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3.11 year old won't leave the baby alone

(4 Posts)
ElusiveMoose Tue 13-Sep-11 09:15:34

Don't know if this is a 'problem' as such, but it's driving me mad! I have a nearly 4 year old DS1, and a 13 month old DS2. In a lot of ways I'm very lucky - they largely adore each other, and DS1 would never deliberately hurt the baby (the couple of times he has, by accident, he's been far more upset than DS2). However, he just won't give the baby any space at all - he's always clambering over him, or grabbing him, or hugging him (but not letting go) or waving things in his face or putting toys on top of him. I'm not quite sure what's behind this - I think it's a mixture of genuine affection, jealousy and attention-seeking. Whatever - I find myself saying 'leave him alone' or 'give him some space' about 100 times a day. DS2 put up with it relatively well to start with, only whinging when he was getting really annoyed, but now he's learning how to manipulate me himself; so as soon as DS1 starts prodding or grabbing him, he puts on a drama queen act and cries or shouts straight away to get my attention. It's doing my head in! I find it particularly irritating because DS1 hates people invading his personal space, and is only physically intimate with family and very close friends.

So, tell me - is this common, and is there anything I can do to manage it better?

Wholelottalove Tue 13-Sep-11 10:55:12

No advice as such, but just to say DD (3.5) v similar with her 9 month old brother too. He doesn't seem to mind at the moment, but I feel like I am often saying to her to leave him alone as she hugs him and doesn't let go too, lies on top of him and rolls all over the floor with him. She sometimes 'kisses' him, but presses her lips really hard so there is a mark on his cheek. I am wondering if she isn't feeling safe to express any feelings of anger/hostility towards him, although like your DS1 she does seem to be affectionate towards him most of the time.

I was going to buy the book 'Siblings without rivalry' - haven't done so yet.

Hopefully someone else will be along with some good strategies on how to deal with this!

ElusiveMoose Wed 14-Sep-11 11:29:05

Glad to hear that mine's not the only one. I think your point about feeling safe to express hostility is a really good one. I've never tried to push the whole 'you must love your brother' thing, but equally I'm sure DS1 thinks that I want him to express that sentiment; but I'd never really thought about it like that.

Any more advice from anyone?

MrsBloomingTroll Thu 15-Sep-11 19:16:35

No advice here, but just wanted to add myself to the thread as a "me too".

DD is 3.1 and DS is 4 weeks. DD is forever trying to cuddle/kiss him, leans on him hard, squeezes his head and face...and I'm like a broken record telling her to leave him alone. She responds by getting stroppy.

The other morning at around 6am I had just got DS to sleep after a 2-hour cluster feed and she came in to his room, climbed up next to his Moses basket and woke him up, even after I told her to leave him alone and tried to physically restrain her from going near him. I was sooooooo angry with her!

One of these days I am going to smack her, I know it! sad

Before he was born I tried reading the story book "The Perfect Baby" to her, in which a girl tries to return her baby brother to the hospital in exchange for various baby animals, only to realise her brother was okay after all. I also followed lots of advice on dealing with the toddler sensitively. DD seems to adore him, but TOO much. Am at my wits' end.

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