DS1 is 3.5 and DS2 is 5 months old. DS1 has always been quite a handful - we've struggled with sleep, separation anxiety, potty training, food etc etc. In fact every new thing has been a real struggle but we've got there eventually. Now that he has a brother he is insanely jealous and downright furious and I've run out of ideas for dealing with him. On an average day at the moment he is rude, angry and aggressive. Today he tipped his brother out of his chair, hit me several times, spat at me and hit a younger boy visitor who dared to play with his toys. We've tried the naughty corner but DS1 just laughs at us. We've tried time outs but he just asks for more time outs. We've tried the money pot thing where pennies are taken off him for bad behaviour but we just ran out of pennies after 2 days!
I feel that a lot of it is jealousy of his new brother. Some of it is frustration because his speech is quite poor (he is getting some therapy for this) but I'm beginning to wonder whether the problem is deeper rooted or even whether the problem lies with me and the way I handle him.
I feel utterly fed up and depressed and a failed mother. I don't know what to do with him. When he's not angry he's such a lovely, sociable little boy. But he's a very strong character and if this is a power struggle that we're having, I'm definitely losing!
Can anyone offer some advice? Better still, is there any organisation or "SuperNanny"-type help that can tell me what to do?
If his speech is poor how about using visual timetables/countdowns etc. Also simplify your language (has his understanding been assessed- is it just a speech problem (therefore frustrating) or is there a language problem as well)
His speech has been assessed. It's not a language problem - his vocabulary and understanding is very good but he has problems with some pronouncing some consonants which makes it difficult for anyone apart from me and his dad to understand him fully.
I'm having a difficult time keeping calm atm as I have a lovey three year old and a perfect daughter, but he does go on and on and on, tends to whinge, we have a had a huge regression with potty training, plus he is obsessed with numbers which drives me BATTY! But...I think he responds much better to being love bombed than he does to being punished or snapped at. I do think children often behave better if you don't react much except to pour on the affection if the behaviour is a reaction to a new sibling. Of course you can't let him hurt his baby brother, but can you set aside periods during the day where you really do get on teh floor and play with him with loads of praise and love and hugs etc? And to try to build a relationship between the boys - ie loads and loads of 'look, he's trying to copy you! Look, he's smiling at you, he thinks you are so clever!" I am the voice of baby sister in our house, and adopt a little squeaky voice to say things like "I love you big brother. You are so big and clever", which goes down a storm with ds.
This might not be the right thing, but for my ds1, I have found that sometimes he finds the pot/money thing - or star chart, which we have used - is a bit too long term. Although ds will gain/lose a star immediately on good/bad behaviour, the consequence (treat or not treat) is still way off. Is it worth finding a reward system that is a bit more immediate for his most challenging behaviour? DH and I both find that ds1 responds very well to a good telling off/naughty stair at the moment, but if/when he doesn't, the immediate consequence reward/not system is what I'll be searching out. Hmm, sorry if that's hopeless.