3 1/2 yo tantrums and regression - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-21-2009, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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My 3 1/2 year old has begun having tantrums when he does not get his way. He also has started wanting to be treated more babylike. He wants to be carried again, rocked again, and very dependent on mama. I don't know what has caused this. This seems to be something that would stem from a new baby in the house, but he is an only child. We moved into a new house two weeks ago, so that might be the cause to this. I don't know how to respond. I don't want to encourage acting like a baby, but I want to give him the comfort and confidence he needs. I don't want him to be told not to cry or he doesn't need to be taken care of. What do I do?

Happy Wife & Mama to 1 boy 12/6/05
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#2 of 5 Old 06-23-2009, 09:39 AM
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You might try making a game of it--going a little overboard with indulging him in the babying. It would be important to keep it playful and not in any way teasing or poking fun at the emotional need that's driving his behavior right now. Of course everyday real cuddles and affection is always important.

No one wants to be a baby, really. Once the emotional need is met & the issue processed, he will move on.

ETA: I should offer a disclaimer that I say this with no actual authority, only having read dozens of child development & parenting books...
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#3 of 5 Old 06-23-2009, 09:52 AM
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we've moved alot...
I would say go along with it... it is not a regression that sticks... plus right now I would just love it if a HUG was the solution... when I offer my moody 34mo ds hugs and babying to get through a moody moment I am outright rejected it seems.

If it works...:

Tea drinking Momma::: Grady 8/06 and : Coralynn 8/09
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#4 of 5 Old 06-23-2009, 10:45 AM
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Yes, moving into a new house is a huge stress for kids, and regression is common. I'd go with it and be thankful if there aren't potty regression issues. When he feels safe again, he'll get past it, and the more you indulge it the more safe he'll feel. It might seem counter-intuitive to give into it to make it go away, but IMO that's the best way to do it. Conflict over it will make him feel worse yet and it'll just take longer to go away.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-23-2009, 11:42 AM
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It seems like around 3.5 most kids go through a baby stage--heck, I still remember going through that in my early childhood! We have a 3.5 yo who for the last month has been obsessed with pretending she's a baby. I just indulge her in the moment but at other times I talk about all the cool things she can do now that she's older. I just go with it. I think this stage happens when they are transitioning out of toddlerhood.

As for the tantrums, we're not there (yet, anyway!). We had a hard bout of tantruming at the beginning of age 3 and I just let her have as much control as possible. I have a weird philosophy about tantrums--I don't see them as manipulative so much as just raw expressions of powerful emotion. I know a lot of moms (even AP ones) talk about ignoring tantrums or refusing to "reward a tantrum." To be honest, I always give into tantrums (unless there's a safety issue). It helps dd realize that her desires matter to me. I usually say, "I'm sorry, honey. I didn't realize this was so important to you. Let's try it again." A lot of people would say that would cause dd to have more tantrums, but honestly, I have always found the opposite to be true. It may be her personality but she has far, far fewer tantrums than most children and her tantrums are much milder than most. And I promise I am not being a push-over or anything.

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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