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Our Toddler Is Jealous of His New Sister

Claire wrote: Our 2-year-old shows his anger by hitting and kicking. Our baby daughter is getting the brunt of his rage. We wonder if our son is jealous of his new sister. Do you have any ideas for our family? Here are your suggestions:

Make one-on-one time. It isn't unusual for children to become overwhelmed and act out when they feel they need to compete with siblings for attention. Our family experienced this with our son. We found that by giving him special one-on-one time without his sister, his disposition changed for the better. Try reading together before bed or going on a walk. Kids just want attention and will try and get it one way or another.
Suzanne N. ? Montverde, Florida

Stay consistent. Change in a family can cause a lot of stress. Kids often express themselves inappropriately and in negative ways. Enforce the house rules and follow through with consequences. Praise your son for good behavior. Play up his "big brother" role. Let him know how important it is to love his new sister.
Maria T. ? Springfield, Missouri

Next Question: My 22-month-old only wants to be around me. When I'm out of his sight briefly, he begins to cry. He follows me while I'm trying to do housework and wants me to carry him. I want to give him my attention, but I can't be with him every second. I don't know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?
Robyn S. ? via e-mail

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