My kids are 1 and 3 and are extremely jealous of each other. My aunt was in town last week and had to laugh because both get so much attention, but they are still so jealous. If I'm doing anything with Isabella, Evan comes right over and either does the same thing she is doing or just makes sure to get in my line of vision.
It has really been like this from the day my little girl was born. Evan loves his sister so much and has always showered her with hugs and kisses, but I guess he still feels like he should get all of the attention. I did understand because I was breastfeeding and infants just require a lot of one on one time. I made sure to play with him every time that she was napping(there is no sleeping when the baby sleeps if you have more than one child).
Isabella is now 1 and recently started showing that she was jealous at times. Both kids have started acting out more when they feel they need attention which can be a little annoying. I try to either ignore them or calmly tell them that isn't the way to act. Giving them attention for negative behavior doesn't' fix anything. I make sure to take a few minutes here and there to do fun activities that involve just one of the kids. It can be as simple as pushing trucks around the floor with Evan or pushing Isabella on the swing.
We try to do many things together as a family, but as they get older, I see that the kids benefit from occasionally taking time to do separate activities. I recently took my son to see a movie while my daughter and husband played at home. A few weeks before that my husband took my son to the river while I took my daughter to the park.
It isn't always about how much time you should spend with each separate child, what you're doing during your "alone" time is what matters. I notice a big difference in my kids if they've recently had some fun one-on-one time with mommy and daddy-even if it was a 5 minute activity. Sibling jealousy is completely normal, but it helps to do simple activities to show each of them that mommy and daddy will always have time for them.
By guest blogger, Dee, Two of a Kind