My daughter is still severely jealous of her brother two years later

Tammy - posted on 05/16/2016 ( 15 moms have responded )

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When I was pregnant with my son my then 3 yo daughter made it clear that she wanted no part of having a sibling! She even tried to kick my belly several times. At the hospital she was so upset that I had a baby they had to take her out of the room screaming and crying. She is now 5 and he is 2 and she has made our lives a living nightmare! She whines and throws tantrums constantly. As soon as she wakes up in the morning she screams in her brothers face and is very aggressive towards him and towards my husband and I. She hits and kicks us and him and tells us to throw brother away. She has knocked him in the face, kicked him, burned him and saw him fall in the pool and go under and she just laughed while I screamed and rushed to get him. We've tried spending ALLOT of quality time with her, putting her in time outs and privileges taken away but nothing has seems to work. It's caused havoc on our marriage bcse we basically can't spend the weekends all together bcse it ends up her just acting horrible. I should mention that she is in Pre-school full time. Her teachers have told me several times that she is their best student in the class. And that she always minds is attentive and just a all around well rounded child. I'm glad that she is good at school but it's infuriating that she knows how to behave but refuses to do it for me or my husband. School lets out this week and I will have both of them ALL day ALL summer! I had them both last summer and almost lost my sanity. I have recently felt the need to make a appointment with a family therapist. I'm hoping to get some answers there. Has anyone else dealt with a child going through severe jealously? I have talked to several moms and they just look at me like I'm crazy or dismiss it as oh it's just a stage. The problem now is my son is now kicking hitting biting and being aggressive at his Mothers Day out program. Another problem is I'm starting to resent being her mother. The more I give the more she takes. I'm emotionally exhausted and at my wits end. How long can this possible go on for? I've tried all the parenting advice on what to do! My joy as a parent has been drained! Has anyone dealt with this before?

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Vanessa - posted on 05/21/2016

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Thank you! When your husband is home, try to talk to him about what's happening and let him know that he has to parent too, not just you, you can't do all the parenting. Do you have dinner together as a family? Probably talking to her more, and giving her big sister jobs to do will help you out, for example, have her prepare dinner with you and tell her she's doing a good job and if you do see her playing with her brother and she's playing in a nice way say something like "I love how you're playing with your brother. You're such a good sister". Thats what I learned in school. If she doesn't have cousins around the area, whenever you go see her cousins and its on the weekend, let her stay for a couple days. Also, try to find out what she likes and use it against her, for example if she loves watching Bunk'd, you can tell her that she will lose privileges to watch the new episode if she's rude to her brother. Let us know if any if these help!

Juni - posted on 05/18/2016

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I feel like sending you hugs, mom. Your DD is precious and smart. She knows what she can do and be excel. She wants a lot of attention and praises from you. She got that for the first three years of her life. She tries hard to earn your approval. When she doesn't get that, she reacts in a negative way. That too is a way of getting your attention.Talking to pediatrician or family therapist is a way to find an answer. You are a loving mom. It is a job to be a mom. Please hang on, don't give up. Please love yourself and take "me-time" whichever you think it works for you. A child is a blessing from above. I believe when DD is entrusted to your care, God also gives you strength to carry it through. Hope you get your angel back in no time.

Sarah - posted on 05/17/2016

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You describe a child that has no empathy. I would most certainly see a pediatric psychiatrist or therapist. Is she kind to family pets? Does she cry at appropriate times during movies? Kids can learn to be empathetic but it takes work and time. You can start by telling her a story, make one character successful and one tragically sad. Ask her who she likes better and why, does she feel bad for one of the characters? This sort of teaching is complex and best guided by a professional.

Raye - posted on 05/17/2016

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You have to firmly enforce the 'no aggression' rule every time she acts out, immediately when she acts out. You have to teach her it will NOT be tolerated. Be consistent, and have consequences appropriate for these actions. Teach her "gentle touch" and reward her for acting nicely toward her brother. Praise in other areas is good too, but try to make an association that kindness toward her brother gets her rewards too. Have you tried talking to her about why she's so angry at him? What is it specifically that she feels threatened about? Counseling may help. I wish you luck.

