Today, I answer the second of two questions asked a few weeks ago by listener Suzanna; I answered Suzanna’s first question in a special bonus episode last Thursday about road-and-parking-lot safety with small children, which you can hear by clicking here.
Suzanna’s second question seems somewhat thornier, and will be familiar to anyone with more than one child (or who was more than one child growing up). She writes that she is concerned about “how to deal with the acting out the comes with the new baby in the family: hitting, potty training regression etc. So much is on how to physically intervene with hitting, but with an infant in arms this is often impossible.”
Click this link or go to weturnedoutokay.com/085 to read my response to Suzanna, and also for key links from today’s episode!
To answer Suzanna’s question, I drew off a few sources: the first is something that worked for my Mom, advice given her by our pediatrician when my younger brother stood at our youngest brother’s crib saying “I hate you… I wish you would go back where you came from.” Our pediatrician understood that my middle brother was hoping to be viewed as at least as important as the baby, and advised our Mom to, sometimes and not for a terribly long time, leave the baby in a safe place and focus on our middle brother. Finish out their game, or conversation, and know that the baby would be fine while she was hanging with our middle brother.
Secondly, I tapped into the mindset of the book Siblings Without Rivalry, my bible for raising young children and one that I hope you will run, not walk, to your nearest library or Internet book-buying spot and grab.
Adele Faber and Eileen Mazlish, the authors of this wonderful book, have a real knack for getting to the heart of what’s causing the sibling rivalry; they often focus on understanding where each child is coming from, or in this case where the jealousy around the new baby is coming from.
– With potty training regression, that might be coming from a desire to gain your attention by acting like a baby (I share here that I totally regressed when my younger brother came along… TMI? I hope not 🙂
– With the hitting, small kids can feel jealousy and just not know what to do with it; it’s important that we parents make sure our kids know that we love them for who they, themselves, are. There’s plenty of room for all our children in our hearts, and kids can understand that, so long as they know that they have an immovable place therein.
I recommend a wonderful book, On Mother’s Lap, about a little boy who is feeling somewhat jealous of his baby sister, and how their mom resolves this situation.
Not gonna lie: I got all emotional in today’s’s episode remembering this book. It’s wonderful, and there’s a link to it below if you cannot find it at your library.
Suzanna and all you other awesome moms and dads, I hope these responses help you in your parenting!
If you haven’t had a chance, check out Tuesday’s conversation with Elizabeth Miller, caregiver extraordinaire and the woman who helps us understand how and why to take care of ourselves first, by going to weturnedoutokay.com/084 or clicking here.
Find Siblings Without Rivalry in Amazon here.
Listen to the podcast episode I did on that great book, called When Siblings Attack, by going to weturnedoutokay.com/007 or clicking here.
Find On Mother’s Lap in Amazon here.
If you’re looking for a boost of support that’s a level beyond what I can offer with We Turned Out Okay, check out the Ninja Parenting Community!