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violent jealousy in older child

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  • violent jealousy in older child

    Could write a book but need to keep this brief. DS is 3.5 year old. DD is 3 months old. DS is jealous to the point of attacking DD, slapping her in the face when she is sitting or lying on her own, squeezing her hands and legs when I am wearing her in a wrap. He does it when I am watching so I know it is all really directed at me since I can no longer be there for him like I used to. DH is never home (works day and night) so I am on my own with the two of them 24/7 (we all bed share, too). Just want to get some perspective on this. I feel like my 3.5 years of AP has gone down the drain and that I have reversed everything by having her. I don't feel connected to him anymore even though he still nurses (I hate it when he nurses now - so sad since it used to be the best part of our relationship and in theory I had been looking forward to tandem nursing!). I try to talk to him but he either ignores me or starts talking about something totally different or lies about how he feels saying he loves DD and he's not jealous. The whole situation is breaking my heart. We used to have the BEST relationship. Has anyone ever gone through this and survived? Any tips/tales of survival??? Thanks you.
    Last edited by mummybear; 08-17-2012, 04:46 PM. Reason: typos

  • #2
    I felt like I had to respond to your post because it mirrors my current situation exactly, even the ages are the same! I have felt so helpless since my baby has been born because I too feel like I have lost the attached relationship I worked so hard to have with ds1. he is aggressive towards the baby, but also to me; pushing, hitting, screaming at me etc. I try so hard to have empathy and patience, but somedays I just don't, and find myself responding in an aggressive way. I often say to myself "this is not the son I raised", but I don't know how to get him back. I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for you, but I just wanted to empathize and let you know that someone else out there was feeling just like you. I hope someone else has some words of advice for us!


    • #3
      My children are three years apart, too. They're now 6 and 9. My oldest didn't exhibit these behaviors, but I think that a huge part of our lives at that age was staying busy. We were in a regular routine every day that involved leaving the house the same time every day, going to a playgroup, park, meet w/friends, etc. We were just so busy having fun, which really helped the transition from 1 child to 2. This may not be a solution for either of you, but I have found that structure has saved us from many difficulties. Sometimes kids act out because they have no idea what's coming next. Their lack of knowledge of time and lack of a sense of control can really stress them out.


      • #4
        We've been there and survived! I won't go too in depth, but the key for us was acknowledging just how much he hated the baby intruding. My son was only 2 when little brother came along, but he exhibited all those same behaviors. He needed more prompting in terms of having the ability to express his feelings, so I would say things like I bet he really missed when it was just me, him, and Daddy and sometimes he probably wanted the baby to just go away. After months of screaming, anger, and random violence toward the baby, we finally saw a dramatic change when he knew we really "got" how he felt. Not just that he was jealous of all the time and attention a baby gets, but that he felt like throwing the baby in the trash! Just remember the mantra that all feelings are accepted, but certain actions are limited. It's ok to feel like you wish the baby were dead, but not ok to actually hurt him.

        When he knew that we truly understood and empathized with how he felt, he no longer had to violently act out his feelings. He spent 2 or 3 days repeating often "I wish baby Aidan go away" and then it was like a light switch flipped in terms of his behaviors. It absolutely broke my heart to hear it, but he needed to know that we truly understood his distress. He would still occasionally bring up how he wished his brother would go live with Grandma, or that we could get rid of him, etc. but things were SO much better. After months of thinking I would go insane it was such a relief!

        That was by far the most stressful and exhausting period of parenting I've ever gone through, so make sure you take care of yourself during this time! Best of luck!