I’m looking for some advice maybe from a parent who’s had similar temperaments in their children.

I have 2 dd’s. My oldest is 3, and she’s very calm, agreeable, playful, and idependent. Not so for her 18 mo. old sister. My youngest is very loud. She’s been screaming literally since the day she was born - a very high pitched, piercing scream. I can’t get the screaming to quit! Developmentally, she’s fine, if not ahead of the game. She needs a lot of touch. She wants to be on top of me or his sister constantly. My oldest daughter wants to play by herself, and this one won’t let her. My little one has a big beautiful smile and is happy most of the time, as long as she’s touching someone. If she doesn’t get her way, look out, she’ll tell you (and the neighbors) about it. My older one needs a little more space and quiet time.

How do I get them to play together better? How do I deal with the stronger personality of my little one, and get her to be a little more independent? This is wearing me out!


This is a tough one. My youngest also had a very strong, demanding personality (as compared to the older ones.) Oldest children often crave time alone and I believe that you need to give it to her.

Aside from you toughing it out until your youngest learns a bit of self control, I’d say try to get both children to help you with chores (like folding laundry). The little one will probably want to copy the older one. This will eventually give you and the little one something to do together when you need to give the older one some space. But your older child also needs to learn that she must sometimes play with her little sister. Teach her that she needs to arrange her time so that she does her ‘big kid’ things when little sister is otherwise occupied. When little sister is around she does ‘little kid’ things.

If your little one is TOO touchy, teach her to ask, “Can I have a hug?” or something appropriate, and make her wait for an affirmative response before she gets what she wants. You are not trying to keep her from experiencing touch but you do want her to develop some conscious awareness of her actions.


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