Parenting Predicaments

Predicament:

My son is 4 1/2 years old. His younger brother is 2 1/2. From the time his brother was born, until now, he has been loving, giving, and caring. Like all siblings sharing has not always come as easy. In the last few weeks he has made comments that I pay more attention to his brother. I have evaluated it and even though my husband and I think he is wrong...I have tried to spend more one on one time with him. He has become very quiet, withdrawn, and when ever we ask what is wrong he has a sad look and just shrugs and says nothing. The other day I heard him playing and he was dialoging that a toy needed to be sad to get attention and that that toy had just had a baby brother. He treats his brother as well as ever and he truly loves him and I just find it hard to believe that after 2 1/2 years that he is really insecure about his brothers attention getting. Is this just a way to manipulate me into paying more attention, a phase, a way of growing emotionally or what????Help please. I have prayed about it and hopefully you are the answer God has given me.

Lisa

Response

Sounds like lots of good old fashion sibling stuff going on. Nothing you mentioned is out of the norm. I found myself focusing in more on you than on what your son is going through. This is what I heard:

1. You gave your son the benefit of the doubt and discussed whether you give your other son more attention.

2. You have been willing to spend more one on one time with your older son in response to what he is presenting you with.

3. You are attentive to aspects of his play.

All good signs of an intuned, related, reflective and responsive parent. This is what your children need more than anything to grow into emotionally healthy adults.

Not to say that this is a non-issue. Help your son continue to put his feelings into words and use play as a forum for processing his experience of the world. Give him reassurance that you have enough love for both of them. Explain to him that young children sometimes need more help from grown-ups as they cannot do some of the things that "big boys" can do.

Lastly, when there is such an age difference between children, sometimes such feelings can emerge if one child begins school while the younger child get to "reap the rewards" of being home with Mommy. This then becomes one of the issues to include in your chats with your son.

Best wishes and many peaceful blessings!!!

Response by David E. Smith, CSW- Resident therapist

About The Author

"Parenting Predicaments" is a forum on the Alternative Parenting web-site where parents can submit their concerns on their child's behavior and development. Visit the site that is dedicated to living naturally at http://www.AlternativeParenting.com.

AlternativeParenting.com

In The News:

Parents say they take vacations, but they don't relax  Journal Gazette and Times-Courier
Celebrate the Joy of Parenting  The Good Men Project

Is Your Discipline Damaging the Spirit of the Child?

If your parenting methods include abuse of any kind; physical,... Read More

How To Homeschool Without Making Your Child An Outcast

If you are currently homeschooling or considering homeschooling your child,... Read More

Awesome Dads Top Ten Ways To Be The Foundation of Your Family

Part of the responsibility of being a father is to... Read More

Exposing the Damage: TV and Kids

There are millions of young children in this country who... Read More

How Illiteracy Can Ruin Your Childs Life

It may seem obvious to many people why literacy is... Read More

Parental Involvement in Learning

Whether children attend public or private schools, they benefit when... Read More

7 Ways to Survive the Start of the School Year

It happens every year. Just when you are settled in... Read More

Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting

I have always been aware of my number one weakness:... Read More

A Chart for Everything

For every season, check, check, check, There is a chart,... Read More

The Personality of a Virgo Child

Your Virgo Baby..August 23 - September 22Virgo children are honest... Read More

Classic Parenting: Encouragement, Praise, Acceptance, and Responsibility

Encouragement comes when you focus on your child's assets and... Read More

How to Create an Emotional Bond with Your Child

One of the most powerful tools that parents have for... Read More

Parents --- Homeschooling Can Take a Lot Less Time Than You Think

The time you will need to teach your children the... Read More

Bring On The Music To Help Your Child Learn Faster And More Effectively

Do you remember how you first learned the alphabet? I... Read More

Should We Apologize To Our Children?

An apology is a sign of strength, not weakness. Sometimes... Read More

How Public Schools Coerce Parents Into Giving Mind-Altering Drugs To Their Children

Despite the potentially dangerous side-effects of Ritalin, public school authorities... Read More

When A Parent Is Deployed

When a parent is deployed with the military it can... Read More

Should The Dad-To-Be Attend The Birth?

Not so long ago a dad-to-be would pace up and... Read More

Weathering Colic for New Parents

A common problem many times facing parents is Colic. Estimates... Read More

Don?t Make Fast and Furious Food Changes

OK, moms and dads out there, we hear you when... Read More

How Do You Find the Best Car Seat to Protect Your Child

Choosing a good car seat for your child's protection is... Read More

Playing Safe

Do you really want your child to enjoy playing with... Read More

Renee?s Mommy is Here

I still remember the scene vividly. I was getting out... Read More

Picky Eaters - The Dawn of Understanding

"In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't... Read More

Children Need Roots and Wings

"Good parents give their children Roots and Wings." --Jonas SalkThe... Read More