Our biggest challenge to the new baby has been our warrior 4 year old, Gideon. He hits baby, pulls his nose, and shakes baby’s seat which is pretty horrifying. Our pediatrician told us to make everything about Gideon, giving him as much attention as possible! I’m hoping that the newness and excitement of the baby wears off for him soon because its pretty unnerving! My genius sister came up with a perfect beat-the-heat summer indoor game to divert his attention. Let me introduce you to toilet paper bowling! It was a major hit and you couldn’t hear a pin drop!
Genius! My firstborn, 3, never went through the 'acting out' thing when the baby was born.
Have you knelt down beside the chair with him and prayed together about it?
Do you agree that all the attention should be on Gideon?
What can be learned during this season?
Toilet paper bowling is a genius idea! And don't worry, big brother will adjust to his new role in the family. I have two boys with similar spacing, and one thing that helped me was including big brother as much as possible in the baby care tasks and making a big deal of what a good big brother he was. I know it sounds so simple, but he loved his new resposibilites and all the attention he got for them. You have a beautiful family and your boys will grow up to be best of friends!
my two year old son went a little crazy after my daughter was born, but mostly translated a lot of his anger at me and my c-section scar. i quickly learned how manic his love could be – when he went from loving on her to using her as a human hurdle and throwing himself over her body and laughing maniacally. so up she went. sadly, baby number two never gets the sweet floor time that the first did. and charlie (our daughter) spent much of her first six months up on tall surfaces – in her seat, bouncer…all on the kitchen counter or tables or the middle of my bed. it's interesting how as we grow our family we realize it's less about how much one got or didn't get of our attention – or expressions of love. it became very clear that so much of my parenting on number 1 was about me – it was my first at everything, my special times, my special extras. and number 2 comes around and you realize that you don't feel so bad because you love them both and this time it's about being a mom to two. it's an entirely new ballgame – but one worth playing. good luck and your family is beautiful and thanks for sharing it with us.
ps: okay, i hate to ramble, but i just remembered one of our "coping techniques" with the acting out. one of our parenting books said that when the baby was asleep, make an extra special effort to go sit on the couch with eachother (just parents, not kid) but within sight of child and talk about how important the other spouse is and how much you love them and all of that. the thought is that when children feel insecure they need to know their foundation is secure no matter what – and the health and strength of the marriage is their foundation before all else. it seemed a little hokey – but it's the best thing we ever did. and we pull this little trick out when their behavior gets a little wonky every now and then (like with our remodel right now). the trick is not to let them up on the couch or cuddle with you until afterwards (they figure this out after a few days) by telling them that you love _____ so much that you need to give him/her all your love and attention and then proceed to talk about the day or the weather or about how tired you are or sore your nipples are (sorry for saying nipples)…okay, silly thought – seems a bit contradictory to the situation but for some reason it worked for us.
again, best of luck.
was just reading your blog. and the comments. i don't like to offer advice that isn't asked for, so I will just tell you some of the key fixes I had when I had major issues with A's behavior in the past. I know this is a sensitive time with the new sibling, but the world never revolves around one person, and kids need to learn that. Extra attention, sure. All about me – no way.
Chores. A is old enough to help out regularly, and not for earning special rewards. Just because she lives here and she can, she has daily and weekly chores (opening blinds in the morning, taking all the trash to the kitchen on Tuesdays, cleaning her bathroom once a week with help, cleaning up the playroom every night before story time, doing laundry and putting it away). it took a lot of work to get her to do these things, but she is part of a team and has to GIVE and take, not just take, or be the recipient of my cooking, cleaning and laundry doing.
Bible lessons. We just started them a week ago when I got to my wits end about the bickering and arguing between A & C. Started week 1 with the lesson on "Arguing." This week is "Obedience." The difference in her attitude and actions is enormous. Structured time for learning with mommy is a privilege and she relishes it. She has been putting the lessons into action and it is great to see. Check out the lessons here:
By the way, I only found the website when another friend sent it to me when I was venting to her about my frustrations!
And in all your free time ;-), try to read John Rosemond's Parenting By the Book. awesome. so much insight into parenting biblically.
those were some life savers to me when I felt like I was drowning at times!
found you the other day via the Nester…. what an adorably new baby you have! And a darling 4YO. 🙂
I have 3 kids: a 5.5, 3.5 and almost 2YO. Our middle one was a tyrant about the new baby — hitting, grabbing his face really hard, just terrifying. One thing that helped was for me to frontload time with her — sit and read stories or play something just with her for about 10-15 mins, first thing in the morning. It wasn't making her the center, but it did reassure her that we loved her and helped quell some fears about being supplanted as the baby. Then she'd go eat breakfast or play on her own, no problem.
I love the toilet paper bowling idea. I think I'll try it with my kindergarten class!
And kudos to you for helping Gideon channel his feelings/frustrations into a positive activity. It is normal for children to be jealous of others, and your family has handled it with kindness and patience.
Love your black and white photos!