Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Regression


I have read and heard from others that it is common for the older child to regress some when a new baby is brought into a family.  I was super surprised when Aiden didn't have any extreme reactions to Mila's arrival.  Apparently, his reactions are delayed.  The past month has been horrific.  Suddenly Aiden is incapable of doing things he's been doing for a year: putting on his socks and shoes, taking off his shirt, climbing into his car seat, buckling himself in... this list goes on.  

To top it off, his attitude would put a teenager to shame.  He talks back all the time.  Sometimes he yells back.  He refuses to do anything we ask him too.  Even if it's something he actually wants to do.  It's like the fact that we want him to do it gives him an aversion to said act.  He whines.  He throws fits.  It is SO frustrating.

Oh and then there's meal time.  Aiden has always been a good eater, but it seems he's chosen to go anorexic.  He's boycotting food altogether.  He eats a couple bites and then he's done.  But that's not until he throws a fit about how he hates everything on his plate.  I even tried giving him some foods he used to love - pizza and edamame.  He ate half a slice and six pods before he said he was done. I think the only food he happily eats these days is cereal.  Can I just feed him that for every meal?  I'm hoping he's just in a growth lull.

Travis was complaining the other day about how he's tired of bribing Aiden to do everything.  'You can't  watch TV until you eat your dinner.'  'You can't play outside until you get dressed.'  'You can't have your juice until you put on your shoes.'  Etc, etc.

When I dropped Aiden off at daycare yesterday his teacher stopped me and asked if he has been extra whiny at home lately.  "OH MY GOD YES HE HAS HAVE YOU NOTICED IT TOO???"  She basically repeated everything I've mentioned above.  I kept meaning to ask her about it, but I always forget in the morning rush.  I don't know if it's good to know he acts the same at daycare, or not.  

His teacher said every time he throws a fit, he has to go sit on the carpet until he stops crying.  She tells him, "No babies are allowed in her classroom.  Only big boys and girls."  I tell him the same thing and then he just says he wants to be a baby.  She said he does the same thing for her.  She also said there is another boy in her class who has been acting like that for a long time.  So I don't know if it's learned behavior on Aiden's part, or something he's doing because of Mila.  I don't feel like I give Mila more attention than Aiden, but I know it's different attention.  I have to carry her, feed her, change her diapers and clothes.  But that's only because she's a baby.  When she gets big enough, we'll let her do those things for herself.  It's not because we love her more or something like that.

I don't know what to do about this bad behavior.  I'm thinking about starting a goal chart to reward good behavior.  I would put 4 or 5 columns ('Eat Your Dinner', 'Clean Up Your Mess', 'Listen to Mommy and Daddy'...) and then give him a sticker every time he does really good with one of these things.  Then give him a bigger reward after he gets so many stickers or fills up a column.  I'm not sure what the reward would be.  Go out to the movies?  Ice cream date?  Buy him a new coloring book or stickers?  How big should I go?

Has anyone had any experience with this?  Any other ideas that worked better?  I'm looking for any advice I can find.

3 comments:

Alexa said...

I don't like to offer advice so much as to tell you what we do. I talk to Angie about this a lot since every few months Blair goes through some sort of spurt where he has about 2 weeks of naughty. He says no to us a lot, we make a lot of threats, we yell, we get frustrated, so does he. But we just keep up the consistant routine and he eventually (usually 2 weeks almost exactly) falls right back into line. It's rather amazing. Angie tells me they all go through it.

We've never done a big reward chart. But it may work for you. We just believe that Blair should, as a part of the family, do the things we need him to do. No rewards to doing what has to be done, such as putting dirty clothes in hamper, putting dish in sink, etc. But that is just our philosophy, you have to go with what you think will work for you.

Not sure I would say this is sibling jealously regression thing. She is a bit old to blame it on that. I would think he is just going through a stage where he is testing boundaries and asserting himself to make his own decisions, like all of them do.

Nikki said...

I really don't like the idea of rewarding expected behavior either. I think he would enjoy the stickers, so maybe that could be our way of making a big deal when he makes the RIGHT choice. We don't have to do a big reward at the end.

I never received an allowance as a kid. I was expected to do my chores because it was my duty to help keep up the house. My parents gave me money when I wanted to go to the movies, but that's because I was part of the family, not because I unloaded the dishwasher.

I think what makes this all worse is that Travis CANNOT handle it. It makes him so angry. Then I get stressed because Travis is so upset. I always look forward to Travis coming home from work so I can have some help with the kids/dinner/dishes/etc, but then it always stresses me out having him around when Aiden's acting up.

Parenting is HAAAARRRRDDDD!!!!!!

Sara's Satire said...

So, like Alexa - I can't really give you advice, but I can tell you what I do. Not every kid is the same, so it's all a trial and error...and keep in mind as Mila gets older, what worked for Aiden may not work for her. I see this all the time in Logan and Landry.

BOTH of my kids went/go through this. I learned after Logan that people are LIARS...every one talks about the "terrible two's" but 3 was the worst age for Logan, and I have not been looking forward to this age with Landry. With Landry, she goes through these phases...honestly Nikki, I don't think its a regression, I think it has more to do with age and like Alexa said, testing and pushing boundaries.

I also agree that you shouldn't be rewarded for doing what you are supposed to do anyway...HOWEVER, a sticker chart can be a good incentive. I don't see a big issue with doing a little reward, such as an ice cream date or something like that...but I would make it to where he has to get something like 15 stickers in EACH column before he gets the reward. Otherwise, you will be eating ice cream every week...it should be something he only gets once or twice a month.(TOTALLY MY OPINION)

For me...I started sending my kids to their room. I just told them..."Not listening to it." the draw back to this is that after a while, everytime they get mad about something...they run off to their room, and their are some instances where we need to have a discussion about the behavior. I understand what Travis is saying about the bribing...it so easy to say, if you do this...you get that. I used to do it constantly and still do, but now I do it more as a show of cause and effect in the negative. "If you don't eat your food, you can't have computer time." Then stick to it...if Logan still tells me he isn't hungry, I give him a few minutes then take the food away. I tell him not to ask for anything for the rest of the evening. It's really, really hard, because he might tell me right before bedtime he's hungry, and I tell him, "too bad! You should have eaten your dinner." He will cry, I will feel like a horrible mother that is starving her child, and remind him he can have breakfast when he waks up in the morning. It SUCKS...but, he usually eats his dinner from then on...at least for a while and then it will happen again.

Also...and I know I am not going to score any mommy points here...I spank! I don't have time to go through all the consequences of actions, or trying to talk the kids into doing what I need them to in the mornings. I have to get two kids, dressed, fed, teeth brushed, and loaded up on my own. So, they either do it or they get a spanking. simple as that. I realized a long time ago that I would threaten and threaten and threaten, and never really carry through. Most of the I tell them what they need to do, they take FOREVER, I start yelling for them to hurry, so they speed up. If they don't speed up, I give them a couple more stern warnings, the third is usually...blah blah blah or I'm going to spank you're butt...and if they dont do it, they get a spanking.

After saying that...I think you should know that I rarely have to spank them. I did at first, and I guess now they know I mean business, but I rarely have to anymore, and it helps because now they know that if they get spanked...they really messed up. It doesn't mean that there aren't numerous tears while they are doing whatever it is I need them to...it just means they do it while they cry...but they do it!

As for Travis - I totally understand. JR can really drive me nuts, because he doesn't handle it well either, which only makes me crazier...I don't know what to tell you about that situation, as I have yet to find a way to deal with it. All I can say is Travis is probably much more malleable than JR...so at least you have a chance of molding him! LOL

Good Luck