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Struggling with my 3 1/2 year old d&s

(14 Posts)
pmgkt Sun 09-Feb-14 21:14:24

My ds1 was a model baby and toddler but since ds2 came along 13 months ago I have been struggling with ds1's behaviour. He is 3 1/2 and smugly never really had the terrible 2's but the 3's are a nightmare. He frequently pushes his brother over, nothing too hard just enough to unbalance him as he learns to walk, he wets himself dispite potty training 18 months ago, he shouts, takes toys off his brother, cries whenever you say no to anything or he doesn't get to go first, the list goes on. As I write this I am thinking normal for a 3 year old maybe but it's so constant and no sort of punishment seems to get through to him that he shouldn't repeat the behaviour. Is it an age thing or has someone got some words of help as my concern is the younger one will think this is acceptable. We have tried ignoring, naughty step, and no iPad time, but I just feel like a constant referee. I am currently focusing on praising his good behaviour and trying to ignore all but the worst bad behaviour but it's really hard. I do know parenting isn't easy but I feel at the moment that I have that child in the group that is always naughty.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 09-Feb-14 23:13:56

Does sound pretty normal but have a look in the library to see if they have a copy of House of Tiny Tearways.

ZenNudist Sun 09-Feb-14 23:37:08

My 3.5yo ds is similar. Always wants to watch tv, screams when it goes off. Had a potty training blip, fixed now I hope mainly dry as a result of rewarding dry days. Shouts and cries if not get own way. Very active and boisterous resulting in accidental damage to others!

I often feel as if I'm disciplining him constantly. Actually liking your idea of focusing on the really bad behaviour!

It's still a lovely age. He's very imaginative & cuddly. At least yours skipped the terrible twos. I've heard other mums say 3 is worse than 2, though at 2.5yo mine was very hard work!

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 00:00:23

OP we're in the same boat!

DS now nearly 3 was a gorgeous baby/toddler and in the last couple of months has gone haywire - all the same issues you're describing - coinciding with the arrival of DD.

I often feel at the end of the day like I've just been telling him off non stop and then I feel really guilty after he's gone to bed and stew about what it's doing to his self esteem and go in and cuddle him (while he's immobile) grin

I'm trying to focus on positive behaviour and reinforcing that but can't seem to get through unless I'm really harsh with punishments. Yesterday he emptied all his toys out in his room and made a giant mess which he then refused to help tidy up, so I said if he couldn't look after his things he couldn't have them any more, bagged them up and confiscated them. He's since been an angel in an effort to get them back (I'll return them one by one with good behaviour!) so it obviously got through but it's probably way too harsh given he's really only tiny...

BeyonceB Mon 10-Feb-14 00:06:59

It sounds like he's jealous of the attention his sibling is getting to me... hmm

pmgkt Mon 10-Feb-14 03:32:07

Thanks for your replies. Glad I'm not the only one. We confiscate his beloved Lego but some days he will take insist I take more cos he's been naughty which I not sure is quite how it's supposed to work.

I have thought about jealousy as that seems the obvious reason but ds2 is so laid back he doesn't monopolise my time at all, never has but the fact it started about the same time can't be ignored.

It makes mr really sad as my in laws constantly tell him how naughty he is even when he's not actually being naughty ad I'm sure that doesn't help

I'm feeling crap about it all as I feel he does nothing I say and is learning quickly to ignore me when we are out, which has resulted in him running out of buildings a number of times. Although he is sensible of danger in the road sense and is effectively running away and hiding rather tab running off and getting lost , wanting my attention and forcing me to focus on him. I suppose.

I also feel I am in an awful habit with my phone and always checking fb and mm rather than playing with them which makes me feel crap to. It's my vice I suppose and that got worse as ds2 came along as I had 2 weeks in hospital before he was born and I was bored. Plan of action is to cut that back too.

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 07:56:10

That sounds sensible OP - I might join you. I find I'm on it a lot at the moment while DD is breastfeeding to pass the time.

Beyonce I'm sure you're right re jealousy but how do you solve that? I try to make sure DS and I get quality time when we can, and try and involve him when DD requires attention, but the reality is she's here and she's sometimes high maintenance! Any advice?

BeyonceB Mon 10-Feb-14 19:03:22

OP and extra, I can't claim to be an expert in these matters, but I did have two children 15 months apart, so was very aware that jealousy may rear its green head wink

Lots of cuddles, lots of praise and getting the eldest to 'help' Mummy with the baby worked for me, and they're now best of friends at the age of 7 and nearly 6 who rarely argue (could be just luck though...) grin

As a teacher though, I'd recommend telling the Grandparents about the behaviour being naughty, not the child. (Or better still, keeping their beaks out altogether.)

pmgkt Mon 10-Feb-14 20:45:27

Beyoncé b I have tried and told in laws to not keep going on to him, but they are also my childcare for the day I work so it's hard to manage what happens when I'm not here although the older one is only here for an hour and a half after pre school.

So today I have really pushed myself not to text, fb or mm when he is around other than to text daddy for him. Guess what. Great day, we did fun things and he was far better. So much of it is down to me being a lazy parent, now I feel bad but also it's quite liberating to know that you can directly influence things with such little change. Now I need to work on dh as he is just as bad for playing on his phone.

Thanks everyone for feedback

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 21:12:46

OP that's great news! Hope tomorrow is just as good smile

pmgkt Mon 10-Feb-14 22:08:02

It should be........ He's in pre school all day!!! And dh booked my a massage during the day! But thanks I'll keep you posted.

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 22:11:47

Oooh sounds lovely!!

BeyonceB Mon 10-Feb-14 22:45:01

Great news. Keep us posted grin

pmgkt Thu 13-Feb-14 17:54:36

We'll after 2 full days at preschool Thursdays can be a challenge as he's tired. But no phone and no mumsnet all day ( he's just having some pre bed cbebbies ) and he has been great again. I'm kicking myself for greeting my own problems. Need to work on dh as he still has his phone and doesn't hear ds1 when he says stuff, and then that ends in tears.

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