Does my daughter not like her baby brother?

I turn away for one second and ‘bang’.

Here we go again. My one year old boy is flat on his back and screaming after crashing to the floor.

His big sister seized her opportunity to stick the boot in, literally, and is looking up at me with her guilt-ridden eyes.

I scoop the boy up and say to my daughter, sternly: “Tell me, what did you just do to your brother?”

She refuses and the waterworks start.

“I need you to tell me what you did otherwise you won’t be having a birthday party with Rapunzel”.

With her fourth birthday looming, I don’t hang around in bringing this bargaining chip to the table.

“I kicked him”, she eventually replies.

I knew this was likely the case but wanted her to own up to her latest crime.

She’s marched up to her room with the boy still sobbing in my arms, and told exactly why she needs time out.

The problem is I know it’s going to happen again and I have no idea how to stop it.


I’ve currently got her sat in the corner of the L-shaped sofa watching a film (Rapunzel funnily enough) while my son plays happily on the floor.

I’m sandwiched between the two to avoid any chance of an immediate repeat.

The boy has been trying his best to get to his big sister because despite the ever increasing number of blows he’s having to endure, he absolutely adores her.
Some of you might now be thinking welcome to the world of sibling conflict, and to a degree you would be right.

But there is a definite vindictive element to some of her actions.

They aren’t all acts of retaliation because her little brother has pinched one of her toys or pulled her hair because it was in grasping distance.

Out of nowhere you will see her strike – a sneaky kick, a crafty push or a not so subtle smack over the head with a toy.

I understand her brother’s arrival has been a big change to her life and it must be frustrating at times when his needs must be addressed first.

But then I hear from friends who have children of similar ages and say how nice it is that they are starting to play and interact together for long periods of time.

Such a scenario in our house would last less than five minutes before the boy is crying after being on the receiving end of his sister’s foot or whatever toy she’s armed herself with.


You may now be thinking that we have a little madam for a daughter, but that is simply not the case.

She is so loving and caring. A sensitive little girl with wonderful manners.

Of course she has her tantrums like any three year old, but we couldn’t be more proud of her.

I just wish she’d refrain from lashing out at her brother because it’s becoming a problem, and a difficult one to deal with.

Does she not like him? Is she just pushing the boundaries? Is it just jealousy because she’s no longer the baby?

Or am I just overreacting because this is what I’ve got in store for years to come?

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31 thoughts on “Does my daughter not like her baby brother?”

  1. Honestly, it happens. Siblings will fight, and what she’s doing isn’t abnormal by any means. We deal with less physical fighting between our kids at the moment (but I’m sure baby three will make that increase shortly), but now we’re into the “blame shifting” fighting and the “Well I was good and didn’t do that” sort of thing. It is tough when they are little and may not fully understand why they are even doing these things to each other, and getting the fighting to stop. We still get complaints for the occasional kick, hit, or even bite when they are together, but right now, at nearly 3 and nearly 5, they do get along very well and enjoy playing together (mostly) nicely. They have their days, but we’re working on it day by day.
    Just take it one day at a time, and keep reminding them how they need to treat each other and it will sink in. It will take time, but everything does. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although we only have one child at the moment, I think it sounds like fairly normal sibling behaviour and certainly what I recall growing up. It must be very hard for your daughter to adjust from having all of the attention, to sharing the limelight, but I’m sure it will improve over time. #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Thanks Caroline. It’s hard for me and my wife to fully understand as we grew up with siblings much younger than us so didn’t experience this stage. My older brother is autistic and unable to care for himself to playing with him as a child was sadly never an option.

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  3. As I’m a one child parent I’ve not much experience beyond what my brother and I were like as kids. We fought all the time. I even lost teeth because of it (milk teeth thankfully). I just think sibling rivalry is a part of growing up, finding your own space and working out differences.

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  4. We have a three year old and a 6 month old. Most of the time they will play nicely but every now and again my oldest will accidentally hurt his sister. I say accidentally as I don’t believe they actually want to hurt them. He gets over excited and tries to ‘help’ her roll, or will put his foot near her and she giggles and he does it more and it ends up him kicking her a little. I did notice that if I shouted and picked her up and told him off he would do it again a bit later and I do wonder if it is an attention thing. Or a way to get me in the room. It only happens if I have popped our of the room to cook dinner or wash the dishes but it is enough that maybe he thinks he has been ‘left to look after her’ and he was always the one being looked after. It will always be a juggling act though and the squabbles will only get worse I am sure. #thatfridaylinky

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  5. This is normal for siblings and I’m sure your daughter will grow out of it super post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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  6. I really feel for you, but can’t offer any words of advice I’m afraid. I’m currently pregnant with my second, so I could be experiencing just this in not too long. I am nervous about how our daughter will react to having a sibling, but I keep telling myself that in the long run she’ll be so happy to have someone to grow up with 🙂 #blogstravaganza

    Helen x

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  7. I suspect is is jealousy, and that she will grow out of it.

