Rivka is going to be two in a couple of weeks(!) and sudenly she's gotten downright mean to her baby sister (Abigail, 7 months). Previously, she's been very sweet to her and eager to share. Any time the baby cried she would run to give her a toy or pat her and say "shh, baby" or pick up whatever she dropped, etc. Any time she had a treat we'd have to stop her from giving some to Abigail. There were lots of kisses and cuddles and cuteness all around.
Except, now she seems like she's being purposefully nasty to Abigail. She snatches toys away from her and doesn't even play with them. She just takes them, throws them out of the baby's reach, and watches her cry. She'll start to hand something to her, then snatch it back when Abigail reaches for it. She has walked up to her and hit her out of nowhere a few times. She's also started to freak out if my husband is paying any attention to Abigail. She tries to wedge herself between them and throws tantrums if he plays with her. She tried to pull Abigail out of my husband's arms.
So, I guess something has changed in her mentality towards the baby? Is she just now suddenly capable of experiencing jealousy? Is she experimenting to see what makes the baby cry or something? Is she just being a terror because she's about to be two and that's just what happens?
And, more importantly, what do I do about this? I've been reinforcing "nice" and "gentle touch" and reminding her to share. I've explained to her that whatever it is she's done is not nice and has made the baby cry. I've put her in time out a few times for particularly unacceptable incidents, but she's not really grasping time outs yet. I've made sure to give her extra attention during Abigail's nap and my husband has done his best to give her extra one-on-one as well. If there anything else to be done?
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