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Older sister seems jealous of younger brother

Posted August 7, 2015 - 11:00am

Hi All-- please comment if you have had a similar issue or if you know how to resolve

My daughter, who is turning two in just a couple weeks, seems to get very jealous when her father and I pay attention to her younger brother who was just born in February. Obviously given that her brother, John, is so young, he requires a lot of attention but we have tried to make sure the attention we pay her hasn't changed.

How can we make sure our daughter doesn't resent her brother? We would hate for this to turn into a perpetual bad feeling on Clare's part! Thanks :)

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With our second baby on the way, this is one of my husband's and my biggest concerns.... My son is almost 2 and we've been reading books to him every night about being an older brother and he doesn't seem too excited about that idea. How do we balance our time and make sure both kids feel loved while we're having to deal with the never ending newborn attention?


Ugh, my wife and I went through this not once, but twice since we have 3 kids.  It's definitely hard ot convey to your kids that you lvoe them all equally when you have to spend more time with the infant.  What I've found works best is that you need to give each of the older kids designated "you time."  This could be taking them out for lunch once a week, having a movie night where it's just you and the child in question.  And then you also need to answer any questions that they might have about the new baby.  Explain that they're not replacing your kid, but rather making the family team grow bigger.  The more upfront and honest and open you are, the less threatened they'll be.  It also doesn't help I always let them pick the PG-13 movies when my wife wasn't around :)

Marshall Herff

Yeah happens not much you can do tho :-/


Thanks, Craig! That's super helpful. Although I don't think I'll be letting Clare watch PG-13 movies for about 10 years haha


haha! yeah, don't do that!


My daughter was also two when her younger brother was born and we faced the same issue. One way that we tried to combat our eldest daughter feeling abandoned was to make the new baby about her too. We gave her small responsiblities that we called 'Big Sister Priveleges' like holding her little brother while he slept. We wanted her to feel excited about the new baby. This video also has some further good advice. 

Joshua  Sparrow, MD
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Child Psychiatrist & Author


Love this suggestion! What kind of responsibilities can I trust her with though? She's so young that she doesn't necessarily understand how fragile her younger brother is


The 'Big Sister Privileges' idea is so cute! And it would work as 'Big Brother Privileges' as well. Good idea.