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'Only child' issue or just my DD?

(6 Posts)
greenpisces Wed 12-Oct-11 19:01:44

Hello everyone. I've been following this thread for a long time but never posted before. It's been a big support as my DD, now nearly 5, has been growing up. I'm happy to have one child and stop there but have felt under a lot of pressure from family and friends to have a second. My parent in-laws have, I've felt, scrutinised my DD's behaviour since she was 2, and have said that any issues which I now see with hindsight were normal developmental things, like difficulties sharing, are due to her being an only. I've since grown in confidence and know that this is just as common in kids with siblings so I can fend most of this stuff off now.

Anyway, DD is nearly 5 and she's great! But I'm having another 'only child' moment which I'd appreciate any advice about. Whenever she sees me comfort one of her friends if they hurt themselves, she gets really upset, tearful and angry. She says that it means that I don't love her and that it's not fair to her. I'm guessing that this is how children usually behave with a sibling, but they have to adapt to it over time. She spends a lot of time with friends, so I'm trying to give her lots of experience of dealing with this kind of stuff, but it doesn't seem to be making it any easier for her.

I tried sympathising with her and reasoning, which didn't work, then moved to getting cross, which didn't work either. So I'm back to trying to explain that I love her, and that she's my child, but that I can also be kind to other kids. I do find this difficult when we're around other parents and my in-laws, who I imagine see this as another 'only child' problem. Any advice appreciated, thanks a lot.

grumplestilskin Wed 12-Oct-11 19:07:29

I would think that she doesn't really think you don't love her if you comfort another child, what she really thinks is if she SAYS she thinks you don't love her then you give her loads and loads of attention, positive then negative then tell her you love her lots. Brushing it off might work better

CMOTdibbler Wed 12-Oct-11 21:27:13

I think a lot of children go through this sort of thing, siblings or not. But I'd ignore the behaviour/brush it off in a 'don't be silly dd' way, but make sure at other times you make sure you express that you love her lots.

SazZaVoom Wed 12-Oct-11 21:32:54

My DD1 4.11 wouldn't like it too much if i was comforting/cuddling another child and may well try and elbow in (although probably wouldn't cry/tell me i don't love her). She has a 3.1 yr old sister so is used to her not having full attention, but can still be quite possessive if someone else has my attention.

Has she just started school? DD1 is SO much more tactile/cuddly/needy of my attention since she started.

I think just reiterating that it is kind to be loving/caring of others and that you still love her will get there in the end.

greenpisces Thu 13-Oct-11 15:19:44

Thank a lot for your replies - much appreciated. Yes, she has just started school and seems to be getting on great, but then has these moments, so that could well have something to do with it. I'll try ignoring and trying not to take it too seriously and see where that gets me. smile

BridgetBust Thu 20-Oct-11 08:35:53

You sound like a lovely mum. I'd be getting DH to have some strong words with his parents about their remarks.

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