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  1. #1
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    Default Older sibling adjusting to newborn - advice needed please!!

    DS1 (4 yrs 8 mths) is driving me crazy. His new little brother arrived just over a week ago, he was really looking forward to his arrival and very excited when he was born. However, since arriving home it's been a different story.

    Now I expected there to be an adjustment period, a little extra clingy, etc. however, he's getting worse by the day. We've been trying really hard to be extra patient and tolerant, giving him as much attention as possible, bought him gifts, organised extra play dates with friends and reading extra stories at night etc but it's not enough. We've tried talking gently to him explaining the changes and asking him how he feels, but he doesn't want to talk to us about it. He knows what he is doing is wrong, but he probably doesn't know why he is acting the way he is.
    He's being extremely defiant, not listening to ANything we ask him, deliberately doing the opposite etc. he's completely flipped his behaviour, become a devil child and is being very demanding, crying when he doesn't get his way, doing things he knows he isn't allowed to do.

    He is normally a really good kid. I just don't know how to handle the situation. I am finding the balance between being patient and tolerant with maintaining authority very hard, DH and I are both sleep deprived and trying our best to get through these first few weeks. I am breastfeeding around the clock and just can't drop everything and often need to be alone to concentrate.
    I can see he is very angry (not sure why, other than he has to share me?), and his behaviour is borderline violent. He is not normally ever like this.

    Can anyone offer advice? For those that have similar age gaps how long did the adjustment period last and how did you manage?

    I feel terrible for thinking it but honestly I wish someone would just take him away until he calms down, I am really losing my ability to be a patient loving mother with him, it's almost like my child has been replaced with a complete stranger.

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    MsViking  (12-03-2016)

  3. #2
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    Hugs. My eldest was 5 when my youngest was born. What worked for me was to get her heavily involved with helping me and praising her good behaviour. I completely ignored her bad behaviour (no attention given unless dangerous) so that she only got attention for positive actions.

    Also whenever bub slept I made sure to shower her with affection. Keeping her close to me etc.

    Good luck.

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    sunnygirl79  (12-03-2016),witherwings  (12-03-2016)

  5. #3
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    Subbing, DD is already displaying similar behaviours and the baby hasn't even arrived yet. She's also 4.

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    sunnygirl79  (12-03-2016)

  7. #4
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    I have a similar age between my two and i went through the same thing.
    As a pp mentioned i ignored the bad behaviour and praised the good. i got dd involved with helping with her brother and when he was napping we would do a few things together before i did some other jobs.
    I would even get her to pick a movie while i fed bub and we could watch it together.
    This behaviour lasted a few months and flares up every now and then when she gets really tired.

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    sunnygirl79  (12-03-2016)

  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose&Aurelia&Hannah View Post
    Hugs. My eldest was 5 when my youngest was born. What worked for me was to get her heavily involved with helping me and praising her good behaviour. I completely ignored her bad behaviour (no attention given unless dangerous) so that she only got attention for positive actions.

    Also whenever bub slept I made sure to shower her with affection. Keeping her close to me etc.

    Good luck.
    We had a smaller age gap but we did these things as well.

    OP, I feel for you, really I do. My son behaved exactly the same way as yours is now. It's only been a week though, he will need a little more time to adjust. Having a new human being in the house 24/7 is a massive change for a preschooler.

    My first son is about the same age as yours is now and he behaves the way you describe (the devil child behaviour) quite often. So I think there's also a part of it that is just his age, and maybe this change has brought it out of him.

    Just keep doing all the things you are doing and when he behaves awfully and makes you feel those negative feelings, just remind yourself that (1) this is a phase and will end soon and (2) he is 4 years old.

    I would also suggest (although I'm not sure how much your DH is home if he is working) to have DH do lots of stuff with him while your baby is awake and needing you. My DH pretty much took DS1 off my hands for the first couple of months. I only really spent time with him when DS2 was asleep. When we were together with both awake, I would try to get him involved but it was a bit harder because he was only 2.

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    sunnygirl79  (12-03-2016)

  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopefulK View Post
    Subbing, DD is already displaying similar behaviours and the baby hasn't even arrived yet. She's also 4.
    DS1 started being more clingy and sulky in the lead up but this is a very sudden escalation. I really hope it's not the same for you. If it offers any hope my mum said I didn't do it when my brother arrived (similar age gap between us), maybe it isn't as bad with girls...

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    MsViking  (13-03-2016)

  13. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions tomorrow we will try ignoring any non-dangerous bad behaviour it's hard to get my DH on board with that but can only try. I have been praising him for good behaviour/actions already as I try to practice positive parenting, just so hard to ignore the other stuff.

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    I have a 5 year old & 5.5month old. In the lead up to the birth DS1 was getting excited but afterwards, he became incredibly difficult. He has settled down now (I think starting school helped).

    We made sure to spend time with him individually. We organised outings centered around things he'd enjoy.
    And we also started a 'rewards chart'. It includes chores we expect of him (homework, brushing teeth, making bed, tiding toys) as well as behaviour we expect (inside voice, playing nicely, no tantrums). At the end of the month if he has received majority ticks then he gets a small reward. This has been working really well for us as he responds well to praise and encouragement.

    Good luck, its hard juggling a newborn and an older child (one whom in our case was very accustomed to been an only child).

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    sunnygirl79  (12-03-2016)

  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumblebeez00 View Post
    I have a 5 year old & 5.5month old. In the lead up to the birth DS1 was getting excited but afterwards, he became incredibly difficult. He has settled down now (I think starting school helped).

    We made sure to spend time with him individually. We organised outings centered around things he'd enjoy.
    And we also started a 'rewards chart'. It includes chores we expect of him (homework, brushing teeth, making bed, tiding toys) as well as behaviour we expect (inside voice, playing nicely, no tantrums). At the end of the month if he has received majority ticks then he gets a small reward. This has been working really well for us as he responds well to praise and encouragement.

    Good luck, its hard juggling a newborn and an older child (one whom in our case was very accustomed to been an only child).
    Thanks we have discussed a rewards chart before but yet to implement so maybe it's time. Will try set up something when he is at kindy next week.

  17. #10
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    This unfortunately sounds like a normal
    Transition period, he has never had to share you before and now he has to be seperate from
    you during breastfeeding. My suggestion would be have a special box of an activity he adores like Lego or something that he only gets to play while your feeding, it's his special time and baby brothers
    Special time together- turning his focus from mummy can't be with me
    To mummy has a special activity for me- does that make sense?


 

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