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New baby...very unhappy 4 year old brother(8 Posts)
Happy new year to you all . We have welcomed our new granddaughter into the world over the Christmas period and her 4 year old brother's behaviour has changed drastically. We expected this to a certain extent but my daughter is at a loss as to what to do. He started school last September, Mum started maternity leave in December and will be off for a year. All suggestions most welcome
Are there particular times of day that he's particularly unhappy? Is it when baby is being fed or receiving cuddles? Are your daughter and or her husband/partner able to spend some alone time with him each day? Does he like being involved with his baby sister?
It seems to be mornings before school and then continues when he arrives home until bedtime-Mum is struggling herself (she forgot how hard it can be!), baby keeps jumping when he shouts. The main thing seems to be sheer disobedience. I suppose we just need ideas as to what may alleviate the behaviour. Thanks.
He needs a good structure and routine to his day. Lots of praise if he does something helpful/kind with baby and some one on one time where possible. And some things for him to do that baby can't because she's too small. Maybe some books on being a big brother.
Too late to do anything about it now but how well prepared was he for the baby? Did they talk lots about him being a big brother?
Try making him feel really important and grown up - emphasise the things which Mum and other grown ups can do with him which baby cant join in with yet. I used to teach my daughter to play cards when feeding her little sister (same age gap) . The disobedience is probably just attention seeking. Maybe try telling him in the morning what lovely grown up thing will be happening for him after school. He is probably also jealous of the day he doesn't get with Mum but baby does.
It's amazing how quickly you forget what hard work a little baby can be. Sleepless nights & the fact we get so little daylight this time of year probably aren't helping.
I've no advice for the am before school run really. I seem to spend most mornings shouting things like hair! Teeth! Get your shoes on!
When dc4 was very little though I found the usual making sure everything was ready the night before did help things run more smoothly as you're not pushed for time while looking for things.
I suspect baby will get used to shouting.
I used to use the time I was feeding to read a book to my older child/ren, ask them about their day or do homework. I also got them to do little jobs for me, fetch a nappy or the bay wipes. Find the muslin and so on to try & make them feel involved. Really I think it just takes time though. It must be hard when you're 4 to suddenly have to get used to not being the centre of attention.
If there's a way he could spend 10 minutes alone with them, that's not bedtime just to have a chat or play a game it may help him feel a bit more 'normal'.
so probably he feels sad that his mum is staying home to be with this new baby all day - but he doesn't get to stay and have that time - he probably connects going to school with 'missing out' on mum time.
Also - you are all seeing this as a reaction to the baby (which is natural as that is what you are concerned about) but perhaps you are forgetting that 4 year olds who start school are pretty badly behaved/ exhausted all the time anyway!
my 4 year old is insanely tired and grumpy some days - and he doesn't have a new baby to think about. Your daughter must be exhausted - so she is finding his normal 4 year old behaviour more tiring than she would normally.
I would try to help with the after school time as much as you can - can you go round and hold the baby while mum plays a game with her son etc? or sits and reads to him? Could mum create a little ater school routine of special film/ popcorn/ board games etc? It won't last forever and will be easier as he gets older and the sun will be out after school soon (well..relatively soon!) and im sure when they can all go to the park it will get easier
remember how little a 4 year old really is and how much they go through in the school adjustment. School is so tiring for them- new experiences constantly all day long and lots of people.
Thanks for all your replies and suggestions-will compile a list for when I visit tomorrow Xxxx
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