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.