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New Sibling

(45 Posts)
Grandelinquent Mon 27-Aug-18 06:56:05

My 5 year old granddaughter has been so lovely up until recently. She is the first grandchild and the centre of her parents and our lives. Until her little sibling arrived. She now seems over emotional: glowering, crying, screaming, and very demanding in general. She says she loves her little sibling but I'm wondering if the age gap is the problem, ie 4 years. I'm also wondering how I should handle her. It's easier when we have her on our own as she seems slightly more biddable, but she recently asked Mummy "why is Grandma always angry?". I'm horrified! I'm strict, and have told her that screaming and growling is not acceptable in my home, and she still seems to love coming to stay. Any advice most welcome. confused

tanith Mon 27-Aug-18 07:32:39

She is testing everyone and trying to work out where everyone fits in this new dynamic with a new baby on the scene. She just needs love and reassurance that everyone loves her just as much as before so lots of cuddles and love. This too shall pass smile

stella1949 Mon 27-Aug-18 07:40:26

My children were 4 years apart and when my son was born, Miss 4 took one look and said "send it back". From then on she was exactly like your granddaughter - grumpy and angry that the " new kid on the block" had arrived. This continued until she was about 21 and he was 17, so don't expect her to suddenly start liking the new baby.

I can only suggest that you continue to treat her the same as always - strict but fair. Don't tell her that she should love the baby , just talk about him or her as being a new person in the family who is here to stay.

I imagine that she'll b e coming to see you on her own, so make those times a bit special and make sure she has a good time. Her world has been rocked to it's foundations, she'll appreciate some TLC. Good luck !

sodapop Mon 27-Aug-18 08:38:36

Yes its a huge change for for your granddaughter, be patient and reassure her she is still loved. Encourage her to do small things to help Mum but don't make the baby central to everything. There was a 7 year gap between my daughters and their relationship was always a bit touchy until they were adults.

BlueBelle Mon 27-Aug-18 08:40:59

Oh my goodness totally normal may pan out or sibling rivalry may continue One set of grandchildren (2) first one used to try and pull the baby off mums boobs when she was feeding it The first one gets, if anything, more attention but it’s continued albeit in a more grown up way They still have in mid teens, a very love/ hate relationship
Stella that sentence about 21 and 17 has given me hope 😂
Lots of people have told me it’s been until almost the maturity of adulthood that things eased out

Treat her as you always have Don’t get cross with her and don’t tell her to stop, ignore paddy’s she is feeling safe enough to let it out better by far than keeping it all in ignore her outrages if possible she will have to learn to deal with her fear a different way but that will come that is what it is total abject fear you said yourself she has been the apple of four peoples eyes and suddenly the attention has changed to this new little squeaking bundle, her world has gone skew wiff She needs time to adjust

harrigran Mon 27-Aug-18 08:44:39

Sorry but it doesn't get any easier. My GC are four years apart and eldest about to become a teenager 😱

Iam64 Mon 27-Aug-18 08:49:34

four years is a tough gap imo. Your granddaughter will love her little sister or brother but that doesn't mean she doesn't dislike the way her life has been turned upside down. Be patient - it'll pass.

Sheilasue Mon 27-Aug-18 08:56:30

Just give her lots of cuddles, talk to her, play with her. She will get used to the situation and settle down as long as she gets the attention from you or her parents it’s always difficult when a new baby comes and mum is so busy with new baby and probably very tired.

teabagwoman Mon 27-Aug-18 09:01:27

Really difficult time for everyone Grandelinquent. My approach would be to pay her extra attention, tell her it's ok for her to be cross about this new arrival and how difficult it is for her and then continue to treat bad behaviour as you usually do. A few extra treats never go amiss in my opinion. She needs reassurance that she is still loved.

Granstender Mon 27-Aug-18 09:07:29

My middle son and daughter,born four years apart,have just managed to get through a family gathering without a falling out. The occasion was our Ruby wedding anniversary party. Sometimes you do indeed need to be patient!

Humbertbear Mon 27-Aug-18 09:15:07

Dr Wendy Greengross saved my life when I heard her on the radio say ‘ jealousy is natural. Imagine your husband coming hone with another woman and saying we are all going to live together and it doesn’t mean I love you less.’ She also stressed that it was important that the older sibling is allowed to show their jealousy. It if is suppressed it will warp their personality. And yes, it passed and my daughter and son were. And are, very close

Grannyparkrun Mon 27-Aug-18 09:33:17

Has she got a baby doll, pram, bath, clothes, sling, nappies, bottle etc, to play out all her feelings on? My daughter's jealous behaviour improved considerably once she could do all the things I was doing for her baby sister to her baby doll. She incorporated some corporal punishment too, but seemed to enjoy 'being a mummy'. After a while she began washing her baby sister in the baby bath, choosing her clothes & giving her a bottle of boiled water while I feigned indifference. It seemed to help her make the transition. They've both just had babies of their own & are wonderful mothers!

JanaNana Mon 27-Aug-18 09:36:16

Until her sibling arrived she was the centre of everyone"s attention. Now she has to share with the little sister/brother and an element of sibling rivalry is taking place. This is quite normal behaviour for her age and her way of still trying to let you know how hard it is for her to adapt to this situation.
As there is a four year age gap between them she is much more aware of this than if they were much closer in age.
Keep giving lots of cuddles and reassurance to her and hopefully this behaviour will lessen. After all for four years of her life she had the undivided attention of you all and is finding it hard to get used to sharing it with another little person.

