Brotherly Love

Evan can’t seem to decide whether he loves or hates Carter. One second he’s kissing Carter’s head, the next he’s asking if he can go back in my belly (HELL NO!).

Obviously, with Evan being 3.5, this behaviour is not unexpected! I’m excited to see how their relationship evolves, and I really hope they’ll be close. We’ll try our best to help that happen.

Any advice from parents with brothers?

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Comments on: "Brotherly Love" (2)

  1. I have two boys, ages 4 and 6. It is very normal for them to go through periods of love/hate, sometimes multiple times a day. They delight in taking toys from each other, which makes the other one upset. (We encourage sharing, trading, and asking before taking but it takes many repetitions.) If one has received something special he wants for himself alone, it must stay in his bedroom, which is off-limits unless they say it's ok.

    If they're behaving naughty and separated, it's a punishment for them, so they Do like each other. C1 tries to be silly and make C2 laugh. They're different kids so I try to treat them as individuals and let the older one have a few more privileges. He's not allowed to rub his brother's nose in it. “Stop boasting that you can read. At 4, you couldn't read either.” I repeat, many a times a day, “Please be kind. No one is allowed to be irritating to anyone. Are you being kind? Ask if he wants to play chase/tickle/wrestle before you do that.”

    I do love my boys, and they generally have a great time together. I'd expect Evan to like his brother a little less as Carter gets into his toys at 1-1.5, and perhaps more as they can play together at 2-3. It all gets better after 4!

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  2. I won't pretend this part is easy, but yesterday, Tatoe (2.25) was sad and Bug (almost 5) handed Tatoe his teddy bear and sat Tatoe down in his lap to give him a big hug. I may have shed a tiny little tear. Fifteen minutes later, they were whacking each other over the head again.

    You know what made it a lot easier for me? Once Tatoe was old enough to hit Bug back and actually hurt him (around 20 months?) – because then I didn't worry so much that Tatoe would be badly hurt. Except all those times Bug pushed him down the stairs…. siblings.

    I know Nicole (and her sweet boys – who used to play with my sweet boys all the time with remarkably little arguing; why can't they play nicely with their own siblings?) and pretty much my advice would be the same as hers: encourage kindness, taking turns, trading, helping each other out, and try not to get too upset when the big one inevitably hurts the little one, although it's nearly impossible for *me* to not be filled with rage.

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