How have your older kiddos done when you have a new baby ? Since we had our new baby 3.5 weeks ago, it's been a pretty mixed bag.
DS1 is 27 months and is really enamored with DS2. Whenever DS2 cries, DS1 runs to help him yelling "Mama! Baby E needs us!" and pats and sings to him. It's pretty dang cute. He'd smother his baby bother with kisses, hugs, and cuddles and never purposefully hurt him which is also a big plus. He really seems to love and want to care for DS2 and has adjusted to that really well.
It's the adults in his life that DS1 has a problem with, especially DH and I. He's started yelling a lot more and hitting. I'm not really sure how to respond sometimes and would love advice from moms who have BTDT. DS has always been a very energetic, expressive kid and when he's bored he tends to act out. It's kinda hard to keep him entertained at home now with it being so cold outside, and we're watching more TV than we should due to me needing time to nurse DS2 and DH working overtime. I was looking at some pictures from earlier this year and it hurt to see DS1 so happy and smiley. I feel like he's angry or frustrated a lot of the time now and that makes me sad... I give him as much attention as I can with a new baby but it's just not the same I suppose!
So here's where I need help: When DS1 hits or kicks people, I tell him "No, I will not let you hit and hurt me/other people" and I move him to another area, give him a "rest" while I sit with him, or redirect him. He just won't stop though! This happens many times a day, though I try to help him use words when I see him starting to get upset.
Also, the yelling. DS1 yells and screams when I'm on the phone, when I'm talking to other adults, and just generally to get attention. I tell him, "Mama needs to talk now. If you need me, tell me using words and I will listen." Sometimes I wonder if directing my attention to him when he yells is just rewarding his loud shrieks.... Not quite sure.
He's also pretty attached to me now and gets very worried if he can't see me, calling out for me when I'm in another room, and wanting to stay nearby all the time. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that he stayed with family members for a week while we were with DS2 in the NICU. It's very clear he doesn't want to be away from me, and DH, at all now and of course we don't want to be away from him if we can help it.
Ugh, I just feel like I'm so serious all day, going from toddler crisis to crisis. Ordered the book Playful Parenting to try to get some ideas... Any advice from you clever mamas?
Me: Sarah, married to: J, mommy to: C (8/10) and E (11/12)
What to do you redirect him to when he starts the hitting/kicking? I would recommend directing him to something like bouncing somewhere, tearing up paper bound for the recycle bin, kicking/punching a bean bag chair, have a pillow fight, throw some soft toys, making angry art..... I would want him to get the message that getting his anger out in this way is ok, some people just need to get actively, but it's not ok to direct the destructive/aggressive behavior at others.
Ok, the yelling and screaming, does he only do this when you are on the phone or otherwise preoccupied? I would make sure to play with him for a while before making the phone call, and then during the phone call set him up with some sort of activity that will keep him busy for a short while.