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I'm not new to JM but new to this board. My son is 3.5 years old. We had a daughter exactly 1 month ago and it has been one wild ride already. My son, even before her birth, has started playing my patience like never before. I am having such a hard time dealing with him. He mouths us and throws huge temper tantrums. His favorite thing to say is "I don't want to." and I HATE it. He is acting worse than he ever has. I'd heard that 3 is even harder than terrible 2's. I so totally agree. At times I would do anything to have my 2 year old back. DS cries more every day now than his infant sister does. I know it's probably a jealousy thing, but like I said before, he started acting out long before she was born. I look forward to the two days a week he goes to daycare so that I can spend alone time with DD. And I hate that I feel that way. I feel like I yell at him every other minute for this or that. Stop touching your sister, stop jumping on the couch, put your toys back in your room, it never ends! He sits in time out more than ever and I wish it wasn't like this. I feel like I am having trouble being his mother. I feel like I am an abusive mother for all the yelling I do and frustration I feel. I don't know if I am suffering from PPD or what, but my attitude towards DS is nothing like it used to be. I'm appalled at myself for it.
Will this get better? Is it normal to not feel close to the first child anymore? What's wrong with me?
I plan on telling my OB about all of this at my PP checkup this week. I feel so terrible and I think I need help.
Hi there~you sound like you're feeling a bit at the end of your rope there? And, I think a lot of parents can relate to having a child that seems to know how to push all their buttons! So, know that you're definitely not alone. And, like you said, some of this behavior could be related to your son trying to adjust to his new little sister and feeling the need to act out. It also could just be you have a strong-willed child on your hands. But, either way, I know this can still leave you feeling at a loss! So, one of the things I wondered about was getting a hold of some of the books out there aimed at handling behavior problems likes these. From my time at Focus on the Family, I've heard a lot of great feedback on Dr. Dobson's The New Strong-Willed Child and Dr. Kevin Leman's Have a New Kid by Friday. They both touch on a lot of the issues you brought up. So, maybe you could find them online or at the library? Focus' website also has some article on helping kids adjust to a new little sister or brother, so that might be something to look up if you have a moment. Well, just some thoughts to consider. Hang in there-those toddler years don't last forever!
I can relate. My DD was an angel up until she turned 3, then she went through a horrible phase of screaming, mouthing off, banging around, etc. It was really hard. DS was born when she was 3.5 and it made things even worse. The first few weeks were really challenging. I also had huge guilt, I would often give myself time outs and I always felt bad when I got upset with her. But she eventually settled down and things got a lot calmer.
I tried to give her as much one on one time as possible and got her involved as much as she wanted with DS's care. It gets better!
How are things going now? I just noticed it's been a couple of weeks since you posted this message.
I am sorry you are going thru some rough times rights now. Yes it will get better. Three is so worse than 2. When I had my son Breana got a little jealous of all the attention he was getting. I still make sure that eachone has their time with me. I treat them the same. Same punishments and all. Time outs for her are 4 minutes and Xander is 2 minutes, one minute per year of age.
Put him in some kind of punishment for talking to you that way or throwing the tantrums every time he does it. I know with Breana I had to use pepper and that solved the issue after only a few times of it. Now all I have to do is say we don't talk that way and if you keep it up I will put pepper in your mouth and she stops because she does not like it.
Evan is 13 months and is very curious at this time. He wants to get into everything he can find. We have actually gated off part of our house because everything we don't want him to get into, he does and laughs while we say "NO EVAN". Sometimes we put him in his pack and play just to get things done without chasing him. Is 13 months too young to find some sort of discipline that will actually work? We usually just remove him from the situation but that actually isn't getting the idea of NO through to him.