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Help me get started because I am not liking what I am feeling/doing at the moment. I have an almost 5yo dd and a 3 mo old ds. Everything was hunky dorey until ds came along. DH and I both came from physically and emotionally abusive parents and swore we would never treat our children that way. We have never hit our children, but lately we have been less than gentle with dd emotionally. She has just been driving us nuts since the baby came. She is a great child otherwise, and compared to some of her friends, she is a very well behaved and well adjusted child. At home lately she has been hanging on us, being extremely loud and refusing to do things. It takes her 1.5 hrs to eat her oatmeal and hours to eat her dinner. It always ends in a scream fest at the end of the day. She is obviously trying to get attention all the time besides food, she will talk 1/2 inch from your face or put her hands so close to our faces, often kissing us to the point where we have to rudely tell her to stop, including the baby. She takes advantage of when the baby is crying to ask us to do something, come see something, listen to her songs. It is just such a frustration to hear a baby cry and her repeating herself over and over. She repeats herself contantly and has even taken to talking to herself in a very loud voice, and will repeat, repeat, repeat. So annoying!!! She stomps on the floor, even after 100 times of telling her not to do that because it wakes the baby. We have a very small place and I am feeling closed in. We have been snippy with her for a while now and I need it to stop. I have gone through your archives and everyday I vow to do those things, and then get so frustrated with her that no postitive stuff happens, only yelling, sarcasm, eye rolling, bickering sending her to her room, etc, etc. Now that she is out of school, I will have her all day every day and feel like this should be the best summer ever because I am home on maternity leave until the end of July. Help, how do I get started with changing my attitude?
 

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I have no experience with siblings, so I can't offer any advice. But I wanted to give you
and tell you that, from what you write, it seems like before all this started that you were pretty gd! So you definitely can do it, and I know you'll get some good advice here. Good luck!
 

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I think it sounds really normal, and familiar!

I think at least some of the stuff probably would be going on even without the baby in your life, and you would just be more tolerant/easy going about it because you would only have one kid to focus on. Its really a lot harder to be patient with an older sibling when there is a new baby. Behavior that used to be cute or overlooked becomes suddenly incredibly annoying!

It helps to build 1:1 time in with the older child. Its like going on a date with your husband -- if you spend a few hours alone with her, you will start to remember what you like about her. And you will reconnect a little bit, which will help you both to listen better the rest of the week. Maybe go out with her 1x a week to do something fun? (Should not depend on her behavior though -- she should get to spend time with you whether she is good or not.)

Also, I think really trying hard to ease up on her will help. Sometimes kids behavior deteroriates as a result of having mom and dad on their backs all the time. Its a vicious cycle: they get tense and stressed from being fussed at all the time, and that tension/stress comes out in their behavior.
 

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Your dd and I have the same birthday!!! I'm getting behavior like that and we don't have a new baby (yet - we'll see in August). I wonder if at 5 kids start to see themselves more as kids and less as babies, and feel like they have to push buttons to get more attention as we can be less attentive to them (safety, behavior, etc.) They also may be going through a similar thing at school, vying for attention from friends and teachers. Also, my dd won't let up, we have to be doing something every minute. When we're putting paint brushes away, it's "can we make playdough now??" then, if she doesn't get her way, waaaahhhh. I've been starting to talk to her about my expectations when we're not in that particular moment. Also, I like Mamaduck's advice. I've been extra crabby because of the pregnancy, so I do try and cut her a bit of slack because I can't always trust my judgement.

Had to edit to say, this summer (because I'm sort of in the same boat) I'm loosely adopting dd's school schedule, so that we have a real rhythm to the day (and it's familiar to her) and that way, I'll be able to schedule quiet time for myself!
 

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Post it notes were my best friend for a long time. Other people hang their bathrobes on the back of the bedroom door, I covered mine with sayings, quick tips, thoughts..everything from BREATHE! to This too shall pass to Morally wrong? Legally wrong? Dangerous? Respectful?. Just quick little reminders when I needed them the most. I went from being a working mom with a toddler who alternated between being spoiled and spanked on my weekends, to being a sahm of two. It's been a long, 5 year process of change that sometimes included me banging my head against the wall. Hence, the post-it notes. I figured if I was going to take a time out I wanted it to be as productive as possible so I could do better and not keep falling back.
 

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Would a short break from your 5 yr old help maybe? Could grandma or a friend take her on a special day trip to the zoo or something while you snuggle at home with your baby? Just to recharge yourself.
How about routine to your day that includes one on one time with your daughter as well as some down time for her (away from you-playing in her room quietly for 20 minutes or watching a video or something)?
I am sorry you are going through such a hard time. A major change like a new baby is hard for everyone in the family.
 
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