7 Year Old Not Adjusting to Baby 6 Months Later...

Updated on June 11, 2015
O.K. asks from Franklin Grove, IL
26 answers

As my title states...my 7 year old is not adjusting well. At all. First and foremost I would like to say that he is highly intelligent, kind, generous, and loving. Yet he is also highly sensitive, stubborn, and very demanding of mine and the big man's attention. We did everything we could during the pregnancy to prepare/excite him. After our youngest was born (it's just the 2 of them) he immediately showed dislike for him. Nothing physical of course. Just ignoring him and saying mean things about him from time to time. We've tried all we can to get him closer to his brother...to no avail. Asked him to help with little things such as fetching the lil one something to wear, pick out toys they can play with together, read to him, cuddle, doing many things together as a family,and the list goes on and on. Now with 6 months having gone by we hoped to see some improvement. I'm at my wits end. I do understand that he had us to himself for seven years so it may take a bit longer than normal. Shamefully I will admit that I told him that I was going to treat him the way he treats his little brother (which of course I never will!). He started crying and begging me not to. I than said, see if you don't want me treating you the way you treat him, than why do you treat him that way. He didn't know. And he did try to treat his lil fella better...for about 1 hour. Than it was back to ignoring. I've tried explaining to him that instead of me and him playing together or just him and his dad that we ALL need to spend time together (we do time alone with just our eldest also). I feel like this is a rambling mess now and I apologize for that. I'm starting to feel like an utter failure. I don't know what to do. On one hand I feel so bad for the littlest because he absolutely adores the oldest. On the other I feel guilt that I'm not doing all I can for our eldest. Should I wait it out. Or is it time to perhaps seek outside professional help?

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So What Happened?

Wow!! I really appreciate everyone's input. I will say that maybe I came across as a smothering parent. I'm really not. People often comment on how laid back I am. I don't expect them to be best friends now. Or even 20 years down the road if that's the way it's to be. I just don't want him to pretend baby doesn't exist. I've had first hand experience in this. Yet I was the younger, by 8 years. My sister to this day still apologizes to me for the way she treated me. I don't want my eldest to have these feeling. But they're boys so yeah, they won't be as emotional as us ladies, haha.

I will take the below advice and back off a bit. Just try more individualized time with me and the oldest. My expectations may be a bit high for the lil guy.

And as for the adoring of the older by the younger. I disagree. By this age a 6 month old recognizes his people. And I can't help but notice that he lights up quite a bit more when the oldest is in the room. Maybe adore was to strong of a word.

Thank you again to everyone. Your advice is most appreciated. Have a beautiful day!

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Stop trying to make "him" focus on the baby too. To me it's sort of like rubbing his face in it that the baby gets special attention. Like showing him that the baby is more important. I know that's not what you're meaning to do but that might be what he's feeling.

Don't ask him to help with the baby, don't ask him to play with the baby, don't try to get him to stop what he's doing to give up his time for the baby. He needs to come to his own terms with that. You just get dad to spend time with the baby and you and the older guy go do stuff then let dad do stuff with him too.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

From personal experience, this is way too big of an age gap for the 7 year to be interested in or have the patience to learn about baby things.

I recommend you organize as many playdates as possible for him, both in and out of the home and if at the park, great, you tag along with the stroller.

I do think you were onto something about telling him you're going to treat him as he treats the baby....that clearly hit home. He's totally old enough to rationalize and I would have used a less direct approach, as in 'How would you feel if I treated you the same way?" And you can still or continue to ask that question when you witness inappropriate or rude behavior towards the baby. He'll start to hopefully see his behavior for what it is and stop being disgruntled.

Honestly, babies aren't interactive enough for a busy 7 yo boy. Keep him busy with age appropriate friends and activities.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

I'm not sure exactly what you are expecting him to do with the baby? I don't think you should make such a big deal about it. Spend one on one time with him, have your meals all together, do family activities but don't expect him to cater to the baby. He just doesn't have any interest. It will get easier for him when the baby gets bigger and they actually can talk and maybe do SOME things together but frankly, 7 years is a big age difference. As long as he isn't saying mean things to him or physically abusive, I would just let it be. JMO. Good luck.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I think you've already done too much. Let it go and let him be 7. He doesn't need to pay attention to his little brother. He just needs to be a good 7 year old.

