What do you do when the older one is emotionally younger than the younger one?

(27 Posts)
Bananaketchup Fri 13-Dec-13 15:17:38

DD is 5, and has been doing gradual taster sessions at school, starting off with me with her, then me in the corridor outside, now she spends a couple of hours there by herself a couple of times a week. School have been lovely, and the other children are lovely to her. But as she is trying to hold it together at school, her behaviour at home has got a lot harder.

DD is stuck at toddler age emotionally a lot of the time anyway (but with the inventive brain of a bright 5 year old, great!), but with the stress from this she is tantrumming long and often, screaming, crying, whining, throwing things, slamming doors etc. I know why it's happening, but I can't see how to deal with it and also keep DSs needs in mind.

He is just turned 2, and for instance yesterday while DD was having a long screaming and throwing things session cos I asked her to put her bike away, he put away all the rest of the toys without being asked and without comment, then kept to himself while DD whined and screamed. I don't want him to lose out on my attention because of DDs behaviour. I also don't want him to see behaving this way as the way to get attention, or to learn that he has to give in when people demand what he's got. And while I'm conscious of this happening, I am getting resentful of the effect of DDs behaviour on DS, because he always has to wait, he always gets second choice, he always gives in when she tantrums for something he's got, and it makes it hard for me to deal with DD compassionately when I start getting resentful that it's not fair to DS.

Is any of this making sense to anyone, and anyone got any strategies I can try? Because shouting 'He's the 2 year old, you're the 5 year old!!' (which I admit I have a few times) is not helping any of us, but I haven't got a lot else. SW is utterly clueless and is on leave now til 2nd week of January anyway, so no joy there. Suggestions please!

Bananaketchup Wed 08-Jan-14 20:22:06

Update - had the LAC review, I was honest about how hard DDs behaviour can be to deal with, and said I don't feel I can make a clean decision about whether we should delay the lifestory work or not because I'm not sure if I'm trying to meet my or DDs needs first in that. We have agreed the therapist contracted to do the lifestory work will make an assessment initially and then give her opinion on whether to start it now or delay. I really like the reviewing officer, she seems sensible and quite clued up. Useless SW rang and said she was lost and would be late (despite having been here several times before) and the reviewing officer rolled her eyes and tutted 'useless!' which I enjoyed!

I also rang the other local adopter over xmas and we chatted for over an hour and plan to meet soon once the school routine is established, so that's positive. Only 2 days into term but DD has stayed all day both days, which she's never done before and which I didn't expect her to manage, and got ready in the morning with a lot less tantrumming and controlling behaviour than we had before xmas so that's really positive.

Good news Bananaketchup. All the best.

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