View Full Version : new sibling problems (X-posted to discipline/temperament)
05-30-2007, 12:19 PM
The honeymoon period for the new baby has ended, and our normally sweet, well-tempered little boy is now a screaming mass of No's. :( Does anyone have any recs for good discipline guides (books, websites, professional magicians, etc) to help us get E back on track? I've seen him be upset before, but nothing on this scale and frequency.
05-30-2007, 01:00 PM
My fav site for discipline related issues is www.gentlechristianmothers.com. There are a bunch of parents here that like that site. I don't identify particularly strongly with being Christian per se, but the website itself is really one of the best resources I've ever encountered.
Ideas I've read/heard:
Baby your older DC. Offer to swaddle, hold, rock, etc. a few times a day. Indulge their need to still be the baby.
Let them know it is okay to not always like the baby, let them know you know it is hard to share mommy and daddy's attention, let them know that crying, etc. is hard to hear. Let them feel safe in telling you that they are upset with the baby. Give them an outlet to talk about those feelings or act them out in a safe way.
Read books about being a brother
Some people actually say that everyone making a big deal about the "big brother" can be a problem. I think that's on gentlechristianmothers. Some people have noticed their kids responded better when visitors, grandparents, etc. stopped referring to the older sibling as the big brother. Sometimes they really *want* to be the baby and not the big brother.
Try to give them even 15 mins of one on one time each day. Not easy, but having your undivided attention to do something fun is helpful.
Since the big kid suddenly has to wait a lot more, I read a recommendation here one time to point out to the older child when the baby is waiting. "thank you for waiting baby. It is your brother's turn now and it is your turn to wait while I help him." That way they realize (somewhat) that they aren't the only one that has to wait all of the time.
Siblings without rivalry is another good book, although IMO somewhat geared toward older kids.
05-30-2007, 11:06 PM
Jen - Welcome to the sibling fun club! I know exactly what you're going through, having gone through it a few months back with DS (who'd just turned 3) after DD arrived.
I can't recommend any good books, because we didn't end up using any. But I thought I'd share some BTDT advice for what it's worth. After letting his teacher know that he was really acting up at home, and then her seeing him act up in class, she did some role playing with him and identified some jealously over the amount of time I was spending with the baby (and not with him.) For a week or two, DH took the baby a lot more so I could focus on DS, and I also did some outings just with DS after we got through the serious tantrums. I also talked to him and reminded him that I love him, and that I'm sorry the baby is taking up time now, but he took up just as much time when he was that young, if not more since he was all we had to focus on. We also started using time outs more and started walking away from him when he started a tantrum so he wasn't rewarded with extra attention for behaving badly.
I'm happy to say that things were much more peaceful around here after that. He never acted up with the baby (just Mom and Dad), but now he's especially sweet with her, especially since now she interacts with him. Occasionally I'll see his mood darken a bit when the baby is especially needy, but it usually clears up when I get him involved in whatever I'm doing with the baby.
Hope you find a happy solution. (and soon for your sanity!)
05-31-2007, 10:36 AM
My mom gave me some great advice. My brother and I were 9 months apart in age and she made sure to include me in everything. For example, it was my job to wash his feet when he got a bath, I was allowed to play with all his toys, I got to help feed him food, when she was giving him a bottle I held his foot (that was my big responsibility), and I got to hold the wipes when she was changing him. She said that really insured that there was no jealousy between us.
She made sure to do this because she saw what happened with my 2 cousins. Vicky was 3 when her cousin Jimmy was born. My mom's sisters have always been very close so us cousins felt like siblings a lot of the time. Vicky was the darling of the group until baby Jimmy came along. And Jimmy's mom made the mistake of being overprotective. Vicky couldn't hold the baby, play with his toys, and was kind of ignored by her aunt. And she didn't like it. My aunts found her biting the baby and hitting him when no one was looking. My mom made sure to include her and continue to feel special when my brother and I were born and we never got bit!
Sorry about the long story. Not sure I helped. I just think your son is finding that being his sweet self isn't getting him all the attention he's use to. And for children, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
Mom to Gator July 2003
And Cha-Cha July 2005
and surprise! twins due 11/07!
05-31-2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks for everyone's suggestions! I have started to look at the GCM website (I had heard about it before, but couldn't remember the name, and had never gone there because, well, discipline was a non-issue until 2 weeks ago!)
We have kept E in daycare, which I think helps, since even though he's not the only kid there, at least there is no baby and his routine isn't messed up. We do try to give him a lot of one-on-one attention, but mainly he is craving DH and not me (last night it was 2 hours of "Daddy, down!" I went in to comfort him and got nowhere, DH goes in and E instantly calms down.) And we've been trying the helping-out-with-the-baby approach, but with limited success; I'm hoping that will work better as she gets older and is more interactive. So far she has no toys, but I don't plan to limit his playing with them when we get them out.
Again, thanks, and it's nice to know that E is exhibiting normal, toddler sibling behavior (as rough as it is!) :)
IME, the acting-out period lasts about 6 weeks when a new sib arrives on the scene. But, it is also hard to tell what is new sibling and what is because he's almost 2.
Saying no is most likely about control -- since he either just realized that he isn't in control of his environment (new baby) or he just realized that he can control you and DH through his behavior. When DD was born, DS1 got a lot closer to his dad; DH spent a lot of one-on-one time w/ DS1. I found that even though I would try to consistently spend one-on-one time w/ DS1 every day, he acted *worse* afterwards.
06-01-2007, 12:48 AM
all great suggestions, pretty much what we did. I've carried Liv around frequently in Bella's sling. It's funny, now that she's seen Bella getting a mani/pedi, she always wants one too.
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