Oh yes. They do this. Then the younger one grows old enough to be a playmate and things are better again.
Taking the older one on solo trips out was definitely a help, but hard to organise for us.
Playing when the baby is asleep also good.
I think the biggest thing for us was pushing harder on the "mum's helper" angle. I added chores, including general housework as well as baby care, until his idle hands were sufficiently occupied. It seemed to give him a sense of purpose and importance, as well as just something to do other than pick on his sister.
We also talked a lot about looking at things from another's point of view (he was just developing that ability - it usually comes between 3 and 4 in most kids). We talked a lot about his role and responsibilities as a big brother, etc.
I also found out about a concept called "facilitated play" which was in a book about... Successful Preschoolers? for 3-5yos. Basically it's unstructured, child-led play, but you step in where necessary to guide and extend the play (for example, if you can see one getting tetchy, you might ask a question about what they're doing which refocusses their attention and gets their rational side turned on, or you might step in and play along for a moment to keep the game moving along a peaceful path, then once they're ok you step back again). This is great for when you're NOT trying to cook dinner, etc - although it might still help a little under those circumstances if you can keep your attention on more things at once than I can, or if they are relatively peaceful together!
There were times when I had to separate them for everyone's safety when DS was feeling extra-surly and I had to get something done. We did a lot of time-out over that period. I tried to paint it more as a practical solution to a problem than a punishment - they were getting at each other and we all needed space to calm down. I had DS practice meditative techniques such as breathing and counting to ten. I often sent him to his room to do this when he started showing early signs of jealousy so he could calm down and return in a controlled state. I tried to point out the signs to him in the hope he could learn to self-regulate and take himself off when necessary, which worked to a certain, mild degree.
I also remember DD spending some time in the back carrier during dinner prep etc, for her safety.
Anyway, they still have their tiffs but it's not so frequent nor so much of a worry any more, so there is hope!
Edited by beabea, 15 January 2013 - 03:04 AM.