Sibling Jealousy Without the Sibling

My daughter has a cousin who is two years younger than my daughter. Rose, my youngest sister's daughter, just turned 11 months old. Several months ago, in the days when Rose wasn't very mobile and couldn't sit up by herself, my sis and I often said we looked forward to the day when the two girls could play together.

Now, that day is drawing near. Rose isn't quite walking yet, but she can make her way around a living room almost as fast as if she could. She plays with toys and likes to interact with people, especially with those close to her size.

The more Rose interacts with others, though, the more my daughter shows her jealous side. Every time Rose plays with one of my daughter's toys, my daughter tattles. "Mom! She's got my toy!" she'll cry with utmost urgency. "It's OK," I'll say. "She's not going to break it."

"Yes, she is!" she'll reply. She's not happy when I still take no action.

A couple of weeks ago, she gave Rose a slight shove as she was trying to stand up.  When I scolded her, she cried as if she honestly believed I was choosing the baby over her.

And for some reason, I feel kind of like I have too. Guilt trips work too well on me.

So, whenever my sister and I get together with our daughters, every now and then, I'll give my girl a quick hug to let her know she's not forgotten, no matter how much I "oooo" and "ahhhh" over the baby. I don't know if it helps her, but it sure helps me.

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