Sibling jealousy and rivalry is more common than you might expect. If you’ve noticed that your toddler is jealous of older siblings receiving attention lately, rest easy knowing that you’re not alone! Many families experience this and it’s most common between 9-15 months of age, or the toddler years.
Toddlers aren’t experts at showing and handling their emotions by this age, so it’s hard for them to convey how they’re feeling without acting out or lashing out. Most people hear of toddlers acting jealous towards newborns, and that’s much more common.
However, sibling jealousy isn’t limited to younger babies or newborns. Toddlers can feel jealous of older kids, too. Typically, around this age, they go through a phase where they are much more clingy. Stranger anxiety is at an all time high, and they want to be the center of the world. It’s totally okay for them to show their frustrations, but finding an effective way for them to channel that frustration and jealousy is key.
What do I do when my baby is jealous of my older kids?
Finding a healthy way for your toddler to channel emotions can be overwhelming, especially because they can’t usually voice their concerns. Sensory activities are a great way for toddlers to release some energy in a calming way. Explore these 25 sensory activities to see if you can find something for your toddler to channel energy with!
Another great way to help your toddler understand is by making sure you’re giving them enough attention. It can be overwhelming trying to split attention, but maybe a little one on one time everyday will help a bit! Although toddlers don’t understand everything we say and do, they are much more receptive than we think – so even talking it out with your toddler can help with the frustration. Your tone of voice and body language can explain a lot more than you might think!
Lastly, it’s important to communicate with your older kids and let them know what is happening. It can be hard for them to understand too, and you definitely don’t want them to feel any guilt about the situation! Toddlers go through many phases, and this too will pass. Making sure your older kids know that and are able to help in any way they can is important. Even having them get down with your toddler and play and explain can be a huge help!
Have you ever experienced toddler jealousy? How did you get through it? Tell us in the comments!