#JoJoTakeTwo Second Child Jealousy

As part of our #JoJoTakeTwo campaign, we asked some of our mums at the London office about their experiences with second child jealousy. We all want the arrival of a new baby into the family to be a smooth transition but inevitably, there will be a few hiccups!

leo and darcey

Marketing assistant Steph, mum to Leo, 5 and Darcey, 2 writes about her experiences:

“I wouldn’t say that my children ever get jealous of each other directly as they are both at completely different stages in their lives, but they certainly get jealous of the attention I do or don’t show them.  He’s not so bad now but I remember when Leo was about 4 I used to constantly hear “mummy watch me” or “mummy look at this”! And as sweet as it was, when you’re changing a pooie nappy or trying to get a squirmy 1 year old dressed it’s kind of hard to do both!  One thing I used to notice with Darcey when she was around 18 months was that she would get extremely jealous if I was cuddling Leo or sitting with him on the sofa. So jealous that she would scream and try to push him away from me. She doesn’t do this now but she does get very protective over me if Leo and I are play fighting and she thinks I’ve been hurt.

However, when I look back I can’t actually believe how jealous Leo was of Darcey in the first few weeks of her being around. He was like a completely different child to a point where he started getting angry; lashing out and hitting me which was behaviour we had never seen or dealt with before. Thankfully this only lasted 3 or 4 weeks and I am pleased to say he’s never been like this since. I recall one day Leo had a complete meltdown over getting his shoes on for nursery.  15 minutes later and fast running out of time I just said, “Fine I’ll just take all the bags to the car including your shoes and then come back and carry you”.  As I walked away he was screaming at the top of his lungs at me, “I want my shoes back. Give me my shoes back now” and when I finally went to carry him to the car he was already half way across the garden with wet soggy socks hitting and punching me. I was not a happy mummy that day!

These days there is endless arguing over toys (sigh). I find this particularly difficult with Darcey as she constantly wants whatever toy Leo is playing with and it’s hard for both of them to understand. Darcey’s still at the age where she doesn’t quite understand the cause and effect of snatching and sharing. But equally Leo doesn’t quite understand why has to go easy on Darcey because she is only just two. Some days I do find myself saying to Leo “oh just let her have it” because that way we don’t have to listen to one of Darcey’s tantrums which I know is unfair on Leo. I draw the line at Lego, if it’s something Leo has created Darcey definitely doesn’t get her way.

Someone once said to me that you have to choose your battles so I guess being a parent that’s just what you have to do.  I try to be as fair as I can when sorting out their arguments but It’s difficult to be fair 100% of the time especially when it comes to sharing toys. I always feel that it’s important to explain to the children why we share and that Darcey’s toys are hers and Leo’s toys are his, but to be honest children just fight over toys with their siblings, friends, or cousins etc.”

Quickfire questions with retail marketing assistant Victoria, mum to Olly, 7 and Lucy, 5:
Do your children get jealous of each other?
Not that often really as I think that they are so close in age

Was your first child jealous of your new baby?
No he wasn’t, he was only 18 months old when my daughter was born so after a while I don’t think he remembered what it was like before she came along

What do they get jealous over – clothes, your attention, toys etc?
There’s lots of cries of “its not fair…….” Usually if one gets something over and above the other, eg a birthday sweet from a classmate or if I inadvertently pour one child more juice than the other!

How do you deal with it?
I try to be as fair and consistent with them as possible with them and explain that although X got a sweet in school today then Y will get one another day.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with sibling jealousy. If you’re currently expecting your second child, is jealousy something you worry about? Comment below or join in the conversation over on Twitter, using the hashtag #JoJoTakeTwo. Remember to multibuy and save, now valid on even more of your favourite styles for a limited time only. Click here to shop the collection.

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