, etc. I cry a lot at night when he's in bed. He was such a good little boy before the baby was born. He's also so good when his Dad is home.

    I don't know what to do either. I'm at my wits end. It's not improving.
    ClaireW

    Answer by ClaireW at 7:23 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.