    We’ve got a bigger age gap (6 and 1) which in someways isn’t great, they don’t really play together much, and probably never will. But, it has made it easier. The Boy doesn’t care that she gets attention, he’s happy to wander off to play in his room. He likes that he gets an hour of reading with mummy once she’s in bed, but apart from that, he’s not bothered!

    I hope it gets better for you soon. #marvmondays

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  8. We are going through the same except my son is 6yrs old with a learning difficulty which makes him more like a 2/3 yr old and his baby sister is now 9mths old and at first he adored her , never bothered about her but now that she is crawling he has all of a sudden decided he doesnt get on with her, a sneaky push if she tries to stand, manhandling her when my back is turned, taking food off her etc I cannot leave him with her at all at the moment… Im hoping that its just a phase and it will soon pass!

    Jenni #Postsfromtheheart

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  9. My two are still very young but I often see the elder of the two throwing a sneaky punch. I imagine as they get older and stronger it will become more of a problem, if you figure out how to tackle it please do let me know! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week x

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  10. Oh gosh, its must be so difficult and upsetting for you as a parent to witness this. We have a three year old and an 8 month old and I have actually be surprised by how loving and affection our eldest is with our youngest. She has moments of spitefullness that we’ve started see such as purposely waking up her little brother when he is sleeping, but that is about it. Although its different behaviour, I imagine it is part of attention seeking and something they will eventually grow out of as the start to understand a bit more. So when this happens I have tried to address it by focusing on feelings and how her behaviour makes her baby brother feel and mummy and daddy feel – sad and upset, and we dont make people we love sad and upset. Could you maybe try something similar? I’d love to hear how you get on if you do.. Good luck and thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

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  11. I haven’t been through it myself yet, although I’m due with my second in July but there will only be about 19 months between our two so I think it’ll be a bit different. I’m the youngest of 4 though and both my sisters have 3 kids each, so I’ve seen my fair share of sibling fighting! It is normal as everybody has said, the only thing I know that works for some families (and you might already be doing) is to make sure that both parents try to have some one on one time with the older child each week – even if it’s only half an hour that you can manage. I think often that can help them feel a little more connected with you and having that time where the attention is solely on them can be good. Other than that I’m sure she will grow out of it to an extent and your little boy will probably learn to fight back 😂 #DreamTeam

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  12. Sibling relationships are so complex. There are eight years between my two, and the baby (almost one), is the bully in our house to his older sister. I can already see disaster looming in the years to come! For now a beaming smile and she forgives him, but I’m not sure how long this will last. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at #PostsFromTheHeart

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  13. I’ve got little advice as the Tubblet is an only but I hope you find your way through it. It may be just a stage and things will work out as they both get older. Other friends tried to make sure that the older one got regular one to one times with them away from the younger one. Good luck!

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  14. I think it’s jealousy. I dont need to deal with that problem but I’m very curious how you will solve this problem because I want to have another baby in the future so maybe I will have same problem
    #PostsFromTheHeart.

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  15. We went through the exact same phase when my youngest was 6 weeks old and my eldest just three. I put it down to jealousy but in hindsight I think it was her age and a passing phase. I know it is incredibly hard in the heat of the moment but I tried to focus my attention on the little one and how she was feeling. I found time outs etc made my eldest worse. Once the baby was calm I would then talk to the big one about why she had done it (often I would have to say why I thought she’d done it as she doesn’t usually know) and try and help her understand her feelings/behaviour. I found a book that helped – calm parents, happy siblings. I’m not sure what worked in the end but it did pass. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  16. Have you tried simply talking to her about it ? What I mean is , how about arrange a “day out” just you and her, maybe to a favorite restaurant or something like that where the two of you can have “Mommy/daughter” time together. She might just be envious of all the time he takes away from the two of you being together. Talk to her about how she feels – ask her point blank, “How do you feel about the new baby being here ?” Maybe make it a weekly event, something she can look forward to – just the two of you spending time together. Also, you could try getting her a doll that could be Her Baby. She could imitate the way you feed your son with her doll. That way, when it’s time to feed or change him, she could do the same thing with her “baby”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve done this to a degree but perhaps not point blank asked her how she feels about him coming into our lives. She does get one on one time with both of us so we’ve ticked that box. Things have got easier recently as my son gets older and starts to hold his own!

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