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3yo and 5yo in near constant competition over me - I am a rather grumpy and shouty 'prize'

(14 Posts)
Bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 15-Aug-09 22:16:28

So what do I do?

Ds is (only just) 5 and dd1 nearly 3 1/2, there is also dd2 who is 10 months. I have spent what feels like far too much of the hols trying to placate dd1 and ds as they compete to sit next to me, hold my hand, be on my knee whatever it is they can find to compete over they will it is incredibly wearing - I am usually the only person they fight over but they also always want the same as the other has and preferably first.

Ds is incredibly competitive about most things it is like everything is a race and he has to win (much like his father in that respect). DD is less competitive in that sense but she does not share very well with her brother and is very possesive of me and anything she takes a fancy too(generally anything pink so of course ds wants all the pink things too!).

I have run out of ideas to cope with this so can anyone suggest ssome simple strategies to prevent my little darlings from tearing me in half one day (they can be inhumanly strong when in conflict!).

They are generally so lovely that it is awful when they get locked into this stupid battle for my attention especially as when they have it they seem to lose interest in me very quickly - the fights the thing!

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sat 15-Aug-09 22:21:44

I do try and give them individual attention it is quite hard with dd2 as she is also demanding more interaction now. Also crawling etc. so I am constantly fielding a curious baby from potential deathtraps (teeny tiny lego etc) Oddly ds is only ever affectoinate and caring towards the baby and dd1 is also generally lovely to dd2. It seems the competition is strictly for the older two - although I suppose that dynamic will change when baby becomes toddler (not long now) arrggghhh

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 10:29:01

Can anyone help me with this? I just hate being a mean mummy shouting doesn't work so I try not to but when they are shoving each other out of the way it gets difficult to use reason.

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 12:59:39

Oh dear, I was hoping someone might have words of wisdom to impart.

I'll get my coat then.

bigchris Sun 16-Aug-09 13:05:14

doez the younger one have a nap? so you can spend time with the older one?
i think at 5 the older one should understand the younger one needs more attention
i would go out as much as possible, i find they are less annoying if they are out and about

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 13:12:46

Thank you for replyingsmile

dd is no longer napping I tend to allocate tome to them on separate activities but also try to play simple games together to encourage teamwork. Which has some success as ds is very good with dd as long as he is winning!

However it is when we are out that the problems occur as they fight over holding my hand and picking food at shops etc etc. I am constantly negotiating and going to tesco's for a loaf becomes more like a UN peace mission!

bigchris Sun 16-Aug-09 13:17:31

have you got local friends - maybe a friend would help split them up and give them someone else to focus on, esp an older child. my dcs take no notice of me when there older cousins are round grin

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 13:27:53

We were staying at my sisters last weekend where ds has 6 male cousins to play with but when I went to see my mum leaving ds with them (they live 5 Minsk apart) ds was brought over shortly after I arrived by my sister as he had become very tearful and wanted to be with me (and of course once he was he wanted to go back to his cousins house!). The poor lad doesn't know what he wants. Dd is more consistent she usually wants me.

Neither have problems with going to school or pre-school and they leave me very happily so that is why I feel it is competition rather than searation anxiety.

Bigmouthstrikesagain Sun 16-Aug-09 13:29:32

Minsk?? I meant mins

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 20-Aug-09 16:00:50

Ds and dd1 fighting over holding my hand today again, despite presence of nanny and g'dad, it got a bit dangerous as we were trying to cross a road!

Really tired of this now any further suggestions gratefully received.

MrsFreedy Thu 20-Aug-09 16:35:53

Had this problem with my twins with the hand holding, I've give them designated hands to hold DD holds the left and DS holds the right(DS sucks his right thumb) and they are not allowed to change.

Re food shopping I would put DD in the seat and let DS help you get the food then tell him he has to give it to DD so that she can throw it in the cart, with a reward of a small treat if they work together. Its worth the odd egg being broken!

I have to admit that at 4.5 years they don't get any better DH can be in the room and they still want me so I am trying to teach them another word 'Daddy'

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 20-Aug-09 16:48:14

Good tips mrs freedy but I have a buggy to push as well so the children are fighting over one fre hand and it is worse when shopping as have one hand on buggy, one holding basket and so the kids are fighting over a scarce resource!

I have considered having extra arms grafted on!grin

still do incentives work withbyour twins? Like see who can get to next lampost first? To distract from competing over attn and move on to something else?

MrsFreedy Thu 20-Aug-09 18:48:37

Personally I would have the extra arms grafted on wink.

Be careful with the incentives as more often than not the loser will start crying and then you are back to square one!

We play the stop go game which works well I let the kids run off (not that far) and then shout stop and they have to stop and then shout go again and they run on until I shout stop, but you can do it with jumping, hoping etc, that often works.

I would still designate them a side of the buggy that they have to stick to and that they have to hold that side of the buggy regardless and that is their side, i would also do it for your lap one sits one side the other the other. They soon work it out my two get very protective over their sides.

Spoo Thu 20-Aug-09 18:55:41

I haven't got twins so bow down to MrsFs wise words. I do have two very competitive boys close in age.

One thing I would recommend is to get them working together better. E.g. I bet you two can't get your shoes on by the count of ten. you may then find your DS helping DD1 to acheive the objective. My DSs are very competitive as well and I have banned the use of 'I've won!' in the house. We've won is better.

Do you get a chance to read them an individual bedtime story and have a mummy cuddle? If not perhaps this is something you can do to make them feel special before sleeping.

If you liek books Siblings without rivalry is quite a good one though it is quite difficult to digest it has various helpful little hints.

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