14 nov 2013

MOM’S THOUGHTS - And then came the jealousy

We tried to do everything we could to facilitate the change in a big sister for Zoeti and the first couple of months it worked. We read books about being a big sister, created a photo album with pictures of Zoeti when she was newborn, let her touch and hold the baby since the very beginning...
But then came the jealousy.
Nothing unexpected... And nothing unmanageable. She started pointing out what she, mammy and daddy have in common (I have teeth, mammy has teeth, daddy has teeth. Alma no) or what she can eat (no Alma cookies). There were tantrums (we're also in the 'terrible twos' ) and small regressions (I can't wear my shoes by myself).
As I have said nothing unmanageable. But her eyes... She is suffering and I can see that. I'm looking for answers, asking to everybody in my situation what to do. I made a big mistake thinking that her beloved daddy could take my place. Yes, she loves daddy and she's always looking for him, but I'm her mommy and she needs me.  Yesterday I asked my mom to go for a walk with Alma and I did the same alone with Zoeti. It was incredible! We laughed and watched some rabbits in an animal shop. I started singing a song and discovered that she already knows that.
She's an amazing, sensible little girl and I really need to spend more time alone with her, not only for her but for me too!
I'm reading this book about the relationship between brothers and sisters and I've found some good advices. Nothing clamorous but for an only child like me, everything can be useful!
:: verbalize what your child is trying to tell you. Sometimes a two years old can't say what's the matter. Help him to give a name to situations or feelings can help him.
:: respect his feelings, without trivialize or minimize them.
:: let him cry! It's a way to vent his feelings.
:: show him empathy saying " I know that you are sad/angry/ disappointed"
:: try to explain him with simple worlds why he can't or must do a certain thing.
:: find a compromise. Do not say just 'no'... Try to find another moment or another activity.
:: stay calm. Screaming and get angry make things worst.
:: use the 'positive reinforcement', instead of pointing out when he does something wrong, praise him when he does something good.
As I said, easy but useful tips that I'm trying to follow.
And something else I just discovered: the more time and attention you give to your child, the more her/his behavior gets better. I know that it's obvious but when you try it and see that it works, you feel so better!

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