Please help!(10 Posts)
I've never posted on any of these sites before so please be gentle with me!
My husband and I have a beautiful 3.5 year old boy and gorgeous 7 week old boy.
Our eldest has always been a very spirited child, very loud, very boisterous (never hitting or anything, just full on!). He has never slept very well but we have never done 'cry it out' or anything like that as we didn't like the idea - we have always comforted him at night when needed but it has led to many a sleepless night and now the addition of a newborn, we are pretty tired.
Aside from that, the last week or so our eldest has been on half term from preschool and his behaviour has been off the chart. We left a play date early Wednesday as he was being so naughty - winding their dog up after being told not to a thousand times, being loud, dribbling on their sofa on purpose - need I continue? I drove home in tears. It's almost like sometimes his body is taken over and he turns into a little tyrant! He also has what can only be described as a shouting/screaming tic! He will be watching TV or something and suddenly he will shout or scream - only a short burst but it is so loud and out of nowhere! He has loads of stimulation, fresh air, love, structure (usually, aside from holidays).
I think we need to get him tested for ADHD or something - I am praying it is a phase - maybe an adjustment to new baby? But I don't know how to discipline him/deal with the behaviour. I have cried numerous times this week and had a panic attack. I don't want to keep shouting all the time - I want to enjoy our time together! Please help!
How does he behave at nursery, does he have the shouting tic there as well?
It sounds like attention seeking and/or liking to get you to shout and tbh pretty normal for his age.
Have you made a big deal of him being a big boy now and helping with his brother and showing him (little brother) how to behave.
As a parent of a child with ADHD I don't think you could get an assessment at 3.5 it's just far too young. How is nursery you would almost certainly be experiencing problems there too.
It sounds like you have all had a lot of change and he may be reacting to that which wouldn't be abnormal at all.
Be clear, calm and consistent. Chances are it will pass.
How is he with other people? Family, other children, teachers?
I had similar worries about ds 3 but he's really selective with who he acts up to. (mainly me).
I think if they feel really safe with someone they can get their real feelings out.
Thanks so much for your replies!
He's a really good boy at preschool - his key worker said to me 'he's really quiet! I have to ask him to use his 'loud' voice!' I was in total shock. As it's the opposite at home! We have made a massive deal about him being a big brother - he is amazing with the baby, pops his dummy back in, talks to him, reads to him (well, makes up what the book says!) and we always tell him what a brilliant big brother is and when he's naughty that we don't want his baby brother to pick up naughtiness. He goes to a childminder one morning a week who he is brilliant for too - she has no concerns.
He has always played me and hubby up more than grandma's (which they have both said!) but lately it's been for friends of mine too, like the play date Wednesday.
The more I think about it the more I wonder if it is that he needs to act out for attention, like you say. We have done the naughty step in the passed which is kind of diluted now, he doesn't take it seriously I don't think.
When he shouts do we ignore it? He has also picked up saying 'shut up!' from the film Paddington (!!!) which he says often in context but also if he gets frustrated with something he tells it to shut up. Have tried disciplining him but it's not making a difference! (Saying he can't have treat etc). Any ideas when it's words??
Thanks so much girls x
Also, he has always played up for hubby and I, not just since baby has come along... why?!!
... I keep thinking of things.
He also isn't a huge fan of solo playing. At home he always wants us to play with him - which we obviously do when we can but now with a baby, dog and house to run (and own business!) it's tough sometimes! When he's not focused on playing that's when he jumps on furniture, says 'I'm hungry' and wants to snack and winds the dog up!! He very rarely plays by himself at home.
He sounds like a pretty normal 3.5yo to me! It's very common for him to be naughtier for you and DH than at nursery or with other people. Not playing by himself is normal at this age too.
Maybe you need to lower your expectations a bit? I'm thinking about the bit in your OP when you talk about tears and anxiety. Try accepting that parenting a toddler is often frustrating, stop putting pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent.
This sounds tough! If he's behaving differently at nursery and at home then I'd agree it could be attention seeking/reacting to the new baby. It's a huge change for him - he's been used to your undivided attention until several weeks ago. Keep being consistent with clear consequences and boundaries.
Just a point: 3.5 is not too early to assess for ADHD. We've just kicked off the process and DS1 is 3.5. But he's the same at nursery and at home.
Thanks for your messages girls. You have really reassured me. I think sometimes social media puts pressure on parents (FB, Pinterest etc) and puts ideas in our heads that we aren't doing things right. We are strict with him with manners etc - so maybe we need to chill out a bit and let him be a toddler. Hopefully things will calm down when routine starts up again next week with preschool. Thanks again everyone xxx
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