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4YO tantrums and attitude...have we lost our attachment?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My almost 4 YO has been having major temper issues lately, and I'm just wondering if his behaviour is typical. Some examples: He has been refusing to share things with his baby brother, which I don't force, but then he can't seem to understand that it works both ways, and that he can't take things from the baby when he is using them just because he's bigger.  He refuses to sit still and eat, and walks around with food in his mouth all of the time, even after countless reminders about safety from DH and I.  He repeatedly hits baby in the head with toys, hands, feet, again, after countless reminders about safety etc. He seems to have lost all his respect, and demands things constantly "I want" "Get me this" instead of asking, which he has been pretty good at lately. When he is reminded/corrected/or told no, he flies into an absolute crazy rage; screaming, crying, slamming doors, locking himself in his room and screaming at me to get out of his house, to go away, etc.  I want to be there to console him, especially when I hear him sobbing behind a closed door, but he refuses to let me in, and I want to respect that, but I feel like he needs someone there to help him with his feelings.  I have huge guilty feelings because it seems as though our relationship has become less attached since baby arrived, and my lack of sleep/patience has resulted in my yelling and losing it more than once.  I feel that I am losing my gentleness and we are therefore losing our attached relationship.  Sorry this is a long ramble, I just really need to know if this is 'normal', and how I can get things to feel better again.  Thanks. 

post #2 of 5

I think it is in typical range. At 4 I wouldn't give warnings about things that could physically hurt baby. One time and that is it, you are removed from situation. I have had to protect both of my children from the other before. Sounds like he feels very out of control. I would talk to him when he is in a good mood. We have been having a hard time lately, I want to tell you mommy loves you and this will get better. Ask how he is feeling, what having a baby in the house is like for him. Give him lots of reassurance, alone time w one parent or the other when you can. As far as comforting you have to know your kid. One of my kid needs to be alone to recover and the other screams go away but collapses into my arms when I hold her close. For the second it is almost like she is testing me. Will mom still come to me even when I am at my worst?

post #3 of 5

I would also likely remove the locks from his door. That just isn't safe.

post #4 of 5

Our DD was acting out and being rude and tantruming, etc.

She started doing this when my DW was pregnant, and again since the twins were born 10 weeks ago.


We read some ideas on AHA parenting. And the only thing that has worked so far was to go over board in helping her to feel loved and attached again.


There is some suggestions of little games. One of them is to play the game where you go over board in hugging them and kissing them and cuddling them. You say "I NEEEEED you so much" "I love you to bits" "I just nEEEED one more hug from you". They scream and laugh and say stop, etc. You let them go and then chase after them saying "I NEEEEED YOU". they let you catch them and laugh and try to get away and you continue. The whole game lasts 3-5 minutes and it is fun.


Another is mum and dad pulling and tugging on the child and "fighting" over the child. "He is mine" "No he is mine" "I need him more" "No I need him more" Ends in giggles and laughter.

Child feels loved, needed, goofy time with parents, etc.

These little games, and short bursts of alone time with each parent, where we actually get down and play with the child for 10 minutes.

These are the things that really helped. And quickly, within days.


It didn't only help our DD to calm down and be more respectful and more attached to us. It has helped us to calm down, act more respectful and be more attached to her.

post #5 of 5

I think it's really common for older kids to have trouble adjusting when a new baby is getting love an attention. Hey, you're HIS mom! What are you doing with that baby?! LOL. But it is a shock.


There have been lots of good suggestions here, and I especially agree that you can't just tell him not to hurt the baby - the baby will have to be in someone's arms if he's acting out.


I think what can work well is if you and he go out for some special time without the baby every so often. I know it's hard and it might not be for very much time, but just going out for frozen yogurt for a short time every couple of weeks can help. The special time will show him he's special to you, and that might very well help reassure him. If you aren't able to actually get out, then time where you're doing something with him and not tending to the baby helps as well, but I think going out is especially dramatic.

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