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4yr Old Behaviour going down hill. Advice needed.

(7 Posts)
WannabeNigella Sun 04-Sep-11 15:00:35


I will try to keep this short. 4.5 yr DS1 has always been absolutely golden, I'm not just being biased, everyone commented on it and he really was too good to be true. (Literally!)

Since DD1 arrived 7 months ago his behaviour has gone downhill. Still not anywhere near as bad as some children I see (Don't want to paint him as being a total nightmare) just not as good as he was. I know that a lot of this will be down to him feeling jealousy over his sister and having to share our attention but I really thought we would be past that 7 months in and I really feel like all I do is nag him and I feel like an awful mother sometimes.

To give you some examples -
He is quite rough around his sister, even if it is just tickles, and it takes us about 4-5 times of saying stop it, each time raising our voice higher and higher before he does.
He has started making a mess at the table when he eats dinner (copying his sister I am sure).
If he is doing something he shouldn't be and we ask him to stop, again it takes 4-5 times of us saying it until we are virtually shouting.
We will tell him not to do something, even something very basic and it's almost like he can't stop himself.

Time Out has always worked brilliantly with him and still does if I'm in a situation where I can threaten it, he then rarely goes on it. But the situations we are struggling with are things that happen to quickly for us to threaten it and are too minor to deserve that kind of punishment after it, especially without any warning. (Hope that makes sense).

We are quite firm with regards discipline and behaviour so don't think we are letting him walk all over us. I just feel like we're stuck in a vicious circle that at a time when he needs us to show him more love and attention than ever before we are nagging him and telling him off, but we can't ignore these behaviours either.

I'm hoping you'll all tell me it's perfectly normal and he'll snap out of it (was hoping that would have happened by now) or maybe that he is really ready to start school now (happens next week) or that you have the perfect discipline technique for these sorts of situations!


Nagoo Sun 04-Sep-11 15:12:19

When you only have one, you rarely have to go on at them.

In general, if they want to do something, you can sort it out so that they can do it, or do it with them, immediately.

Now you can't, you might be feeding/ changing/ shushing the baby.

They can roll around the floor dancing and that's fine.

Now you've got a baby on the floor.

My DS is not naughtier, but I do have to tell him no far more often.

I went with a reward chart, and when he gets stars all week he gets a legoman. That helps him to stop the 'can't help himself' behaviour.

ragged Sun 04-Sep-11 15:15:43

Crikey, sounds like you were incredibly lucky for years, if you find that so difficult.
Lots of one-to-one time is the trick with some kids.
He's also well ready to go to school, he'll be needing the mental stimulation of it.

WannabeNigella Sun 04-Sep-11 22:55:39

Bump for any more wisdom?

Colliherts Sun 04-Sep-11 23:02:48

My daughter was always great and then became v difficult recently. I was advised to spend more one on one time with her. I did and its been amazing the difference it has made. She is almost back to where she was with me. I really enjoyed it so much too.

I also would ignore as much of the minor behaviour as you can -you dont need to show your kids who is boss all of the time - as long as you are boss when you need to be. Most of the time by telling them off - you are actually giving them a reaction which is what they want.

Just have more fun time with him and you will enjoy it too.

I wouldnt expect him to grow out of it though as sibling rivalry can go on for entire lives. sorry but it does.

WannabeNigella Sun 04-Sep-11 23:11:01

Thanks Colliherts, am going to make a real effort with that from tomorrow.

EBDteacher Sun 04-Sep-11 23:24:49

I would say for the 'you REALLY can't do that but I know you can't help yourself' type situations just hold him so he can't do the thing you've said 'no' to. An arm across or around his body just to help him use his 'stop button' while you redirect his attention to something else.

It is better to give him a chance to control himself, but if you know he can't then briefly control his physical response youself. He will learn complete self control eventually but for now you may need to do some of it for him while he adjusts to the new situation.

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