Oldest child not loving new brother....sigh.

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

I hate to admit it - but my oldest son (4) seems to honestly and truly dislike his new brother (10 months). All of our friends talk about how the older sibling adores their new additions and I see pictures of siblings hugging and cuddling - but not so in our house.

I have made a point of trying to not pay too much attention to the baby - almost to a fault at the beginning - but that did not work. We are very diligent about spending one-on-one time with the older sibling - but that doesn't seem to be doing anything. Today he saw a picture of when he was younger and was sitting on my lap and said, "Mommy...why don't you love me like that anymore?". My heart literally broke in half. Either I'm doing something terribly wrong or my little boy knows how to get reactions out of his mommy.

I'm taking this personally and feel like I'm breaking him. Please tell me this is not causing permanent damage!!!!! :(

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[deleted account]

New baby needs lots of mommy's attention, don't short change that. You are not breaking him, he is just showing you how he copes with changes and difficulties, kinda like a clue for the future events. Instead of adjusting, he feels rejected. Now you know. Now you need to find out how to reassure him in times of changes in his life.
How about getting that baby photo album out again with 4 yold and telling him about EACH picture, what was going on in the picture and how much mommy loves him in every single picture.
Just this week, my 3 kids were sitting around the table with their baby pics...and I just told stories about each one. Big smiles on their faces.

Jessica - posted on 06/23/2010

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well maybe you could try to get him involved with the baby. have him help you change babies diaper or help with babies bath. let him pick out the clothes baby is gonna wear for the day. have him help you teach baby how to patty-cake or do itsy-bitsy-spider? anything that he can help with when it comes to baby....that way he would feel more involved with you and baby. maybe do a story time with the two of them sitting in your lap, and let him pick a book that he thinks both him and baby will like? i know when i was little and my mom had my youngest brother she had us help with everything, and so it wasnt a big deal cuz no one was getting more attention than anyone else. no permanant damage done, just a major handful for you, and im sure a lot of stress....hope this helped atleast a little :) good luck

Daisy - posted on 06/23/2010

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First of all i completely understand where you are coming from. I have a 4 year old daughter and a 9 month old son and she loves and adores her brother and defends him but if he so much as rubs her or touches her she runs away like if he was a decease. We have talked to her and we even told her that although he is a baby, he has feelings too and his feelings get hurt when she treats him that way, then all of a sudden she will hug and kiss him and be with him. The next day all over again..seriously we have had so many conversations that now we just don't bother because he is growing and she is changing towards him in a positive way on her own. Now she plays more with him and even loves to make him laugh but she argues when he's around her or tries to get in her space as she calls it.

I wouldn't worry too much, before it was all about them and now they realize that they have to share their love with another sibling so of course they will act up. We sometimes and i know it's not nice but we sometimes will tell her "you know Sammy, i think we need to go drop him off at the hospital since you don't seem to care too much for him" and immediately you will get a reaction from her to the point of yelling at us if we do that. Your son will get over it at one point and maybe even when he sees his sibling walking soon, he will actually feel like he can play and interact more with him...

Jennifer - posted on 06/22/2010

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Older siblings can react both ways - adoring or rejecting. He may just need more time to adjust. Sounds like he may sense which buttons to push. I don't think you are causing damage. It's a big adjustment to make when a new baby enters a family. Let him know you still have all the love you ever did for him and you are making more for little brother. He may be feeling insecure of his role. Have you tried including him in some of his brother's basic care? Something simple like bringing you a diaper or clothing. Does he have "big boy" responsibilities such as helping bring in groceries or helping fix dinner?
It sounds like you are trying very hard. You may have to explain that babies need more help since they cannot do things for themselves. Remember, your littlest one needs you and your bond too. It's a difficult balancing act. If you continue to have concerns, call up your pediatrician or Parents as Teachers (if your local school district has one) for more resources. Good luck. You are being a good Mommy and both your boys will be just fine. :)

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