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(11 Posts)
NanKate Thu 03-Dec-15 07:42:27

That's an interesting observation Granny23 Iwill ask my DinL if things are better when Third party is involved. The eldest GS is a very emotional child, just like his dad all those years ago.

Occasionally we hear the boys laughing together, so there is hope.

Granny23 Thu 03-Dec-15 02:06:25

Just an observation of my own - not from a learned book but my sister and I, only 18th months between us, bickered and fought throughout our childhood, except when our mutual friend and near neighbour, younger than my sister, older than me joined us to play. Then all three of us got on well together. Same thing happened when my 2 DDs were young. They were always fighting over toys, who got the top bunk etc. until their mutual friend came to play. Again, all was sweetness and light between the 3. They would play in the bedroom or the garden for hours without a single upset.

Now I have a big brother, wee sister pair of Grandbairns who squabble constantly and keep complaining 'It's not fair' until cousin K (my other GD) appears and peace reigns. It is far less stressful and tiring to have all three staying together than cope with the 2 siblings who argue constantly. Perhaps your GSs regard their Father as the 3rd playmate? Do you have any friends with 4yrold who could come to play regularly?

PS My DD's former childminder also said that her own two children fought like cat and dog when she stopped childminding, whereas they had played happily for years when there were other children in their home.

NanKate Wed 02-Dec-15 07:56:51

Thanks everyone for this good advice.

Whenever we go to stay we always offer to look after both boys to give their parents a break and rarely get any bother. We looked after little one whilst big one went to the Natural a History Museum with his mum and dad and that was a great success.

I think also the problem is made worse as my son has to travel away from home quite a bit and my DinL is left with the boys, often for a couple of weeks at a time, and that is when they both play up. We go as often as we can to stay when DS is on tour. So the boys could be missing their dad too.

I agree this is all pretty normal family stuff but my DH is always looking for solutions to problems and thinks we and the parents should be doing more, when I feel we should just weather the storm.

It's good to have GN to release the tension - THANKS.

rosesarered Tue 01-Dec-15 21:24:19

Brothers often are like this, sometimes it's the older child, sometimes the younger who plays up. Sisters often do the same.He is resenting the attention given to little one, so try and give him more attention too.Always reward good behaviour, with children, carrot works better than stick.

Iam64 Tue 01-Dec-15 13:38:03

Yes to the advice here. Just to add something that's incorporated into parenting skills groups which is so simple, we'd often find parents would say "that's daft"

It does sound a bit dotty but honestly it worked with my teenagers and parents always reported back positively. It is very simple and obvious but we so often don't catch our children out being good, rather we take it for granted that they'll do things they've always been expected to do. It could be taking your shoes off at the door, the child does this regularly because it's been brought up to do so. You say thank you, that is so helpful and kind, thanks for taking your shoes off and look, you've put them in the right place, that's great. Many apologies for sounding like Joyce Grenfell or a patronising person. Your grandson will get lots of attention for negative behaviour, if possible ignore it and catch him out being good. It changes the dynamic. I empathise with him and his parents, tough isn't it .

Luckygirl Tue 01-Dec-15 11:47:23

When the older one is acting up and being a pain, he gets attention (which is what he wants). Create situations where he has positive attention to replace that - e.g. "big boy" outings to things that are not suitable for little brother. He needs to feel important and valued.

Luckygirl Tue 01-Dec-15 11:45:19

This sounds pretty normal! As others have said, babysit the younger and leave parents free to take the older one out for some one-to-one. Make this a regular thing. Older DGS has good reason to be jealous, so his reactions are entirely normal. Little brothers are a total pain - they mess with your games and get lots of attention for their cuteness (and their ill health in this case).

Give him time and attention, and facilitate the same for the parents.

vampirequeen Tue 01-Dec-15 11:10:14

Like rosequartz says, he needs his own one to one time. He'll know his little brother is ill but won't understand why that affects his life so much.

I grew up in a similar family situation. My elder sister was very ill and I didn't get the attention I needed so I because loud, clumsy and over boisterous. I got into trouble a lot but I also got attention (I was the perfect child at school). To a child any attention is often better than what they perceive to be no attention.

I agree with loopylou as well. Things are not a way of making up for parent time. It will only lead to more problems.

I'm afraid his parents will have to walk a fine line but they can do it.

loopylou Tue 01-Dec-15 10:44:39

My sister had exactly the same scenario with a younger one being in hospital. She felt she had to shower the older child with presents to compensate and now there's a very dysfunctional set up.

I think rosequartz's suggestion is the way to go, it's probably attention seeking rather than not liking his sibling.

rosequartz Tue 01-Dec-15 10:12:23

Does the older one ever get time with his parents alone without little brother being there?
We sometimes keep DGD2 with us for longer so that mummy can pick up DGD1 from school and have a couple of hours of undivided time with her.
They don't have those problems to that extent, but the fact is that the older child has had parents to him or herself until number two comes along and it is understandable for the older one to feel jealous.

NanKate Tue 01-Dec-15 09:34:27

We have a problem. Our eldest GS nearly 5 is very jealous of our younger GS nearly 3. They do on rare occasions play well together.

The youngest can charm the birds of the trees and so does not get into much trouble but the eldest, who I admit at times can be challenging and have meltdowns, is regularly in trouble. He has just started school and seems to be thriving with no behavioural problems there.

At home big one can break little one's toys. He always wants identical or more than his brother. I should add that his younger bro has had health issues and often has to be admitted to hospital for a short while, so he does get quite a bit of extra attention.

When we are with big one on his own, he is a delight and we have no problem with him.

His parents are getting so warn down with his difficult behaviour.

So do you dear Gransnetters, can anyone give advice on books to read that might help ? They could afford to pay someone to come in an observe the family and give professional advice, but I am not sure we have got to that stage, as some weeks things are better than others.

I only had one son so haven't experienced this sort of behaviour before.