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How do I encourage my boys to get on better?

(14 Posts)
love2sleep Wed 06-Aug-08 15:54:20

I need a plan.

I have two boys age 1 and 3 and I feel like I'm not doing a very good job in helping them to develop a good relationship with each other. DS1 views DS2 as a complete nuisance and wants him to be sent to bed all the time. DS2 sees DS1 as a moving teething ring.

Like I say I need a plan. When they were babies I had a plan in my head of the sort of monther I wanted to be. It didn't always work but at least I felt I had a starting point. Now I feel like I'm making things up as a go along and not doing a very good job of it.

I know it is very early days but I want to start on the right foot IYKWIM.

Are there any good books on sibling relationships?

Do any of you with older boys have any words of wisdom?

thank you smile

WilfSell Wed 06-Aug-08 15:56:51

No wisdom at all. i have boys aged 1, 3 and 9 and they fight all the time.

Separate rooms is the only thing working for us ATM.

Sorry not to be more help...

filthymindedvixen Wed 06-Aug-08 16:00:41

Do something to make yourself unpopular with them. Then they will bond over how mean you are....wink

meemar Wed 06-Aug-08 16:10:33

Your boys are still young but it's a good time to get into good habits.

My boys are 5 and nearly 3 and they fight and love each other in equal measure smile.

We have always made the point of encouraging kindness from when DS2 was a baby. Getting them to hug, talk nicely to each other, getting DS1 to appreciate the 'cute' things his little brother does and encourage his achievements.

Also, encourage taking turns in games, getting the older one to read to the little one.

They bicker like mad of course, and they are fiercely competetive about who is the first one upstairs, or who's turn it is to open the front door when we go out hmm.
But at least once a week now I hear DS1 say 'I love you DS2' and DS2 says 'I love you too!' It makes me melt grin

love2sleep Wed 06-Aug-08 16:13:00

Thanks smile

How do you avoid making ds2 the "bad guy"? I keep saying things like "we can do that when ds2 is asleep" and "we can't do that because ds2 is here". This seems bad.

meemar Wed 06-Aug-08 16:22:59

I used to say it all the time! I don't think it does any harm. Your older boy will realise that somethings are easier without a pesky baby in the way grin.

Help him understand that when DS2 is awake he must be included, and you do things that everyone can join in with. Then DS1 will value his one-on-one time with you even more.

love2sleep Wed 06-Aug-08 19:25:20

"somethings are easier without a pesky baby in the way"

The problem is that ALL things are easier. DS2 just destroys whatever DS1 is playing with and there is very little that we can all join in at the moment.

Hopefully this phase will pass...

meemar Thu 07-Aug-08 09:21:42

It's so hard isn't it? I used to try and distract DS2 with some cbeebies so that DS1 could play, but as soon as the telly was on DS1 would just want to watch it too!

It definitely will get easier. Mine can sometimes go for stretches of at least, ooh, 20 minutes of playing nicely with no intervention now!

Does your DS1 go to pre-school yet? When mine was 3 he started 2 mornings a week and I found that having that time to himself helped him tolerate DS2 a bit better (also saved my sanity).

It is a phase, it's just their ages, and it will get better smile.

TheGoddessBlossom Thu 07-Aug-08 12:39:44

Jesus I am struggling with this too. Mine are 2 tomorrow and 4 next month and I am just about at the end of my FARKING tether today. I work 3 days a week and really try to make my time with them special, but I can garuantee they have a better time at nursery. sad This morning I cancelled our morning date as we are out later, and I have stuff to do and didn't want to drag them about. So I really didn't want them to watch 4 hours or DVDs and CBeebies - so we have made ginger bread men for DS2s party tomorrow, iced them, had the play doh out, played puzzles and lorries I have been with them playing, but it is refereeing. They have spent the whole time fighting, screaming, crying, in and out of the downstairs loo (our naughty spot) and to be quite honest I want to go back to work, and feel like crying. I don't out oo much pressure on myself to have loads of "fun" with thm, but they can't stop fighting for 2 seconds and it drives me mad! Even the neighbour commented on the screaming from our house the other day blush I didn't like to ask if it was me or them he heard.... blush Should have bloody gone out.

desperatelyseekingsleep Thu 07-Aug-08 14:36:41

Love2sleep, I could have written the exact same message. My 2 boys are 3 and 1 and DS1 LOATHES his little brother at the moment. He won't let him play with anything and gets really upset when ds2 inevitably destroys whatever he's playing with. I had such visions of my 2 boys playing happily in the garden together by this age,but nothing could be further from the truth at the moment. Don't have any advice, but just wanted to sympathise! Will be watching this thread with interest!

love2sleep Thu 07-Aug-08 20:11:05

Sounds like I'm not alone!

TeeBee Thu 07-Aug-08 22:28:40

'Siblings without rivalry' is a good book. I find getting them to play a game all together, but them on the same team works well.

I also let them gang up against me and DH (which happens often), I don't mind if they are sticking together or sticking up for each other.

desperatelyseekingsleep Sat 09-Aug-08 09:43:17

Teebee what age did they start doing this at? Is 3 and 1 too young? DS1 has no concept of playing a game with DS2 - he would just immediately tell ds2 to go away.

TeeBee Sat 09-Aug-08 19:20:45

Quite early really - but it does take some brain power to try and think of things they can do together. Mine are about the same age gap - 2.5 years between mine.

At that age, you could maybe hide things around the room for DS1 to find, then see whether DS2 could guess the colour. If he can't you could ask DS2 if he could give him a clue or help him out. More to do with learning cooperation and team work than really playing a full game together. Their input into games will obviously be at different levels. Or get DS1 to hold up pictures for DS2 to say what they are, again he could help him out.

Mine go through phases of fighting like cat and dog to being the best friends on the planet(within the space of 10 minutes). Meemar they sound exactly like yours. I guess they have to find their own way. I do try to help them by encouraging them to work together, ie I bet if DS2 gets the knives and forks, you could teach him where they go on the table, that sort of thing.
I wouldn't worry about making it up as you go along - that's what we all do isn't it?

I think as they get older there are more games they can play together, so I wouldn't worry about it just yet.

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