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Question:

Dear Dr. Bartell,
My son is 4 years old and becomes extremely jealous when one of his year-old twin sisters gets any attention at all. Recently my husband and I have noticed things getting a little scary. He may have pushed one sister down the stairs, and he tried to choke his other sister, enough to make her cry. The girls are clearly afraid of him. I love son, and he is a perfect angel when his sisters are not there, but I don't want him to grow up thinking this is acceptable behavior. Is this just sibling rivalry, or something worse? What should I do?

Thanks,
Amy

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Question:

Hello Dr. Bartell,
I am the mother of two healthy children. Cindy will be 4 in November, and Matthew is just about 11 months. My husband and I adore them and feel satisfied with two children. We are however torn, as to whether or not we should try for another. I had healthy pregnancies, and no birth complications. It's not a financial or a health concern. I admit that I feeling slightly guilty about saying two children might be enough. It' s a blessing to have a surprise pregnancy, but it's also a blessing to be able to choose. Also, I have a girl, and a boy. I know mothers who have two girl, or two boys, and are sure about a third because they are hoping for the opposite sex. I wonder if this decision comes hard for most mothers. A part of me feels like three would be great, and another part of me wants to get on with our life with the two we have, leaving a little more time for my husband and I. What are some things we truly need to be asking ourselves?

Thank you for your help,
Margaret

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Question:

To Dr. Bartell:
I have been married for one year to a wonderful man who does not have any children. I, on the other have three from a previous marriage. He wants a baby and so do I, but when??? My youngest just turned 5 and my oldest is 12. But we also want a bigger home, we don't have any room, and we are not planning on looking until my husband graduates from college (2yrs.) I am concern that if we wait, my other 3 children will be too old, and if we don't what do we do with the cramped space. Should we wait or should we have a baby and be cramped for one year?

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Maddie

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Question:

Hi Dr. Bartell,
I am married to a man who has an 8-year old daughter. His daughter is very jealous of me and feels like I'm taking her daddy away from her. Although she lives with her mother, whenever she visits us she always has to be right there when my husband and I are trying to spend time together. Whenever we want to sit by each other she always has to be right in the middle. I feel like I can't even get close to him when she's around. My husband seems to like it this way because he never says anything to her. She seems to be the only person he cares about. I am now four months pregnant and I'm scared that after the baby things aren't going to work out. I feel that baby will never be important in his life because he already has his daughter. And I am also sure my stepdaughter will be very jealous when the baby comes. She is used to having all the attention and when the baby comes she won't be getting it all so I think there will be many problems. I'm so worried that if something happens my husband will always take his daughter's side! What should I do to manage this situation?

Thank you so much.
Linda

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