I've never understood why people suggest you involve older siblings by having them fetch diapers or throw them away or bring you the baby's bottle. That just turns baby into even more of a burden.

I always feel bad for older siblings when baby is first born and every relative and friend who visits asks them about the baby and how they like having a baby or being a big brother/sister. Enough already! We get it. Life before baby is over! Don't rub it in their face!

Let him just be him. He doesn't need to just be a big brother. He can have his own interests and be his own person without his little brother. Forcing a relationship the way you've been trying to is just telling your oldest that he doesn't matter ... except as a big brother.

As his brother gets older he will have periods of time when he adores his little brother. But that needs to happen naturally. It's not something you can force.

Just let him be, and he will be interested sooner than you think.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

sweetie, i understand your concern and hope you take this the right way. i think you may just be over-interfering with your little fellow's feelings. it sounds as if you went over the deep end 'preparing' him (not surprising, many of us do that) and now you're hyper-focused on his aversion.
it's hard, i know. but try to just let him be. acknowledge his feelings, but stop trying to make him feel one way or the other. it wouldn't work for you. it won't work for him.
let him ignore the baby. don't force him to interact. i myself would probably frown and say something like 'i don't want to hear that. if you're going to say nasty things, do it out of my earshot' when he says mean things.
and he's only saying the mean things to get a reaction from you. so ignoring them is probably even better.
i seriously doubt he needs professional help. he just needs some space to feel how he's feeling without judgment. if you can just back off managing his emotions for a while, i'm betting that he'll start to come to you, hesitantly at first, maybe, to share with you. and when he does, resist the impulse to fix ANYTHING.
'the baby's too noisy? i hear ya. babies can't communicate any other way, but sometimes that caterwauling is enough to make you nuts, isn't it?'
'babies can seem stupid. they just haven't been around as long as big boys and need time to grow up and figure it all out, like you.'
'hoo, brother! babies do stink! i think this one stinks even worse than you did, and that's sayin' something!'
'if you hate him right now, honey, go do something else. you sound fed up. tell you what, once i get him bathed, we'll get the stroller out and you can get your bike and we'll go see what's happening in the neighborhood.'
if you can find a happy medium between ignoring his feelings and seizing on them, you'll help him navigate his way through his very normal 7 year old reactions.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

WTH, he's a seven year old kid, he should be running around, playing with friends, going to school, etc. it's YOUR job to take care of the baby, your son has no interest in that (BECAUSE HE IS A CHILD) so maybe you need some parenting classes or something?

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I agree with the moms below.

By talking to him during your pregnancy, trying to help him to adjust to the new change, I think you just focused too much on the baby. I didn't talk about the baby coming when I was pregnant with mine - I focused on my free time with the kids I already had. I get that you wanted to prepare him where he'd been the only one for so long, but I think you over did it.

Again, I think you've overdone it with all this liking the baby, being nice to baby, helping me out with baby ....

My older kids had zero interest in my babies. The babies in our house were placed in their bouncy chairs near the older kids, they were not the center of attention. My kids were.

My kids would pass me a diaper if I was struggling with a squirmy baby and they were right there but help me with the baby? Nope. Even now, I have to pay them to babysit as a job.

So drop all this be nice to baby stuff. You let him go off and be the 7 year old boy he wants to be. You let someone else care for your baby once in a while and do the one on one as you say you do. Do it more. But mostly just stop any talk of the baby for now. Just drop it all together. See if in 2 weeks he's not better. I'm sure he will be.

Good luck :)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree with Sherry and Osohapi. There just isn't anything interesting about a baby to anyone except the parents and grandparents! Your 7 year old can't go anywhere without a fussy baby who needs a nap and a suitcase full of gear, he has to be quiet when the baby is sleeping, and helping with a diaper gets old after the first 3 times. He can't get "closer" to someone who doesn't do anything! I adored my own baby but I certainly didn't expect his 2 older stepsisters to care that much about him. In another 6 months your baby will be walking, and your 7 year old will be expected to keep his toys out of the baby's mouth, the basement door closed, and the scissors out of reach. This is not fun, and there's no point in expecting it to be. You can ask your older one to read and cuddle, sure, but what does he get in return? Nothing. The baby doesn't really "adore" the older child - he's entertained maybe if your older one makes faces or jiggles a toy, but he's an infant and he doesn't have the emotions of an older child yet. So it's important not to ascribe significance to smiles that are nothing more than superficial entertainment. I don't doubt that someday your baby WILL adore the older brother, but he's not there yet.

