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Dealing with bad behaviour with a new baby

(7 Posts)
ninnynono Tue 17-Oct-17 19:07:50

Dd is 3.5, ds 2 months. Dd is doing well with ds but her behaviour towards me has deteriorated. She never listens and getting her to do anything takes so much cajoling and persuasion. It's exhausting!

I realise that her bad behaviour is often linked to her brother so I try to be lenient but I'm not sure if I am too lenient? As then i'll snap. DH says he's noticed that dd never listens to me and I need to be stricter.

So tonight I tried to be stricter but now I just feel guilty. Dd was eating her dinner and asked for more. So I gave her more. Cue her saying the dinner was horrible and pushing her plate away. I have her theee warnings to eat or straight to bed and she kept messing around or answering back. She shouted 'my answer is NO' for example - something I would say to her when she is nagging. And when I stood up from the table to jiggle the baby she said 'sit down at the table NOW'. All while pushing her plate around.

So I follwed through, removed her (now wailing saying she was so hungry) from the table, marched her upstairs and and got her ready for bed. She was crying saying she was hungry (which I don't believe as she'd actually eaten a lot more than she normally does, think she was just outraged not to have had her pudding).

So many tears though so I just wonder what I'm doing wrong. Was I too hard on her after being too easy? We get these situations all the time. But she's never like it with DH. I know it comes from jealousy over her baby brother so I don't want to be too hard but I want her to learn too, she can't do exactly as she pleases all day long. She doesn't seem to respect me.

Feeling guilty now though. Any advice?

ODog Tue 17-Oct-17 20:32:49

I think new baby exhaustion is probably not helping here.

In this scenario I would have said ok fine don’t eat it. It was seconds she was turning down after all. It didn’t really matter. Offer dessert. If she wanted it -great, if not, same response - ok don’t eat it. Get down from table and get on with rest of the evening.

I would just try to keep the same boundaries and enforce them in the same way you would have pre baby. Obviously being mindful that she may feel very anxious and unsure at the moment so lots of positive reinforcement, cuddles, getting her involved with ‘helping’ with baby.

I found a Sling invaluable as baby was happy and I had 2 hands to deal with toddler in much the same way as I’d always done.

TittyGolightly Tue 17-Oct-17 20:34:11

Also remember that she is barely out of toddlerhood herself.

Ikillpotplants Tue 17-Oct-17 20:38:36

Just been through same thing. Come through the other side with baby at 8 months (touch wood). It is good that she is taking anger out on you rather than baby I think (way more stressful when baby at risk of being hurt). I felt same re not knowing if I should be stricter. I bought How to Talk so Kids will Listen (the version for younger children). It gave me techniques to follow that weren't too punitive. I look back on times when I tried to deal with it by being stricter and I just don't think it worked. Good luck!

Ikillpotplants Tue 17-Oct-17 20:39:31

I would have done what ODog suggested (on a good day, when I wasn't knackered!).

Phalarope Tue 17-Oct-17 20:45:39

We're also just coming out the other side of this. I think it does help if you can let a few things go (although it's always easier to recognise which ones after the event). So ditto what ODog said.

Can you play at "being on her side" a bit? Hard when you're knackered. But eg when she told you to sit down now, make a joke of it and say "oh yes, DD, you're quite right. What a naughty baby, we should all be sitting down, shouldn't we, well done" etc etc. Even if that means the baby cries a bit. So you catch her doing something right (knowing what the rules are) and reinforce that you and she are still a team.

ninnynono Tue 17-Oct-17 20:52:28

Thanks for replies.

I do try to be on her side a lot. I say 'oh pfff ds is grizzling, what a pain, eh dd?' etc. That does help.

I think this evening was just a disaster as she asked for more food then told me it was horrible. If she hadnt had asked for me, i would have given her a pudding and all would have been fine. I told my husband and he said she was deliberately testing me.

I am not very good at boundary setting as I am unfortunately quite an insecure parent and find it hard to follow through and punish even when I have to. But will work on that.

Thanks for book suggestion. Good to know that things do get better!

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