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Help me cope with 4yr old, New Babba and Life!!!(3 Posts)
Just hoping to find some more experienced MN mums who might have some words of wisdom.
I am lucky enough to have to gorgeous boys but am struggling slightly with the older ones behaviour since his new bro arrived! He is so lovely to his baby brother (he is 14 weeks) he is very considerate, loving to him but his behaviour in every other area has taken a rapid downturn. Im not getting much sleep because obviously I have a baby but he is also very clingy so needs loads of attention and general life is a bit tough at the moment too so Im really struggling with the day to day parenting.
Some of the typical things are, saying NO to everything. Not wanting to get ready for school in the morning or bed at night. Not wanting to go out. Playing up at meal times. Making a really big (and embarrassing if in public) display of temper if he doesnt get his own way. I know alot of these are normal children things but im just feeling exhausted with trying to keep the peace all day, I wish just sometimes he behaved for half an hour and gave me a break. I miss him terrible when he is at school and then 5 mins after he gets home im at my wits end. Dont get me wrong I love both of them more than life itself but would just like life to be a little easier!
Any tips or words of wisdom most welcome x
Reward system? We have gems in the jar. Jar has name on it and an increasing scale of treats - 4yo's is Sweeties, Comic, Book, Toy, Trip Out. Also weekly target...i.e. don't say No without having a think first, sitting through a meal, or for 10 minutes (clock on table). Tonnes of praise and a gem for each time he achieves his 'target'.
The key is to plan for when he gets home, have a game laid out or something he can help with for making the dinner.
Have you got Cranium? Its a game with mats on the floor where a voice tells you what to jump/skip/hop to. It's brilliant because even non-readers get the rules. You can play it with him, or you can help from the sidelines if you're feeding.
The last of my infinite wisdom is that this too shall pass, it's JUST A PHASE! He just needs to test that your love is unconditional because he feels threatened, pretty understandable really.
I'm so sorry you are struggling at the moment, it will improve - eventually.
My DD took a good 12 months to adjust to her little brother's arrival. The biggest PITA was that she seemed to lose the ability to play imaginative games on her own. She could/would only play if I was playing too - which was near impossible with a grumpy baby.
My only advice is to try and build some time into your routine when your DS gets your exclusive attention. Try and spend 15minutes curled up on the sofa with him while the baby naps, or sits in a bouncy chair or gets a cuddle from DP or someone. It usually feels easier for DP or granny or whoever to take the older child while you care for the baby - but it is worth trying to change it round now and then. My MIL would sometimes pop over in the afternoon so I could collect DD from school on my own and we would potter home chatting.
Please try and be patient. Praise your DS when he plays nicely, gets ready quickly etc. and ignoring as much of the crappy stuff as possible - he is doing it because he feels upset and excluded and jealous - he doesn't need to feel that you love him less because of his behaviour.
There will come a time when DS takes his toddling brother by the hand and they wander off together to make mischief together - and you will be so proud of them both it will make your heart hurt a little.
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