Sibling jealousy or the arrival of the ‘threenager’?



Something has happened to my sweet little boy recently.

One minute he’ll be covering Rory in kisses and saying ‘ love you brother, sweet dreams ‘ and melting my Mama heart, and the next we’re dealing with an exorcist reenactment. There is screaming, shouting, hitting, running away and throwing himself to the ground.  And just like the biting phase that happened around 2, most of this is directed purely at me. Lucky me.


know he has had huge changes in his life in the last 3 weeks.  He has gone from the centre of our world to having to share it with another little person and we’ve been trying to lesson the change for him.  Lots of one on one time with both of us.  Lots of activities that are just for him. Involving him in helping and encouraging his big brother role. But it doesn’t seem to be enough.


Is this the result of sibling jealousy or the arrival of the ‘threenager’?


I’ve been trying to pre-empt when total meltdowns are likely to happen and either avoid the situation entirely or have a reward lined up to encourage cooperation but some days (most days)  it’s totally unpredictable and illogical.


‘I don’t want a shower! No! I want to be dirty.’

Turn shower off.

‘I want a shower. Ahhhhh!’


Yesterday we were going to one shop only to buy him a skateboard to attach to the pram before going to playgroup. We spoke about both before leaving and he was equally excited about playgroup as he was to get the skateboard. He chatted happily about what we were doing on the drive to the shop.  He spoke about showing all his friends at playgroup his new skateboard.


Yet within five minutes of entering the store.

He didn’t want to try the skateboard.

He didn’t want me to look at what prams it attached to.

He wanted to leave right now!  (I made a quick decision and went to pay – I’d pre-browsed online so I basically knew what I wanted).

Then he didn’t want to leave the store and he didn’t want to go to playgroup.

Darling to devil in 3.5 seconds.

By this point Rory had started crying in harmony and I had him on my shoulder whilst wrangling Eamon out to the care to let him shout it out.  And wrangling it was. I don’t need to workout. I have a threenager. By the time I got him into the car seat I was drenched in sweat and wondering why I bothered leaving the house at all.


And then… 5 minutes later. My sweet boy returned.  He had a drink of water, asked why his ‘blinks’  (tears) had stopped and was perfectly helpful to and from playgroup.


God help me.  How long does this stage last?

4 Responses to “Sibling jealousy or the arrival of the ‘threenager’?

  • I am so very scared of when this is going to happen to me. Justin had an epic meltdown the other day when it was time for them to leave the park. Jarvis cried he did not want to leave the park until Mummy came and got him. (I was at work) Justin said he felt like a child abductor with Jarvis scream “no I want my Mummy”.
    I think just like the teenage years, boys get a surge of hormones any time between two and four, so add this in to the mix with a new siblings and massive changes for the family. I guess our kids are just doing what we want to sometimes…. Crying unreasonably cause the

      9 years ago

      Yes I’ve heard of the testosterone surge at this age is a cause too. It’s not fun. I can handle the screaming when I know he isn’t going to hurt himself or Rory (or me!) It’s just harder to manage when we’re out.

  • Ummm about 18 years I believe… give or take a little. No jokes, it does get easier hun.. its just hard to say when as each stage kind of blends into the next. I’m not helping at all am I. lol sorry xx

      9 years ago

      Ha! Not really no. But maybe a good lesson in just letting go and rolling with each stage. X

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