Grandelinquent Mon 27-Aug-18 09:39:19

The feeling I'm getting from the comments (thanks all) is that I'm maybe being a bit too strict, and Grandparent time should be more enjoyable and a bit of a break from new sibling. I thought I would be helping Mummy if I tried to help solve the problem, but again I'm getting the message that the problems are the parents domain and Grandparents home should be a sort of refuge. I'm hopeful that as they grow up they will grow close as my own siblings have been a nightmare all of my life. sad

inishowen Mon 27-Aug-18 09:57:05

My brother was five when I was born. Apparently he scowled and said "I didn't want one of those lying down babies, i wanted a sitting up one"!

BlueBelle Mon 27-Aug-18 10:01:05

The problem isn’t actually a problem though Grande it’s a normal progression 5 year olds can’t verbalise that they feel jealous, pushed out, not important ( many adults can’t verbalise it either) so she’s is doing it the only way she knows making a fuss, being demanding, getting your attention however she can and yes showing her disproved of the disruption to her little world
I wouldn’t even talk about the baby when she’s with you ignore the fact it exists, concentrate on her exactly as you ve akways done, if she has a paddy walk away or distract her by doing something different She’s annoyed, she’s vying for attention and it may get worse when she goes back or starts school as then the baby will be home with mum while she’s away from home so gear yourself up
I love the last line my own siblings have been a nightmare all of my life Sounds about right I was an only child determined I would have more than one and they would grow up close and loving ha all three live in different countries /continents and are probably closer with the window cleaner

Kittye Mon 27-Aug-18 10:01:12

Grannyparkrun that sounds like very good advice to me.

Bazza Mon 27-Aug-18 10:03:11

I think the jealousy will pass when the baby is old enough to smile at her and take notice of her. Babies all love their older siblings, at least while they’re little! I know it’s tough at this stage, but when she gets used to the baby you’ll just have the usual sibling rivalry to get used to. Good luck!

ReadyMeals Mon 27-Aug-18 10:05:55

Heh she's probably wondering why it is that the baby can scream as much as it wants and instead of getting told off everyone rushes to pick it up, while if she does the same thing she gets condemned for it. She probably has good enough language skills at 5 for a simple explanation of why this is, and of the difference in expected roles of a 5yr old and a 5month old in the family. I saw a documentary where it showed how explaining to a child what was expected of them in advance had a better outcome than waiting to see what they did and then just telling them when they got something wrong.

Knitnuts Mon 27-Aug-18 10:11:21

My two had a 3.5 year gap. I used to say things to my son (the elder) like, “Look how she smiles when she sees you - she doesn’t smile like that for anyone else.” “She’s so pleased your home,” etc. This was when my daughter was a baby and couldn’t show any indifference! I think it helped my son started to feel protective towards her and to want to help with getting her bathtune things ready and suchlike.

knickas63 Mon 27-Aug-18 10:34:52

It will pass. I can remember reading that their anger and unhappiness is aimed at their caregivers (parents, grandparents) because their life has been scarily altered and you let it happen! Not the new sibling. My husband is strict with my grandsons, and the eldest 6 year old is convinced grandad hates him. It's heartbreaking. I don't let DGS get away with bad behaviour as such, but I understand when it is outright naughty, emotional, or just hyperactivity. Hubby treats it all the same and thinks I am soft! Sometimes a cuddle and some quit time together is necessary.

GabriellaG Mon 27-Aug-18 10:36:12

Why would you think that any age gap would present a problem? The child was presumably aware of the impending arrival, well before time and could have been involved in the preparation. If, on the other hand, she's been spoilt and her every wish granted, then the result could be tantrums.
My five had 4y3m, 5y5m, 2y5m and 4y10m between them and we never had any problems. They all took turns carrying the latest arrival out of hospital and each brought a special garment entirely chosen by them, to dress their sibling in on the ward.
Personally, I'd ignore tantrums but then I've never had to deal with one.

silvercollie Mon 27-Aug-18 10:44:41

Let me tell you that sibling jealousy can continue throughout life. I am 75 and younger sister 71 - 4 years apart. She has never liked me. I have always been 'in the way' that is, between her and our parents. She has done a lot of unkind things to me but still I find her decision, a few years ago, to cut me out of her life altogether, very hurtful. She lives closer to me than any of my offspring but consistently refuses to answer any cards or letters. No 70th Birthday card for me! I still have no idea why she is like this. I find it hard to accept but must, of course.
So, other G'netters, be aware!

rizlett Mon 27-Aug-18 10:52:16

"why is Grandma always angry?".

I wondered if your dgd may have asked this as she might be feeling very angry about the situation and not yet able to know how to deal with the anger arising.

Perhaps you could play the angry-happy-sad-afraid-ok game? Where you both 'pretend' to be all those feelings to show that they are all normal and ok and it can help to get rid of them - if you're allowed to stand and scream and be angry it usually helps it to become manageable - and then once a huge part of the feeling has gone it becomes easier to talk about.

Maybe talk about the things you can do when you feel angry or hurt would be helpful too.

B9exchange Mon 27-Aug-18 11:14:00

Mine all fought like cat and dog until they left for university, when they realised they actually missed each other, and for a while organised 'sibling nights out' until their families arrived. Now they are experiencing it for themselves with their own children, it is part of life. DH's uncle was apparently seen todding off down the garden path with his new baby brother saying he was going to drown him in the water tub!