Question: - My loveable toddler has been transformed into a monster child with the birth of his sister two months ago. Any tips/advice on how I can deal with my jealous and angry little boy. Mum of two.
It is quite common for toddlers on the birth of their sibling to manage and cope quite okay for the first four or five weeks. Then they start to wish the baby would go away and feelings of resentment and jealousy start. Before too long you can have a child that is quite angry and jealous.
How to deal with this jealously first means dealing with the anger, you can never rewind and go back to having your toddler by themselves. They need to get use to seeing you pick up and carry and hold the baby. Talk to them about how it was when they were a baby, show them photos and video of them at the same age and you caring and holding them.
Watch your language, avoid words or phrases that commonly start with “ I can help you when I finish feeding/bath/changing/ putting the baby to sleep...” Their brain will focus on “the baby... mum busy”, instead try “when I finish here, I will get you a drink” type of reply.
It’s also really, really important to acknowledge those feelings of anger, often we don’t like them, don’t want them so we don’t talk about them. Actually we should do the opposite, at times it’s okay to acknowledge and say “sometimes you just wish the baby would go away and it would just be you and mummy again don’t you?” your child will feel a sense of relief, nod and think “mummy understands” and then feel better and those feelings of anger and resentment will dissolve.
Be sure to praise and take notice of all efforts to help, being gentle, talking to the baby and mention “how the baby is watching them and loves it when you talk to her, see her looking at you”, this will help with the bonding. Finding ways that your first child can help with daily care of the baby, passing you nappies, wipes, their own facewasher at bath time to clean little toes will also help your child to bond with the baby. Bonding happens when you care for another. Try also to get outside, in the fresh air, walk to the park and play on swings there with your child while the baby is having a nap in the pram. We all feel better when we get outside.