4yr old step son behavior problems — The Bump
Blended Families

4yr old step son behavior problems

OK so I have a 4 year old step son (and two step daughters) who I've had since he was 2 do he's really mine and calls me mommy but I still missed quite a bit (sisters 6 and 8)potty training him was super easy he was 3 and we just stopped using diapers and just asked him every couple of hours to go pee he had a few night accidents but not that bad. Now he's 4 and my son will be 1 next month and I'm pregnant with my next. And lately he's just been a real pain in the ass. Not listening or doing what he's told, Hitting his little brother and big sisters hitting random kids at the dentist and now having "accidents" he just randomly pees himself and then just ignores it until someone notices that his pants are wet. Tonight he literally emptied his bladder at the dinner table and when he was done said oh I have to potty and when he came back I noticed his pants were soaked. Altogether we have 4 kids and one on the way. I have high risk pregnancies and being pregnant is really hard for me and totally sucks and I have a 1year old to take care of so I'm sure he's doing it for attention but I don't know how to give him any more attention. I take him to the park once a week for a mommy and me group but during the day he plays in his room and I'm either taking care of his brother, sick in bed, cooking and cleaning or all three. I love all my kids and wouldn't have it any other way but I don't know what to do. I don't spank them since they aren't technically mine but time out and no juice and no iPad isn't working anymore !!! HELP ! 

Re: 4yr old step son behavior problems

  • Hang in there!  Young children go through many different phrases.  It could be many reasons why the behavior has changed i.e. new pregnancy.  However, give him as much love, encouragement, and attention as you possible can.  Do your best.  You are a great mother J

    Congrats on the new addition

  • It's not uncommon for a kid to regress when a new sibling is on the way. Not sure if bio-mom is in the picture, but I'd check to make sure if this behavior is occurring there as well.

    You could try positive reinforcement instead. Rather than take, give. Find something he enjoys A LOT but never gets (a type of candy, stickers, small trinkets.) and when he successfully goes potty, reward him with it. Or maybe a token board where he earns a sticker each day he has zero accidents. When he gets up to a certain amount, he gets a treat/prize. Gradually fade it out over time (maybe it was 3 stickers/days to get a treat, then it's 5,etc). It's important that once you find the reinforcer for noone give it to him unless no accidents. It has no worth if he can get it anytime.

    Just an idea. I'm a behavior therapist so it's just something I've used prior to decrease problematic behaviors. Good luck and congrats on your new one on the way!
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