Saturday, December 25, 2010

Parenting advice?

Questioner: Alisha

Question: Hello, I am a mother of two boys. My oldest is 26 months and is a happy go lucky little tike most of the time. My youngest is 3 months. I knew that my oldest would start to show signs of jealousy once the baby was born. My husband and I were ready for it.

Hitting the terrible two's and a new baby all at once wasn't so bad until about a month ago. I have started to notice some really odd behaviors from my toddler. He has started to whine for no reason or when he wants something. Before he would tell us what he wants. My son is extremely verbal for his age and has no trouble using words to express himself.

I am wondering if his whining is because of the new baby or is it possibly a phase?

Also I was thinking of placing him a preschool this fall because he seams to be getting bored with just being at home with Mommy. He is pretty smart (he know his alphabet, colors, shapes, and numbers to 20 and more) Do you think that putting him in a class at 2 1/2 is too soon?


Answer: Dear Alisha:

Sometimes when children are feeling left behind because of a new baby or a major change in their life they regress in their behavior hence the whining. Sometimes they will temporarily wet the bed or refuse to feed themselves (these are just examples).

When your son whines simply tell him you cannot understand and he needs to use his big boy voice. Simply repeat this statement to him if he continues to whine. Under no circumstances give into him even once when he whines or you will reinforce this behavior.

As for his being bored, rather than sending him to school at this age, why not try setting a time when he can have you all to himself and play games or do activities which do challenge him and are developmentally appropriate for him?

Whenever possible include him in the activities with the new baby even if they are boring as he needs to know he has not lost his status with you just because there is a new baby in the family.

I also suggest searching your local bookstore for children stories which focus on siblings and what happens when a new baby is born into the family. Often stories like these help little ones understand what his happening. Encourage him to tell you stories about the family as well.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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Comment: Thanks so much for your help Kay! We have started telling my son to use his big boy voice and he has already improved. We still have a ways to go but everyday is better then before. THANK YOU! -Alisha