ASK LISA – 5 MINUTE DATES

Why is my toddler super aggressive now that I bought their sibling home?

Why is my toddler super aggressive now that I bought their sibling home?

I had 14-month-old twins when their brother was born, so I really went after making sure they felt secure. It is a big deal for a child to have their birth order changed. Think about it – they are the only one who gets Mom’s attention; she leaves for a few days and comes back with a new baby who she is with all the time. One thing that was super helpful was ‘5-minute dates’ with the twins when I knew Hudson would need me for feedings and such. I would bring them to the floor with me, and we would spend quality time together. If Hudson started to cry, I would say out loud, “Oh no, not now, Hudson. Lauren and Emma are very special to me, and I am spending time with them now. You will have to wait.” Of course, you don’t make a newborn wait long, but they had no concept of time. I was communicating to them that the baby had not replaced them, and they are still so valued and important to me. But then I would tell them it was Hudson’s turn and that they needed to play by my feet, watch a movie, read a book, etc. If they wanted juice or help when I was feeding Hudson, I reminded them it was his turn, and they had to wait. I intentionally filled them up like this for many days after we brought him home, and the transition was smooth for all. Look for ways to verbally secure their rightful place in the family. Call out what they are naturally good at and empower them. Ex. You are thankful for the way your husband provides for the family, and your young daughter is a great planner. Ask her, “Sweetie, I want to celebrate Dad tonight at dinner for providing so well for us. Can you think of a way we can celebrate him?” While she may not get her attention the way a newborn does, she is learning she has a vital role in the family too. It is common for siblings to hold a grudge against younger siblings. Their minds don’t understand it, but they are triggered by their existence. If you see ongoing issues for no apparent reason between older siblings being unkind to younger ones, ask Holy Spirit if it has to do with their birth order.

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