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  1. #1
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    Default Help dealing with 2 kids!

    Since dd2 (1 year) has become mobile it's made things so difficult.
    She is interested in what dd1 (3.5 years) is playing with. Dd1 really struggles with playing independently and likes interaction from me.

    There is little or no activities that they can do together to keep them both happy.

    Dd1 is always getting upset and pushing away dd2, and fair enough, she'll be playing with a dolls house and dd2 will just pull it apart, dd1 tries to give dd2 something else but obviously what we are doing together looks more fun! It's also not fair to expect dd2 to be sitting alone seperate in another room when dd1 and I are in the lounge together.

    It's got to the point dd1 won't even play with any toys any more as dd2 comes along and interferes. She just gets upset (and I get frustrated as she's hurting dd2) and goes into her room and shuts the door and wants to plays on her tablet all day. (She won't play on her own with her toys in her room). I would suggest dd1 go find her own space elsewhere but she just won't without me there.

    I feel like a piggy in the middle. I'm at a loss what to do with both of them, and the guilt I feel about dd1 is killing me.

    I do give dd1 lots of attention when dd2 is napping. But it's not enough.

    Dd2 will happily play on her own but if I'm sitting and playing with dd1, or she's having fun with some toys, she just wants to be involved. And dd1 doesn't want her too, she's too young and destructive.

    What do others do at this age? Hope I'm making sense.
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 16-10-2016 at 06:32.

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  3. #2
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    You're definitely making sense and it's a very hard and heartbreaking situation. My boys were exactly the same: DS1 was terrible at independent play and DS2 needed attention at age 1 and was quite destructive. They have similar age gaps (2yrs 1 month).

    Honestly I think this is a phase they will both get over- they will start learning to play independently and also learn to share and how to play with without upsetting the other. But it just takes time and lots of modelling/positive reinforcement/encouragement.

    I suggest trying some of the following (if you already do these things, just keep at it!):

    - tell DD1 that she can play for 5 minutes by herself with "x" toy/activity while you give Dd2 attention, then you will swap (ie taking turns with your time/attention)

    - give DD1 LOTS of praise when she is being independent, and talk about what a "big girl" she is playing on her own

    - when they play together, stay close to DD2 and stop her from being destructive, showing her gentle ways to play with the toys and giving praise when she is gentle and doesn't destroy things

    - suggest activities they can do together that don't involve building things, such as drawing, playing musical instrument, reading, playing with dolls or cars or whatever girls play with lol (I'm clueless here) instead of blocks/building/play doh/puzzles..

    - try to organise play dates for your girls with friends of the same ages, so another girl that is 3.5 to play with DD1 while you give attention to Dd2, and vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witherwings View Post
    You're definitely making sense and it's a very hard and heartbreaking situation. My boys were exactly the same: DS1 was terrible at independent play and DS2 needed attention at age 1 and was quite destructive. They have similar age gaps (2yrs 1 month).

    Honestly I think this is a phase they will both get over- they will start learning to play independently and also learn to share and how to play with without upsetting the other. But it just takes time and lots of modelling/positive reinforcement/encouragement.

    I suggest trying some of the following (if you already do these things, just keep at it!):

    - tell DD1 that she can play for 5 minutes by herself with "x" toy/activity while you give Dd2 attention, then you will swap (ie taking turns with your time/attention)

    - give DD1 LOTS of praise when she is being independent, and talk about what a "big girl" she is playing on her own

    - when they play together, stay close to DD2 and stop her from being destructive, showing her gentle ways to play with the toys and giving praise when she is gentle and doesn't destroy things

    - suggest activities they can do together that don't involve building things, such as drawing, playing musical instrument, reading, playing with dolls or cars or whatever girls play with lol (I'm clueless here) instead of blocks/building/play doh/puzzles..

    - try to organise play dates for your girls with friends of the same ages, so another girl that is 3.5 to play with DD1 while you give attention to Dd2, and vice versa.
    Excellent advice! OP I had the same issues when mine were 3 and 1 - I think its pretty common. Its hard work but if you keep at it, eventually each child will learn what is acceptable/appropriate behaviour. Do you have a trampoline? This was one thing both my kids were able to enjoy together. And the sandpit as well (now we are getting nicer weather). Also going out to a park where they are things to entertain each child. They will always both want your attention but its must a matter of sharing yourself and the other child has to learn to wait. Easier said than done, I know!

    Best of luck. Mine are 5 and 3 now and they play lovely together (most of the time )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redcorset View Post
    They will always both want your attention but its must a matter of sharing yourself and the other child has to learn to wait. Easier said than done, I know!

    Best of luck. Mine are 5 and 3 now and they play lovely together (most of the time )
    So true! all of this! lol.
    My boys are the same ages now

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    Default Help dealing with 2 kids!

    Fantastic advice @witherwings and @Redcorset.
    I know it won't last forever but still it will be a fair while until dd2 can play properly.

    Dd1 loves playdoh, dolls houses, duplo, cooking in her kitchen, all things dd2 tampers with! We don't have a proper yard- i have a wrap around courtyard-I had a sandpit ages ago but it was the pits with sand everywhere. I have set up a little kiddie pool though for the warmer weather. It will be easier once dd2 is walking (not long now) as currently crawling outside grazes her knees up- but outside play is always good!
    I've been meaning to get some musical instruments, fantastic idea. And drawing is great too- dd2 can happy pick up and suck on pencils lol. Jumping on the bed to music.

    I do get out of the house everyday usually as the park/shops/library are great for both of them.

    In 2 years time this will all be past us!!!
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 16-10-2016 at 07:26.

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  11. #6
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    Default Help dealing with 2 kids!

    Sometimes I regret the gap (wasn't really planned though- dd2 came a bit sooner than expected lol).
    In hindsight a really small gap or a slightly bigger one would be easier during this phase. But I guess there's always pros and cons to everything. I'm hopeful though they will be great friends and play together nicely

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Sunshine View Post
    Sometimes I regret the gap (wasn't really planned though- dd2 came a bit sooner than expected lol).
    In hindsight a really small gap or a slightly bigger one would be easier during this phase. But I guess there's always pros and cons to everything. I'm hopeful though they will be great friends and play together nicely
    I found the 2yr gap was really hard in the early days but now they are bigger and can talk to each other, they are absolutely the best of friends. They adore each other and keep each other entertained. They still fight sometimes but mostly it's lots of cuddles kisses and playing beautifully! It all just takes some time

    ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1476567384.274838.jpg

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    We have 3 kids - 2 lots of 2y gap. Any chance DD1 would be happy to play in a playpen occ with her dolls house and you and DD2 can play outside?

    I used to get all the blocks out and we'd playing together building the biggest tower we could and knocking it down.

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    The gaps between my boys is bigger but wanted say DS2 (4 in just over a week) has JUST started playing independently soooo beautifully (thank goodness!!). So hopefully your DS1 will soon as well.

    Hugs x

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    Following as we are on the cusp of this. My girls are slightly younger but DD1 also can't play independently & is getting frustrated with DD2 pawing/clawing at everything.

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