I'm at my wits end and need some advice. My son was an extremely bright, charming little person until a couple of months before his sister was born 12/2012. When she arrived our family was sent into turmoil. She was born not breathing and between 3 days old and 10 weeks old had to have 3 surgeries. We'd get her home, she'd get sick and have to go back to the hospital. Our family was divided, and little mister had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was truly a rock and held it together until just about March, 3 months after she was born. Then he began to fall apart.
At day care he started having "behavior" problems; hitting, spitting, biting, defiance, screaming, throwing things, you name it. My husband and I did everything we could to redirect, instruct, give choices, discuss, and overall try everything we could to break him out of this cycle. His day care used to adore him but when they discovered he was willful many washed their hands of him and labeled him a behavior problem.
When he gets into a bad mood it seems to ramp itself up - it'll start off over the tiniest thing and then he'll continually do things to make himself get more and more upset to the point where he blows his top. The only way we've found to break this cycle is by removing him to his room for "quiet time" where he is left for a few minutes and he can get on the other side of his tantrum. Then we talk it over, think about how we could have done things better, and regroup to continue our day. Lately that's not been working as he stands at the top of the stairs screaming/shrieking at the top of his lungs and he refuses to calm down. At day care he has problems around 9 and 11 each day.
We've spoken with our family physician as well as a child psychologist (behaviorist) and both said that it sounded 100% normal for everything he's going through. It is now 6 months past his sister being born, and we've seen a ramp up in his behavior once again. We have noticed changes at day care (friends moving to different rooms, teachers leaving and new people appearing) and as of late our bad days seem to outnumber our good days. I can't seem to get connected to him. He refuses to listen even in dire situations (like hopping around in the bathtub). He's starting to backtalk, he spits in your face, and overall is becoming a very offensive kid. I've tried everything I can think of to get re-attached to him but every good experience we have turns into a bad one. I've tried planning around naps, gearing things to his likes and tastes, trying new things, talking to him about what he'd like to do/eat, limiting television and screen exposure. I've had absolutely no luck and nothing seems to change.
I wish I could get better care for him but we live in a rural area where there are very few accredited child development centers. I am planning on bringing him (and his sister) home an extra day so he's only in there 3 days a week. I plan on trying a bit of homeschooling with them during this time to supplement his education, where he's so bright and perhaps the problem is "idle hands." Still, who knows if this will even work. Help!