The jealous toddler
Jealousy in siblings can flare up very quickly – particularly in a toddler who hasn’t yet learnt to articulate his feelings. Playing roughly, giving a few subtle pinches and pokes, and blaming the new sibling are all subtle ways your jealous toddler may be telling you that he’s not happy with the new addition to the household.
- Praise him when he displays loving behaviour towards his sibling
- Show him how to be gentle with the baby – you may need to take his hand and physically guide him
- Aggressive feelings are common in toddlers, so be prepared for some anger to be directed at you (for bringing the baby home) or the baby (for disrupting his idyllic life). While a little anger is absolutely normal, you must make sure he understands that trying to hurt you or the baby isn’t acceptable.
- Regression is also common. If your toddler wants to revisit his babyhood, thinking that this will get him more of your attention, try giving him extra praise when he behaves like a ‘big boy’.
- Show him that there are advantages to being the big brother – that there are plenty of things he can do, toys he can play with and ways that he can spend time with you, that the baby can’t.
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