Updated 01/02/2003 05:00 AM
Brianna seems to be best friends with her little sister now. But for a while, Gwen Moragne had a severe case of sibling rivalry on her hands.
Gwen said, "She was very jealous in the beginning. We had to be very careful what she would do to her when we first brought her home."
A child's hostility and jealousy toward a new baby can even be dangerous at times.
Ginger Calloway, a PH.D.Child Psychologist in Raleigh, NC said,
"Sometimes the children frighten their parents with how angry they become because they might even climb up in the crib and try to hurt the baby."
Signs of jealousy include speaking baby talk, forgetting toilet training or becoming clingy.
Calloway said, "They go back to a period where they were more comfortable, where they knew better who they were before they're ready to move on to that next phase where they're more grown up."
The Moragnes fought the jealousy by asking Brianna to help with the baby.
Gwen Moragne said, "After we talked about it a lot and she felt she was a part of it, she adjusted to it."
If you're having problems, put Dad or a friend to work. They can occupy the older child while you're busy with the baby. You should also introduce the older child to new "big kid" activities.
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By working together, the Moragnes have turned the bitter rivals into two sisters whose friendship should last a lifetime.