What are some things to make my two year old not feel left out?

Jessica - posted on 01/22/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have a two year old and a 4 month old. I breastfeed so a lot of my attention goes to the baby. I feel like my two year old is acting out because he wants more attention. He is has no problem listening to dad or wanting dad to do stuff with him. What are some things I can do to "connect" with him again?

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Dr Kenya - posted on 01/27/2015

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Hi Jessica,
I have a 2 1/2 old daughter and 5 month old son. So, we have a lot in common! I had the same problem for the first few weeks when we came home from the hospital and it was bananas! I would cry to myself and say, “How do mom’s do this?!” I started researching and found a few helpful tips and I will share what worked for me.
1. I focused on giving my daughter a LOT of attention. If my husband was around, I would ask him to keep an eye on her while I nurse and then I would make extra effort to connect with her immediately after nursing. We would read a book, play outside, sing, dance, rehearse letters and numbers, or play puzzle games. If my husband called me for something, I would say, “Give me a few minutes please, I am with….right now”. This signaled to my daughter that it was all about her at that moment and anything else that needed my attention had to wait…unless if it was an emergency.

2. Talk your child up! Since so much attention is on the baby your oldest probably feels left out and in a lonely world. Praise him at every opportunity: on the phone with a friend, to your spouse, in public, and directly to his face. Tell him how awesome he is and the things you love about him. I promise you that over time his behavior will improve as he realizes that Mom and Dad love him too and your consistent behavior will reassure him of this.

3. Schedule one on one time to connect with him (take a trip to the library, go on a walk outside, clean around the house and ask him to help especially with laundry which kids LOVE, have some ice cream together, play with his favorite game or toy. Let him enjoy mommy/son time with just the two of you. It may be hard to find time but just do your best to try and this should help. Stay encouraged.

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