New Misbehavior (3.75 yrs, new baby in the house) — The Bump

New Misbehavior (3.75 yrs, new baby in the house)

DS is really keeping my on my toes, and is, frankly, driving me up the wall!  He'll be 4 in March.  We also have a 4 mo DD, and I'm thinking that perhaps this is a delayed stress reaction to having a new baby in the house??

Every.single.time I take my attention off DS, he acts up in some way.  Just in the past 48 hrs, he has flooded the bathroom; painted the play room floor with his art supplies; and peed on the play room floor, in his art easel, on his bedroom floor, and on his mattress.  (He has been day trained since before age 2, and this peeing-in-novel places is new.  I really don't think it's related to a medical issue, either, as he really seems to enjoy doing it.)  I SAH and spend pretty much every minute of the day with the kids, actively playing with them or just sitting nearby and observing.  I also take time for one-on-one "special time" with both kids- just last night, I left DD with DH and took DS out for ice cream and then to help me pick up some stuff at the store.  However, DS commented the other day that I "hate him", and when we sat down and talked about it, he mentioned that he doesn't think I spend enough time with him.  Since he's acting up mostly when I'm focusing on the baby (in her room changing her or in my room feeding her before a nap), I suspect that he's truly feeling left out and a little jealous.

How do I deal with this?!  I've been trying to stick with Positive Discipline (I'm working my way through my 3rd PD book right now), so for example, here's what happened earlier today and how I handled it:

::I'm nursing DD while DS plays in the adjacent room.  I was gone for fewer than 15 min and returned to find pee all over the floor, and DS was laying down newspapers over it.::
Me:  (Calmly) What happened in here?
DS:  I'm decorating the floor!
Me:  And what is that wet stuff there?
DS:  Pee!
Me:  This is quite a mess, and you know the proper place to put your pee is in the potty.  What do you need to do about this?
DS:  Clean it up.  (Goes off to get a towel.)
::DS started picking up the soiled newspapers but then lost interest, and I couldn't immediately get him back on track.  It was nearly naptime, anyway.::
Me:  I see you're not ready to handle this right now.  C'mon, let's go lie down.  We can deal with this when you wake up.
::I took DS by the hand and led him into his room, then I spritzed some vinegar on the urine and tossed a towel over it (thank goodness it's on a hard floor!), and that's where we are now.  DS will have to clean as soon as he wakes up and before he does anything else.::

I'm at a loss.  I *feel* like I'm handling these situations well, but I'm going crazy dealing with this several times a day.  If it's not pee, it's a huge mess just for the messes sake (it seems) or perhaps a huge tantrum.  Any advice? 

Natural hospital birthing, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, Baby Led Weaning, milk donating, extended breastfeeding, fully vaxing, extended rear facing SAHM to:
AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

Re: New Misbehavior (3.75 yrs, new baby in the house)

  • could you reserve a special toy or let him watch a short movie for the time you need to nurse? That always helped me. It kept DS out of trouble while I did what I needed to do.

    Other than that is sounds like you are doing everything right. Although maybe there could be another consequence for the mess making in addition to cleaning it up. Like is he uses his art supplies to decorate the floor I would make him clean it up and he would loose the art supplies for the whole day. He can try again tomorrow to use them correctly. Maybe if for example you read a story to him after DD is down he could loose that in addition to cleaning up the pee because cleaning up the mess took up that time and now there is no more time to read the story.

    In addition we were having a poop regression and what has worked for us is telling him it is time to go potty after lunch and then reading a book with him on the potty at that time 1 on 1. Oh and ignoring the incedents as much as possible. Helping clean it up didn't fix it for us. You could try doing potty time with him like this before you go nurse DD.

    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • image-auntie-:
    My son is an only. Part of why he's an only is because he did many of the same kinds of things your son is doing.

    OMG.  This made me seriously LOL!  (I realize you probably didn't mean it to be humorous, but I couldn't help it.)   Obviously, DS's behavior didn't keep us from ever procreating again, but the challenges that DH and I have had parenting him from pretty much day 1 are what made us wait for nearly 3 years before even thinking about having another!  Even though DD is still really little, she's already many times easier to parent than DS.  She's such a breath of fresh air after struggling so much with him!  (Although DS has definitely ramped up his misbehavior in the last week or so, he's always been pretty tough.)

    So after I posted this yesterday, DS flung yogurt all over the kitchen (he was "feeding the dog") and then pooped on the living room floor, rubbed a toy in it, and then finger painted the bathroom in poop in the 2-3 minutes it took me to get into the bathroom to help him clean up (the reason- "it was fun").   It's like he's 18 mo old again; I seriously can't take my eyes off him for even a minute or two!  (And it's not as though I'm leaving him alone for long periods of time.  Each time he misbehaved yesterday, I was seriously just in the next room or even in the same room but just not looking directly at him, and I never leave him on his own for longer than the time it takes me to quickly feed DD.)  I came so close to losing it last night.  Fortunately, today has been good so far.  It helps that DH is home from work today, I'm sure.

    Thanks for the book suggestion; I've already checked it out on Amazon, and it's on my wishlist.  Just wondering- how is it different from the PD series? 

    Re: other consequences.  We do that, too.  For example, we were supposed to go to a friend's house yesterday afternoon, but cleaning up one of his messes took so long that we missed our playdate.  He was a little disappointed, but not nearly as much as I thought he would be.  Ditto for in the evening before bed.  He and I didn't have time to play and read stories before bedtime.  Again, it didn't really seem to faze him.  He wimpered a bit then fell asleep.  And the reason he resorted to "decorating" with urine yesterday was probably because he had already lost his art supplies for the day. 

    Putting him in front of the TV every time I need to take my attention off him for a few minutes would probably work.  He totally zones out whenever the TV is on, honestly.  I really try to limit his screen time, but I just may resort to that in order to save my sanity.  :-/

    Natural hospital birthing, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, Baby Led Weaning, milk donating, extended breastfeeding, fully vaxing, extended rear facing SAHM to:
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • Loading the player...
  • If it were me (I had a 19 month old and NB twins), I would not give him the opportunity.  Can  he come read you a story while you nurse?  Can you set up a more localized changing station?  Ours was in the middle of the family room.  

    It sounds like you are doing a great job communicating with him.  Right now he seems to need a little more connectedness and views you leaving the room as leaving him.  So I would find a way to not have to leave- offer him his favorite snack and nurse across the room from him.  

    I would also consider preschool.  Something that dumb babies can't do, just big boys.  Just him.  

    ETA- the TV was my friend for several months.  She had never actually seen one on until she was 23 months old and the twins slept a lot less!  

    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards