Four Year old acting out after new baby... Advice??

Melissa - posted on 08/03/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi all! This is my very first post. I'm sleep deprived, sore boobed, and a little sad. Our little girl who's almost four has absolutely changed after we had out baby girl a few weeks ago. She's never done anything to hurt her or never says she hates her etc.. and takes pride in helping, but she's been throwing some raging fits. Hitting, screaming, yelling... small things set her off. It's taking a toll on me. We *never* yell, and have a very firm but loving discipline style (that always used to work, but not so much lately). She's a very high spirited kid as it is- very energetic, a little unfocused at times, extremely fun loving. I don't know why but I feel like a failure as a parent. Does this get better? Have any of you been through this before? What did you do to cope with it?

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Ev - posted on 08/04/2014

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You need to start drawing the line with how you do not like her behavior. You need to start actively ignoring it. Keep tabs on her always but do not let her know you are keeping tabs on her. Once she gets the idea she is not going to get the attention this way she will learn to stop. If this does not work, its time to set her in a quiet place and tell her when she gets calmed down she can leave and participate in any activities going on. If that does not work, you may need to take other actions. You need to be also telling her what you expect out of her in the terms of the behavior. When she does something right, give her unlimited praise. KNowing when she is doing something right can also lead to the kind of behavior you want. It also might take some other forms of consequences such as loosing out on doing things, toys, or other ideas you might come up with.

I never had to deal with this. But I had been warned long before I had my son when my daughter was nearly 7 years old that she could have a jealous streak in her for a time. I was lucky because she was never jealous and I did the same things you said you did to prepare for the new baby. Some kids get so excited but when it actually happens, things go crazy. My daughter had her second one a few months ago and her daughter is only 2. She said there was a short span of time there was jealousy but it did not last. She was able to manage it.

Melissa - posted on 08/04/2014

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Yeah we did. She seemed so eager to be a big sister too. She wanted a sister. We read books, practiced certain things, and even put a pretend baby in the carseat to practice. She helped buy her toys and helped put the baby room together. The #1 piece of advice we get is to have one on one time with her. But how to handle the tantrums?? We've been spending a lot of one on one time with her, and it' has helped. But she still has her days. It's just so hard when she gets SO mad. How permissive should it be? Where should I draw the line with that behavior? Even though I know she's acting out, it's pretty intense.

Ev - posted on 08/03/2014

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How did you approach the subject of the new one with her? Did you talk to her about the changes coming when the baby arrived? Did you allow her to help pick out new stuff for her sister? Sometimes after a new baby comes into the family there is jealousy with the older kid/kids because the baby takes up so much of mom and dad's time because the baby can not fend for him or herself. You need to mark some time for her during the day and spend it with her one on one. Let her know that you still love her and care for her. Make that time special to her. It takes time to adjust to a new baby especially for younger first time older siblings. There is a lot about it they do not understand.

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