Sibling Challenges

Hannah has always been a mix of character and can be incredible sweet now and become incredible miserable over the next few seconds and one of the things that she uses most to irritate you is a whiny cry.

Since the beginning of this year I have been having these screaming matches almost daily for little things that she just wont do.  She knows the routine and that we need to be ready every morning for school but I still have to call her at least five times before a simple thing like brushing her teeth gets completed.  Being 8 months pregnant in the midst of the summer just added to my frustration.

When we employed our very calm nanny at the end of January this year it helped allot as she assisted me with getting Hannah ready in the mornings and not long after that I went onto maternity leave so mornings were pretty chilled as I was in no rush to be anywhere and the nanny would come in and get her dressed for me.

So it seemed that all was well and that Hannah was enjoy the current arrangement but I still felt bad as she was becoming independent and all grown up too fast.  I always used the line ‘you are going to Grade R next year and you need to know how to do these things for yourself’.  Little did I know that in the mind of a 5 year old, who was the only little person that absorbed our attention for the last 5 years, this was a case of ‘mommy doesn’t have time for me as she has a new little person that she’s always spending her time with’.

Since she played well with her brother and didn’t really trouble him too much I naturally assumed that she was fine, however, when I had to go back to work and I had to get her ready every morning again I started to see a sense of rebellion in her.  One morning I asked her to brush her teeth and she stood in the bathroom and just looked at me.  After asking her a few more times she eventually started brushing her teeth but didn’t use any toothpaste.  She eventually brushed her teeth properly after much effort.

A few weeks ago I mentioned this to Hannah’s teacher and she was the one who suggested that it could be because of the baby that she is acting out.  Still not believing that my amazing 5 year old could be acting out I decided to watch her behavior and see how it went.  Last week at the dinner table we were chatting about something and Hannah says ‘mom, you don’t love me like when I was little cos now you have to share how much you love me with Eli’.  I was very upset that I didn’t see that and that’s how she felt.  So the award for the worst mom in the world goes to …..

In a major effort to make her feel that we still do love her the same as before I have been trying to do little things with her that just involves the two of us.

To get her to do what is needed in the morning with the least amount of shouting, I have made her a star chart which seems to be going okay, lets hope it does the trick cos I really don’t enjoy having a battle of wills every morning.

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