So I'd say to get a sitter every 2 weeks for some big-kid time, and trade that off for a tiny bit of help and the start of some role-modeling. I'd give your older one a choice - he can entertain the baby while you get dinner and then you'll have more time to do X or Y with him, or he can take out the trash or so something else helpful. But the 7 year old didn't ask for this baby, and while he doesn't get a vote on it, he shouldn't see the baby as the cause of his new chores. I do think it's fine to say that your older one can choose the movie or go for a bike ride because the baby doesn't get to do that yet or enjoy it because he's too young, so isn't it special to be so much older and have more privileges. But everyone has family responsibilities (you and Dad anyway), and baby has restrictions, and the 7 year old has some of each. It's okay to require him to be a responsible family member with some chores, but you can't make him love anyone.

He doesn't know why he does this - he's not there yet emotionally to understand any of this. And he certainly doesn't understand what you expect of him in terms of love, devotion and interest in a crying, peeing, pooping creature! Try to cut him some slack, understand that he is only 7, and do what you are doing about drawing the line at anything mean or abusive or dangerous. That's all you can do. One day, when you aren't looking, your toddler will laugh like crazy at his big brother, and you'll be happy you let it all develop naturally.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Exactly what use does a 7 year old have for a baby? You really need to ask yourself that. When you were 7 did you think oh my god I wish I had a baby to cuddle with? To listen to them scream? Play with baby toys? I mean come on, be honest, your friends were a lot more fun.

Also the six month old adores his brother? Come on!

Stop making this some grand fairy tail that isn't working out and see it for what it is. Age wise they will not be friends for a very long time. That is no failing on the part of your older son. I just can't imagine how I would feel at 7 if my mom thought something was wrong with me because I can't find a use for a baby. Pretty sure it would hurt a lot.

I just want to point out as well, as a mother of 27 and 16 year old boys and 25 and 14 year old girls, they are just now hanging out with their younger counterparts!! They are finally developing the fun relationship I took two minutes to figure out wasn't going to happen when they were little. If I had taken your approach I am pretty sure the older two would have moved across the country and lost their phones by now.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You are trying to force a relationship - and that NEVER turns out well.
There's 7 yrs difference in ages - they may never be close.
They will always be a vastly different development stages.
Your 7 yr old didn't have a baby - you did - so quit expecting your oldest to parent his younger sibling.
Also - attention stealing little bundles of joy can really shake up the older siblings world - you've replaced him - AND you've openly told him you'll abandon him for the baby (telling him you were going to treat him like he treats the baby was just cruel) - it's no wonder the older is having issues.

ALL YOUR KIDS need unconditional love from you.
And you SHOULD try for some one on one time with each child as much as you can.

Your oldest doesn't have to love the baby - they may never even like each other - but he should be about as polite as he'd be to any stranger.
They can't be allowed to hurt each other.

You are hyper focused on the baby right now - but your oldest is still your baby too.
He feels a bit like an orphan - try to cut him some slack - and don't force the baby on him.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

"We did everything we could during the pregnancy to prepare/excite him."
"We've tried all we can to get him closer to his brother..."
"Asked him to help..."

You might be trying too hard. You've been highlighting the baby since before he was born, and you're still trying to force the issue on your 7-year-old.

Try backing off and letting him come to his own conclusions in his own time. It is quite an age gap and they are not peers. They might become close during childhood, or maybe not until adulthood, or they might not ever bond. You need to be okay with that.

Babies find everyone interesting. He doesn't adore his brother any more than he would adore anyone else that was around all the time. His feelings are not going to be hurt at this stage if his brother blows him off.

This is not a failure on your part, nor does it mean something is wrong with your older child. You have a vision of what you wish your family was like that may never happen. You're focusing on that instead of on what you son really needs from you. Mourn the loss of your wish, make peace, and let it go.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You seriously need to back off on your son. He needs time with just his parents, not with the baby. That means that some 'family' times will need to be centered around him, and some around the baby. I mean, how can the baby participate in any sort of 'family time' your son would enjoy?

I remember being eight when my mom had my younger brother. I had a sister who was six at the time. My mom had the same hopes that you did and I was made to feel bad for not helping with certain things, which was dumb, because my parents chose to have the baby, I didn't.

