New to this board and need advice... — The Bump
School-Aged Children

New to this board and need advice...

We have a rising kindergartener and for the most part, he is a very well behaved kid. He's also a good big brother. However, lately we've been experiencing him acting more like a "baby" in some throwing toddler-like tantrums, cying so loud that I swear the neighbors can hear and sometimes seriously crying for no reason. We've explained to DS1 that he's the big boy and his brother is the baby. We reward him when he's done extremely well on something and we try to emphasize him starting kindergarten in the fall so he's definitely a big boy. Nothing is getting through to him though. He's even gone back to peeing the bed and he cries when we make him put a pull-up on at night because he says he doesn't want to wear a diaper. I guess I'm just looking for other input to see what other parents are dealing with and if they've dealt with issues similar to this. TIA!

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Re: New to this board and need advice...

  • I agree with auntie.

    This time of year comes with a lot of "transition" talk about moving up to a new stage of life.  Back off on the expectation for him to be such a "big boy" and accept him as he is.  Better yet, instead of telling him after a tantrum that he's supposed to be a big boy, using the "big boy" concept as a measuring stick that he's not living up to, empower him to actually BE a big boy by giving him choices about things in his life.

    For instance (and I have a son who struggles with bed-wetting) I would not imply that wetting = failure to be a big kid.  I would instead prove that you think he's a big boy EVEN if he wets the bed by inviting him to help you solve the problem.  If he doesn't want to wear diapers/pull-ups, fine.  But he has to help solve the problem in another way.  Maybe he sleeps on a waterproof pad and helps strip the bed and do the laundry?  Maybe he allows you to wake him up before you go to bed for a trip to the bathroom?  Maybe he'll decide those things are both a pain, and that he'd rather just wear a pull up.  Either way, if you allow him to make the decision, he WILL feel like he's actually a big boy.

    The best thing I ever did for my son when he was wetting the bed a lot was to stop talking about it so much and allow him to take responsibility for it.  I was less frustrated, he felt less judged and stressed about a problem that he could not control. 

    Similarly, when he tantrums/cries, say: You need to go into your room and collect yourself.  Let's talk about this when you're ready.  Then, instead of using the "big boy" concept against him, you can praise him or just say nothing.  You actually won't need to say anything, because he'll feel the respect in your treatment of him, and he'll rise to meet your expectations of him.

    I have a daughter and a son, as you can see from my ticker.  I have learned that with the boy, sometimes saying less and taking action is more effective. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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