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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rivalry

Samantha is the sweetest girl in the world. She runs up to give hugs when Mommy or Daddy comes home. She lays on the floor beside her brother to talk to him and love on him. She loves to hold him and share her toys with him. We hear her say "Here go, Brother. Here go J-bub" every day as she tries to give him a toy or his paci or a burp cloth. She sings "Twinkle Twinkle" to help Jacob feel better when he cries. She asks if I am sad sometimes and gives me a spontaneous knee hug if I say yes. She loves to help pull weeds, put the laundry in the dryer and put the silverware away in the drawer after it has been washed.

But some days she is not so nice. Yes, we often have tantrums at home when she doesn't get what she wants. And she has a very hard time being nice to her playmates at daycare in the morning. In fact for the last 2 or 3 weeks, she has been VERY unkind to Maddie every morning. When we walk in, if Maddie really even looks at Samantha, Samantha says "No Maddie!" makes an ugly face and turns away. If Maddie says "Hi baby" to Jacob, Samantha says "No! Mine brother!" and will sometimes even try to push Maddie away from him.

I always tell her that she doesn't have to talk to Maddie, but that if she is going to talk to Maddie she needs to be nice about it. It doesn't seem to sink in. So far Maddie is almost always still nice to Samantha. If she sees Samantha's lambie on the floor, she will pick it up and take it straight to Samantha. She will often share toys with Samantha. But it doesn't seem to make any difference.

It takes Samantha a while to wake up and warm up in the morning, so I thought that's just what the deal was. Or maybe I hoped that's what it was. But since we had so many mornings in a row of the same behavior, the other day I asked the babysitter if that stops after I leave, expecting to hear yes. But she said no. That Samantha is pretty much always like that with Maddie. Mrs. Nancy said that Samantha doesn't do very well at being the oldest, and that she doesn't act like that with Kaylie or Melanie, only with Maddie.

But then a couple days ago, Samantha pushed on Laynie's back while Laynie (10 months) was crawling on the floor. So it's not just limited to Maddie any longer. Or maybe that was just a bad day...I will hope that is the answer!

We talk, even at home about being sweet to our friends. When she got mad about me changing her diaper the other day, she started kicking. I told her that we don't kick. That we don't kick Mommy. We don't kick Daddy. We don't kick Jacob. We don't hit or kick at all. She added, "Don't kick Maddie. Don't kick Laynie." I told her that is right, that we don't kick anyone.

She knows that she isn't supposed to do it, but she still tries to push Maddie away in the morning. Is this a rivalry between them? It seems fairly one-sided if it is, although, there have been a couple of mornings lately that Maddie has started telling Samantha, "No! Mine!" after Samantha says it to her. I personally think Maddie is just saying it because she has heard Samantha say it so many times, and I really don't like that MY child is the one being the bad influence.

I don't know where this is coming from, and I don't know what to do about it. How do you teach your two year old to be sweet to her friends or to just not say anything? Somehow just telling her doesn't seem to be doing the trick, but I don't know what else to try.

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