If you are a good parent, having another child was not a 'family decision'. Even if parents 'think' their kids want a sibling, children have NO idea what comes with infants and toddlers and it's not fair to expect them to do what we feel is right.

Think about it... two parents are now far less available. They expect him to do things that seven year old boys aren't usually excited about in general. (I know very, very few boys at this age who would be happy to pick out baby clothes to play with or select baby friendly activities.) He needs to be able to have fun with kids his own age. He needs you to find a mother's helper to hold baby for a little while so he has time with you that is centered around him and not his new sibling.

Six months is a very short time to successfully make a huge adjustment. We can talk up the new baby, but that may also backfire-- some kids just find it to be too much 'in your face' to be helpful. Older sibs want to see you as excited about them as much as you are about baby's milestones.

So, my advice is this--- let your son have his authentic feelings for a while. If he's ignoring the baby, it's okay. It's not his baby to worry about. At least he's not hurting the baby-- and that's a point I would say "get professional help". But it's not there. Stop trying to make him be interested in something he isn't. Consider-- at age seven or eight, I really couldn't have cared less about a baby or doing 'baby centered' things. I did want my mom back, because she was always doing housework or holding my brother or something like that. I wouldn't have been happy to be forced to play with any sort of younger child. Just not my interest at that time. That's being realistic.

Let your son know he's okay if he's not interested in the baby. There's no law that says he has to be. Don't make him feel bad for it. Remember, too, that you are projecting a LOT onto your baby as well. Babies can ogle someone adoringly but it doesn't mean they will be devastated if that person ignores them. Your baby is not sitting there thinking 'brother didn't get my clothes, brother doesn't like me'. Baby is still needing YOU, primarily, and really, nothing more. Don't put those needs and expectations on your oldest.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't see why you expect a 7 year old to have any interest at all in a baby. They are loud, often smelly, messy and pretty boring to interact with. The baby has no clue it is being ignored and certainly not spoken about occasionally. Are you wearing the baby? If you do, you should be able to play with the 7 year old without too much interruption. What is it you want all four of you to do together? Babies seriously don't do terribly much - certainly not terribly much that requires 3 spectators.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Let him ignore the baby. He's sulking and the more you try to pull him out iof it, the more he's going to dig in his heels. You acn't MAKE siblings be close to one another. It either happens or it doesn't. But THEY will decide how close they are going to be as time goes by.
Continue to do things with just him. And continue to do things as a family. But if he doesn't wnat to "help" with the baby, don't force it. Don't try to make him cuddle or play with the baby. Lil Bro isn't HIS baby, he's yours and Dad's.
When my ex and I got together, his youngest, who had been the baby of the family for five years, was jealous of my toddler at first.
When we got engaged, she told us in no uncertain terms that if we decided to have another baby, she would have nothing more to do with us. We had no plans to procreate, and her stance would not have changed our minds if we had wanted one, but she let us know how she felt.
He feels what he feels. Feelings don't have to be justified. As long as his acting on his feelings does not cause harm to the baby, let him process them in his own way.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My 2nd daughter was 3.5 yrs old when my twins were born. She ignored them totally. In fact she drew a picture of her family in preschool that was her, her sister, and her parents. The teachers had no idea there were newborns at home. When asked why she didn't draw them she replied 'because I really don't like them'. Once they were 2 yrs old she started to include them in her games and now that everyone is adults they are all close.

You son doesn't have to like his brother. It wasn't his idea to have another child in the household and quite honestly he liked things the way they were. He doesn't want to play with the baby. Really that's your job not his. He doesn't interact because a 7 yr old has nothing in common with a 6 month old.

Don't push their relationship. Whatever it turns out to be will happen. As long as everyone is loved and cared for it'll turn out just fine.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Please don't force the baby on your son, or you risk making it a battle ground and something that can turn into deep resentment. He will come around in time, but be sure that you're doing everything you can to make your older son feel secure in his relationship wtih you. Once the baby is able to be more interactive he might find him more interesting.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

This summer is probably h*** o* you because you have two boys of various ages. One needs you more in one way than the other but they both need you.

Plan time to spend with the older one without the little one nearby. Have dad take care of the little one and go on a date with the older one. Then switch so dad has the older one alone. Then get a sitter and have a special time of the three of you without the baby for a few hours and enjoy each other.

