My daughter's drawing

Amanda - posted on 01/15/2016 ( 9 moms have responded )

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While i was in the restroom my 4 year old Madi put salt water in her 3 month old brothers eyes which looked like she held his eye open because it was super red and the way he started crying, then she said she gave him a fake shot, I spanked her(which rarely happens) and made her sit in her room and told her once again how she can't do that to her brother has just a baby,  he's not a toy or baby doll, she has to be very gentle etc...I have to have this conversation alot with her, shes not taking a new brother good at all and is mean to him majority of the time. After about 5 min in her room she came out and gave me a picture,  she said it's just me and her and we're crying. ..and that she's sorry.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/16/2016

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I get that you're stressed, etc, but no one is calling you a bad parent, and we're all giving you advice. Mainly, at this point, to stop leaving your 4 YO alone with the baby, even for 30 seconds.

What you've described of her actions are fairly normal for a 4 YO with a baby sibling. She is trying to interact, etc, and needs to be taught to be gentle. You're doing that part, and from the sounds of it, doing that well.

You just need to stop assuming that things will be ok for "just a minute" while you step out. In this case, I'd have said to your eldest: Mommy needs to go potty. Please come with me to keep me company". Also keep reminding her that she's mommy's helper. She can help with a lot of little things, and in doing so, she will be more ready to be a big sister when she can help with little brother (when he's a little older).

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2016

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Just to reinforce the other mothers advice; don't leave him alone with her. Kids don't develop a fully sense of empathy until around 5 or 6, so she is just under the window for that norm. However, the fact that she waited until she was alone and then had a story about why she hurt your son, shows some advanced thinking in your child. Has she has hurt you son before, and only shown remorse when caught. The remorse in this case is in the form of her losing your attention or love; as the picture showed "she said it's just me and her and we're crying" rather than a picture of her trying to fix her brother. If this were my child I'd talk to the pediatrician and be fully forthcoming with the details. Some sibling rivalry is typical, but she is actually taking deliberate actions to hurt him, rather than hit him, or push his cars seat off the table, she is getting saltwater (where did she get that?) and put it in his eye? that is more than jealousy. I am sure she will mature and learn to love her brother bu tin the meantime a play therapist may help get at the root of her anger.

Michelle - posted on 01/16/2016

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Just think about it from her side. She was the center of the universe for 4 years until this screaming pooping thing came along, now everyone coos over the baby and ignores her. You may not think so but you are now sharing the time between them. All the baby has to do is cry and he gets cuddles and attention.
At her age, any attention is attention, even if it's because she is in trouble. You are going to have to set aside some time each day that she has your full attention and not just when the baby is napping. Get someone to look after the baby and go and spend quality time with her.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/16/2016

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I will admit, I got either extremely lucky, or I just managed to push the "momma's helper" enough before my youngest was born...so I was able to tell my son to watch and care for his brother at a fairly early age. Granted, I wasn't far away, never actually out of the room, but I could at least turn my back.

I guess I didn't see where the child has pushed the car seat off the table! That, in and of itself would be a red flag.

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2016

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Shawnn I disagree, for a rare instance. When left alone with an infant a jealous preschooler will likely pinch, hit or shove baby off the bed. This incident has more complex process, mom left, girl obtained slat water, held brother's eyes open, and put the salt water in the eyes. This is more than sibling jealousy IMO. Do I think Amanda is a bad mom, absolutely not! She does has a precocious child on her hands who can't manage her feelings of jealousy in an appropriate manner, and that needs to be addressed. Her remorse reflected the loss of her mother's love not that of her brother. I just think better to start addressing her feelings and behavior before permanent damage is done.
Hypothetically, what if it had be nail polish remover at the bedside when she decided to "treat her brother's eyes? The quickness and deliberateness of her actions is what stands out to me.
Amanda, I am sorry if that sounds unkind or harsh, it is only meant to be helpful and hopefully find your daughter an outlet. I am sure she a bright, lovely child and I am sure she loves her brother. She just need to help her mind catch up with her behavior.

Amanda - posted on 01/16/2016

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I normally dont leave them together alone, my 3 month old was asleep in his bassinet while my 4 year old and I were laying in my bed watching a movie on her tablet and I had to go pee. I thought to myself im just running to go pee and she's occupied and he's asleep and I wasn't out of the room long at all 3 min at the very most. And it's never been anything this severe when she has acted out, it's been mean things like she takes his pacifier or blanket away, wake him up when he's sleeping, play peek-a-boo but say boo loudly to scare him. And the reason I told her he's not a baby doll is because she plays Dr with her doll & right before this incident happened we were playing dr with her doll in my room and her kid had a sore throat (salt water)....... I'm new at this so I dont know how to put my threads together? I just joined the site last night because being a completely single mom with no help what so ever (their father left when i was pregnant with baby #2, he decided he wasn't ready to settle down yet...literally his words) and working full time, having an infant and a 4 year...I really needed somewhere to get and see other Mothers advice. (Circleofmoms) If you have advice I would love it! Which is why I'm on this site. I seen other posts where people were being kind of mean and I must say, I was surprised! We're all mom's, we should encourage and help each other not put each other down. Especially when were asking for advice. The last thing any mother needs is someone putting them down in any way, shape, or form. Actually nobody needs that. Let's be positive ladies :)

Dove - posted on 01/16/2016

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If this type of thing has happened more than once... you should not still be leaving the two of them alone together at all.

If you have more that you didn't post here... you really need to put it all together instead of in two separate threads.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/16/2016

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I will also add this to Michelle's advice: STOP leaving your 4 YO alone with your 3 month old. She is not old enough to have the cognizant reasoning needed to completely process ALL of the time that the baby is not a doll. If you need to pee, take the baby with you.

Amanda - posted on 01/15/2016

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I accidentally hit send to soon I made another post with the rest of the story.

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