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Sarah - posted on 05/24/2016

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I would agree with Sarah E. sounds like there might be some mental health issues going on. I would seek a psychological evaluation and the sooner the better. It is easier to deal with things early on rather than later.

Tammy - posted on 05/24/2016

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All very good advice that I will be trying soon!!! Thanks again Vanessa!! 😀

Tammy - posted on 05/18/2016

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Vanessa, I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you. My husband is around but he works allot! I've tried different methods of punishments but never left her in a dark closet. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But no offense taken bcse I've been angry enough to do it but have stopped myself. She doesn't have any cousins that live around here so unfortunately that's not really a option.

Tammy - posted on 05/18/2016

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Sarah she is really into bugs/insects. She collects ladybugs, flies, bees, frogs etc. She likes to put them in a jar and keep them. I've told her over and over that you have to let them go or they will die but she refuses to release them back outside. So what we end up with is a jar full of dead insects that she just casually throws in the garbage. I never thought of this as being non-empathetic I just thought it's her age and the fact that she doesn't understand death. She does have a hamster that she treats good as far as I can tell. I haven't noticed her reactions during a movie but I did have a incident last summer. I had received a phone call and it was bad news. I started to cry pretty loud and she did ask me what's wrong but she had a smile on her face and then I heard her laughing and playing afterwards as if she had no concern about me. Same thing happened when my son fell in the pool and I was screaming pick him up while I was running to get him. I remember the look on her face was solemn. As if she had no concern as to what was happening. I just assumed it was her age or the fact that she really doesn't care what happens to her brother.

Vanessa - posted on 05/17/2016

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I feel you, I was raped which led to me get pregnant with my twins, and I keep thinking that my son is a new start to life. But it does get easy and you have to keep trying even if it seems like its not enough. I suggest talking to a therapist, it really helps! It has helped me allot. Is it just you who's parenting her? Where's your husband? Also at the same time, I remember my cousin who is currently 12 years old (I think) when he was younger he would do the exact same thing with me and my siblings, and the way my aunt and uncle would parent would be to lock him a very dark place (like the closet or garage). What would happen is that it would scare him into not doing that again. Like no offense! I'm literally so sorry for suggesting this, but this really helped my cousin, have you like slap her to get her to know that's not okay or locking her in the closet and telling her to stop the behavior and she can come out? You can also try this other method, my parent's used on my cousin, she would allow my cousin to sleepover or stay at our house longer, what I mean is, try sending her to her favorite cousin, friends house for a couple nights and use that as a award or while she's gone and do something fun with with your son and bring it up during dinner and say "Next time, you behave better, you can come with us"

Tammy - posted on 05/17/2016

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I've asked her why she doesn't like her brother and her answer is always that I spend to much time with him and I love him more. He is a easier child and he's 2 so I can't use a time out or etc on him. To back track a little I had severe post partum after having her. I also worked and always had a hard time connecting with her. With him I've been able to stay at home and I have changed allot. Maybe she did get the raw end of the deal. Maybe I'm the one that needs counseling. Either way I do love her enough to see a therapist to figure out how to make her happy and to feel loved. Even if that means digging into my own personal battles.

Ev - posted on 05/16/2016

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Tammy--it is going to take time and consistency to get her to the behavior you want. Apparently what you have done before has not worked but do not reward her every good turn either. Praise is the best suited action. If you continue to give rewards she will expect it and it won't have the desired affect. She is going to have her good days and bad days and is to be expected. What did you do to encourage her when you wer pregnant? Did you include her in things where the baby is concerned?

Tammy - posted on 05/16/2016

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Yes, we have! For each week of good behavior at school she gets to pick out a prize. We are throwing her a good grades end of school graduation party this Friday! There are days when she has moments that's she's nice to her brother for a brief moment and we do acknowledge that and praise her. Some days are better than others but we are trying to acknowledge good behavior but the next day it's like that's completely erased from her memory and it's back to picking on brother and aggression.

Vanessa - posted on 05/16/2016

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Have you tried acknowledging her good behavior at the school, it will probably make her less act out, also at the same time when she's around your son, try shielding him and responding to the good behavior he's showing. Also when she's sitting down, try talking to her and if she responds better and calmly, acknowledge it.

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