Forcing a child to like another does not work. Siblings are siblings and they are separate individuals who happen to live in the same home and they may or may not like each other as others have posted. Just let things go at their own pace.

You are not a failure. You are also adjusting to having two people in the home that are dependent upon you for their well being. It will come but it also takes time to find your groove. Trust me I have been there and so have so many others.

Keep us posted on your progress. A big high five to you for what you have done.

the other S.

PS Six months is a short time in your older son's life for this change. Give him another year for adjustment.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First, you are not a failure. If you were a failure, you would not care to be looking into this and trying to resolve issues.

I think you need to back off of forcing your older to "love and adore" your new baby. You cannot force a relationship. Let your 7 yr old be a 7 yr old and if that means ignoring the baby and not helping, that is ok. Just don't force it. It is not a given that sibling will like each other down the road.

Your baby probably does recognize "his people" but you can't say with affirmation that the baby adores and loves the older brother at this point. Recognize him, yes.

Have you spent any time alone with your older boy? Special things to do, go, see. Same for hubby, has he been spending time with the older son?You need special alone time AWAY from everyone just you and just dad with the older child.

Think about it... he was your only for 7 years and his world has been turned upside down. He does have major adjustments to make but it takes time.

I am the oldest of 2 by 6 years. My brother and I never got along as kids and we are civil with each other now but I would swear we have different parents because we are as different as night and day. Yes, I said civil but we don't like each other. I limit any time I spend with him because he disgusts me.

I do believe it takes time, you, hubby and anyone else forcing the issue will make it worse. Let things play the course. Your older one is not hurting the baby, that is good...If your older one were to hurt the baby, then I would suggest counseling. Give him time to be himself and come to terms on his own.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would tell him that he doesn't need to adore his baby bro, but he needs to treat all the family members with the same respect he'd want for himself.

I'd also talk to him about how he's feeling - even though my SD was much older, I know there were resentments toward DD when DD was very little. We worked hard to make things as normal as possible for SD (like not missing her plays) but we also had to understand that the baby crying all night was h*** o* her, too. I think that it was important to be able to hear SD when she had a legit complaint even if it didn't change things. I think she needed us to say,"Yes, it's h*** o* us, too, and I'm sorry that it's not something I can change right now. I appreciate your patience while DD learns x and y." Similarly, as DD grew, we taught her respect for SD's things. When DD got into SD's makeup as a toddler, I replaced it all and DD knew we were VERY unhappy. SD got a baby lock on her door handle after that. SD needed to know we cared about her still.

I would accept ignoring the baby if your son is not otherwise mean IF it's not malicious. Like if the baby comes to him and tries to engage him and the older boy walks off - that is mean. I would allow your son, especially if he's highly sensitive, to determine when he's up for being crawled over and drooled on, and when he just wants his own space. Forced family time rarely goes well. Everyone needs to realize that 7 years is a good age gap and the boys will not be at the same stage or level for a very long time. Accept their differences and try to do things both individually and as a group. When we went to the lake, I made sure to take DD to a toddler event and DH took the older kids rafting, but we all visited a waterfall together.

And if you notice that little bro is happy to see big bro, you might quietly say, "Aw, you made him smile." Big bro might still come around as little bro gets more interactive. Tiny babies are harder to relate to and many fathers struggle with babies that young.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm 32 and still want nothing to do with babies. I am not a baby person, never have been. I never baby sat as a teenager, I never saw young kids and thought "oh so cute, must play with them". Even after I visit a friend who recently gave birth, I have no desire to hold the baby. It's a personality thing. My oldest (9 year old boy) loves babies. He'll play with them, make face at them, change diapers, etc. My next oldest (8 year old boy) is not interested in babies and never has been. He ignored his two younger siblings until they became old enough to be play mates.

I'd be happy he's just ignoring. My brother and I were awful to one another. I mean, bats, scissors, glass windows, etc (use your imagination). We are very close now, but when we were younger we both wished we were only children (my poor mother!). As long as it's not physical like that, then it's fine. It's perfectly fine if your child isn't all about babies.

