My daughter has been acting up since her brother was born. What can I do?

Kira - posted on 02/09/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Lilli is 4years old. And she was always so good. But now that her baby brother is here, she acts up all the time. I have tried to give her more attention but she is still having a hard time.

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Amy - posted on 02/09/2010

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my daughter was testy unless i had her help out. get you brother a blanket. your brother a diaper, etc. she started hearing "her brother" and thought of him as hers. her own brother. not mom's little lovey to take away from her, but HER brother. she loves him like mad now and acts like a little mother hen. but she doesn't get jealous of him anymore. i had her sit next to me when i was nursing and had her rub his back. i told her i needed her help and she was just eager to comply. hope that helps. yes, lots of involvement and when baby is taking a nap, spend some time with just her.

Carolyn - posted on 02/09/2010

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I would have to say inclusion would be a good starter. Ask her, would she like to help you with some of the simpler things. Like catching a clean diaper, throwing the dirty one or can she watch over her brother (while he is in a safe place of course) while you throw the diaper. She needs to feel important at this point. She wants to feel like she is not disappearing within the family. Small duties like while you rock him, she can make up a story to tell him. Either one she has memorized or one you can coach her on telling, letting her put the finishing touches even though they may not be accurate. It's ok to let her participate in his daily routine. This may help her adjust to his needs a little better. Telling him some of the things she knows, so she can feel important, like she is teaching him something as well as you. Like maybe also catching bottles for you or reminding her to say things that you know comforted her when she was little. It's all about her becoming a part of the whole family not just giving in when she acts up enough. She wants to be included and not left behind. You must include both of them. She can have some alone time during his naps or maybe when it's dad's turn to hold him for his part of the day. This is a big adjustment when you consider the age difference. He can't yet do anything for himself and she needs to be reminded it was the same way when she was little. Understanding a new kind of share at this age is hard for her. But, she will change her mind when he grows and will be ready to play more with her. Hope this helps.

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Kira - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thank all of you for the advice. I will try to use as much of it as I possibly can. The past few days have been a little better. So thank you all so much. God bless

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These are good suggestions. When kids act out, it's often because they wonder if you still love them. They need LOTS of reminders through words, but mostly our actions.
Once I heard having a 2nd baby was compared to your husband coming home one day telling you he's going to bring a new wife home. He made you share your clothes & your closet, all of your space but said not to worry because he would love you just the same. Obviously it's not the same, but to a child it can be a very scary time. When my 2nd baby was born, my 1st was 3 1/2 & she really started getting into everything (climbing shelves to get finger paints, cut her hair, etc). I had to really increase the praise & time together. When I was busy nursing, I would have her go to the baby's room with me & she got to play with toys she only played with during that time. It distracted her which made nursing easier. Involving her as "mommy's little helper" helped a lot too. When I'd play games with my older daughter, I'd have the baby be "on her team." She enjoyed helping the baby - she's such a little mommy. I am always telling my girls (I have 3 of them now) that they are best friends & I think they are starting to understand. It took probably 3-4 months for my oldest to adjust to her little sister. Hang in there...

Rita - posted on 02/09/2010

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Make her feel good about her self. My 3 yo is such a good boy, but I have put so much effort into praising all of his little things, even when he helps me...I make such a big deal out of all of his good behavior. He occasionally has a moment, but I try not to mind it and really focus on the times he is good. I give him rewards, for helping like a favorite book, and extra story at bed time....Bottom line, they need your attention, so rewards should be your time, not a piece of candy. Lots of praise and hugs and hi fives! Start referring to her as "Your good girl" really make her want to be a good little helper.
Acting out is an attention getter, do not give it the attention. Instead, give the attention to well deserved good behavior. Stop.....and notice when she is good. It really works...it really does.

Yuki - posted on 02/09/2010

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Try to spend one on one time with her, like take her on a mommy-daughter date and avoid talking about the baby, just her. It might also help if you offer to let her help take care of the baby, especially trying to amuse him. It may help her bond with him.

Melanie - posted on 02/09/2010

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SPEND TIME WITH ONLY HER. DO SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT IS JUST FOR YOU AND HER . I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY DAUGHTER. SHE WAS THREE WHEN HER BABY BROTHER WAS BORN. MY HUSBAND HAD TO TAKE CARE OF THE BABY SO THAT ME AND HER COULD HAVE A GIRLS ONLY DAY.

Emilie - posted on 02/09/2010

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My son didn't act up after his sister was born, he didn't act up until she started moving around and playing with his toys and bothering him. I think you should just let her know that you love her and continue to give her extra attention.

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