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Sibling jealousy causing horrendous behaviour?? HELP!! we're desperate!

(6 Posts)
sazman Wed 05-Aug-09 21:54:33

Help! I'm tearing my hair out with my DS1 who is 4.5yrs.We have recently had another baby son who is now 14 weeks old. Unfortunately he has been in and out of hospital with severe reflux problems which meant i was away from home over night on numerous occasions leaving DS1 at home with daddy. During the day he was with various relatives and friends so my DH could help me out at the hospital. It was a v difficult time and i felt very guilty about DS1 being passed from pillar to post but DS2 needed me in hospital as i was breast feeding. Anyway, DS 2 is now on the mend and his health is much better but DS1 is displaying horrendous behaviour which i'm guessing is all a reaction to his new baby brother and the difficulties we have experienced with him. He behaves well at home when it is just the 4 of us. He loves his little brother very much and helps me out a lot. However, it is a different story when we have visitors, whether it be grandparents, other relatives or friends. He turns into a different child! He runs riot, tries to get away with things he would not dream of doing when we don't have visitors(like helping himself to whatever he fancies from the fridge!), he sometimes refuses to speak to people or won't answer their questions and when i tell him off or ask him to do something he completely ignores me(again, he does NOT do this when it is just the 4 of us at home) The other week he told the health visitor he was going to 'break her with a knife' I was mortified but she didn't seem unduly bothered! My DS1 has never been spoiled and i like to think he's been brought up well but this recent behaviour makes him appear to be a very naughty and difficult child. To be honest i find it very embarrassing and upsetting and on a few occasions recently i have purposely not taken him places with me but left him with my mum instead because i dread his behaviour when we are socialising.
I get so cross with him but at the same time my heart goes out to him because he has obviously been very affected by the arrival of his little brother and all the difficulties we've had. I just want my little boy back who until now we've never really experienced behavioural problems with. He has always been adored by everyone but now i think everyone, like me, thinks he is very hard work! I would GREATLY appreciate any advice or tips anyone can give us deal with and reverse this behaviour. I am getting so upset about it i am wondering if he needs some kind of counselling?? Please help if you can...we're desperate!!

jellyrolly Wed 05-Aug-09 22:50:17

I feel for you sazman, you sound very upset. From reading your post I would say you are worrying unneccesarily about how other people with see you/judge you and your ds1. Please don't worry, everyone will be aware that he is adjusting. He sounds like a lovely boy who is normal and feels very secure with his family or he wouldn't be able to express his feelings so well! You aren't teaching him to be a robot but a rounded person who will learn that it's okay to be upset and cross sometimes.

I would suggest that you talk to him about his feelings. He is probably able to feel them but not express them verbally very well yet. I say to my ds1 (nearly 4) things like "I know you feel angry and you are cross with mummy for blah blah" etc. and reassure him it's okay. Of course I only say things like that when not at the end of my tether but as I said, we aren't teaching them to be robots wink.

You are undoubtably tired after such a difficult time with your new baby but remember this, you have given your ds1 a wonderful gift of a sibling.

Luckily both my sons are ratbags behaviour-wise so I am not unduly shocked by their comments or behaviour but you have been blessed with a very well behaved boy until now. He sounds very normal. Make sure you find a little time to do special things with just you and him and don't be so hard on yourself! Good luck x

Hassled Wed 05-Aug-09 22:56:35

It's very early days still, especially as the hospital trips would have effectively delayed the new arrival as far as your DS1 is concerned.

I agree that it might be useful to help him articulate his worries - even if it feels like you're asking leading questions. He just needs lots and lots of reassurance that he's still loved. And do everything you can to make DS2 seem more interesting to him. And talk to the relatives and friends - make sure that they make a huge fuss of him before they see the baby.

Hang in there - it will all come good .

Hassled Wed 05-Aug-09 22:58:25

Plus, remember that 4 year old boys are notoriously horrible (all 3 of my DSs were hideous at 4). Something to do with a surge of testosterone. It could actually be a coincidence and he would have been horrible regardless of the new baby.

SlartyBartFast Wed 05-Aug-09 23:01:35

agree 4 is a horrible age,
can the two of you spend some time alone together?
can visitors make more of a fuss of him, than the baby for a start?

good luck, it will get better though.

sazman Sun 09-Aug-09 21:30:19

Hi All,
Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement...i think i probably am worrying unnecessarily about things and you've helped me to rationalise. I'd also forgotten about that huge surge in testosterone aswell...i remember my son's friend going through it a few years ago! When does it end BTW!?xx

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