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answers from Boston on

My son, who is 11, has always been squeamish around babies. He finds them annoying, but will tolerate them when we have company over that have little ones. He doesn't interact with them at all. He also gets extremely jealous when I hold them and talk with them. I know being an only child, he loves having all the attention. I can imagine if we had had a baby around the age of 8, my son would have had a hard time adjusting too.

With that being said, I would allow him space to find his own relationship with his brother. These things cannot be forced. If they are, resentment takes its toll, and also behaviors that are not warranted.

Instead, allow them time. Putting so much pressure can be suffocating.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My kids are 5.5 years apart, so I know a little of what you are going through. It has only been 6 months. You need to give it time. In a couple years your son will barely remember when his little brother was not around. He may never be interested in playing the kinds of things his little brother wants to play, but once the little guy is running around they may start to have more fun together. My oldest would push my youngest around on a toy car we had. They would make up chase and hide games together. They would like to have dance offs where she would copy everything her big brother did. They are 11 and 5 now and yes, my son (the oldest kid) easily gets annoyed with his little sister. But they do have times where they are really enjoying each other or he tells me she is so cute or so funny. Even after 3 and 4 years of having his little sister around he would tell me he liked it better before she was born and he got all the attention. But other times he would get quiet and say he loves his sister and can not imagine life without her. So...it depends on his mood. Kids are very self centered. I think you should focus on giving your oldest special mom-son time once a week. Tell him he is so special to you and you know it has been hard for him to have to share his mom with a new baby. Once a week plan a mom-son date and the two of you go off and do something together. He needs to know you love him. You are not a failure. This is something that is hard for him and will take time. Siblings may or may not be close...don't worry about that...just make sure he treats his little brother with respect. (Wait till little brother can crawl/walk and is getting into his stuff...this is another hard phase! My son would get pissed!)

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answers from Seattle on

This isn't a great comparison, but similar in a way. We have a lovely dog and one of my children loves feeding, loving, helping her and the other child is completely indifferent. I have to remind him to pet her every now and then. He's just not that into animals and that's okay. Some kids are gaga over babies and some aren't. I'd let it go and probably give the oldest most of my attention whenever possible. His little world was turned upside down and it would take a tremendous amount of patience on his part to get through this transition. I'm also sure that it's h*** o* you as you probably expected him to show a little more interest and less jealousy. His feelings are valid though and maybe a discussion about envy and jealousy would be a good idea. Maybe you can all sit down and think of things that will make him feel better...things you can do together as a family, things he wants to do one-on-one with you, ways to organize your days so he's feeling more positive. He's probably feeling a lack of control as well, so having him help with ideas would be good. And then as others have mentioned, he'll probably be more interested when the little guy is moving around more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Please read the book "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk."

You already have some great advice here, so I'm not going to repeat it. I just wanted to add that it isn't your 7 year old who needs to adjust, it's your expectations.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

My son was 8 when my daughter was born, he just turned 9 and she is 8 months today. My daughter adores her brother,. We have had a very postive transition in our household at the beginning. Now it is starting to get slightly tougher as my daughter needs more attention. I would give it some more time, everyone is still adjusting, I know we are. Having two kids after having one for only 8 years is difficult on all, the 7 year old maybe feeling the strain of everything. We have really focused on making sure my 9 year old still is involved int he same activities and such obviously with some adjustment but also just having family time where we do not have too much scheduled. This is hard but having time for the kids to interact naturally is nice. Getting your 7 year old involved in positive interactions with the baby is also something that has worked. We started before my daughter was born making decisions and prepping for the baby as a family unit. Maybe changing things and approaching activities with the baby as family unit, having the 7 year old help make decisions in an activity to do with the baby or what type of outfit for the day. I do not think you need outside help but you can always speak with your 7 year old's doctor or maybe the phsycologist at school can help out if you do have concerns.



answers from Kansas City on

I don't see anything wrong with saying "well Sam, I'm going to treat you the way you treat your little brother, I want you to know what it feels like". I'd do this from breakfast to lunch one day and then have a very "adult" sit down talk with him. Talk about feelings and how all of us have feelings, even babies. "It hurts my feelings that you are not acting nicely toward your brother." Have him spend a little time with your little guy (when he's in a good/playful mood) and point out how much the little one loves playing with the big one. "Do you see how much your little brother loves you?" Lastly, I believe your very intelligent young man is manipulating the situation and basically throwing a long term fit. "Your little brother is here to stay, GET OVER IT."

Good Luck

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