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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    181

    How should I help my son?

    We have five children. Sebastian is 3, he turns 4 in October. Kaidan turned 3 in May. Evelyn is 17 weeks, and the twins, Jackson and Britton are 9 weeks. I don't know how many of you are aware of our story, but Kaidan, Jackson and Britton are biological half siblings that we've adopted.

    We've had the twins home for about two months now, they both had some complications and remained in the hospital for a week after being born. Both are doing well now. It continues to amaze me how much each of my kids grow and change in a short time period.

    My niece, Hannah, has moved in with us to help with the kids and we also have the support of relatives and family friends.

    Since bringing Jack and Britt home from the hospital our oldest son has really struggled. He is getting the same amount of attention from both his dad and I as he was before we added three little people to his life, though it is sometimes given in a different manner than it would have been before the babies.

    Lately he has been acting up, throwing temper tantrums and refusing to be around his young siblings. He lies about hiding the babies things, and he gets angry when my husband or I are spending time with them. His entire world was changed, and I'm just not sure how to help him adjust to having three babies in the house.

    Sometimes he can be so sweet and kind with them, and others he is SO mean! Even with Kaidan. My husband and I have moved him into our bedroom in an attempt to offer him some security, but that doesn't seem to be helping. He gets snuggle time with each of us before bed, and he's disciplined when he acts out. I feel like his behaviors are just getting worse, and it breaks my heart. Sebastian is my sweet boy, my cuddle bug!

    I'm at a loss, and I don't know what to do or how to help him. I want him to love his siblings, and I know this adjustment is really hard on him.

    Mama to Sebastian, Kaidan, Evelyn, Britton, and Jackson

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    523
    My first daughter is 4 years old and we just recently brought my 2nd daughter home. Maeby was very excited about being a big sister, up until about 2 weeks before delivery. Then she wanted nothing to do with it, at all. She was exhibiting a lot of the same behaviors. There is no magic solution, but it sounds like you are doing the same things we did to handle it. Be consistent, discipline, show him extra love and alone time. It sucks, I know, and you miss your little boy acting like his normal self. Yours is probably 3 times as bad with 3 babies to contend with. But I can tell you wholeheartedly that THIS WILL PASS! It will take a few weeks, but he will return to normal. Saela is 7 weeks now and our first is much better. Give it time and keep loving on him regardless of his behavior. Good luck!
    Proud Mommy to Maeby Alana (8/6/10) and Saela Eliza (6/24/14)

    Marlow Simone - Romy Corinne - Piper - Juna
    Zefram Eli - Miles Thatcher - Ledger - Brinker

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Queensland, Australia.
    Posts
    90
    I can understand how stressful this would be with five children!
    What is Sebastian's relationship with Kaidan like? Does he act like a natural leader, or do they interact more as equals?
    I think it would be very important to stress to S how important of a job being a big brother is, and what a wonderful job he is doing, when he is being co-operative. Ask him about things he will teach the boys, what he thinks the boys will like to do when they're bigger. Will they like planes or cars more? What do you think his favourite colour is?
    I can't speak from experience here, but it seems like he is acting out from a lack of control and by throwing these tantrums, he is controlling the situation by diverting attention to himself.
    When he is being sweet and kind, would he be interested in something like choosing outfits for the twins for the day, Evelyn too? Or other small activites that give him a sense of control over the situation? Or maybe choosing coloured bowls or cups for K at lunch or dinner time? Choosing what books to read to the youngest three, and maybe even himself reading, or explaining, a book to the youngest three?

    I think definitely do not be discouraged and keep spending time with him and disciplining him. It may not give you the results you want and as quickly as you want, but at least it's not getting worse! And once he learns that you will be consistent with discipline and that the babies aren't going anywhere, he will adjust. This will be an overtime adjustment, may I add haha.
    Matilda Kate (Therese), Vivienne (Saint) Lux, Adelaide (Margaret) Dahl.
    Vincent John, William Charles.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    683
    It sounds like you are doing everything right. There is just no way to add three new people to a family without a lot of stress. Maybe the experience of the twins needing extra time in the hospital was unsettling as well. If this was his first family medical event, that can be very unsettling for a small child.

    I would just say keep doing what you are doing. Make sure you are taking time for you and your husband as well, I think small kids are really good at reading when mom and dad are stressed out, then that makes them more stressed out. Which just isn't fair, BC you are probably stressed out BC HE is stressed out, so it is just this vicious feedback loop... Not like you have any more time at this point, but you know! I also think that family counseling is a really good idea for major transitions like this. People tend to turn to that as a last resort, but it can be so helpful that it really ought to just be standard.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,253
    That sounds really challenging! You must be feeling discouraged. I know it would make me sad to see my sweet son acting and feeling that way.
    Some of this is just his way of expressing his jumbled-up feelings. His "norm" has been compromised, and it's to be expected that he's feeling upset. He probably really missed you when you spent all of that time in the hospital. I think PP is right about many of these behaviors being a way to exert control by garnering attention. For example: hiding the babies' things... Don't overreact. Stay calm. Instead of reprimanding, or even acknowledging these behaviors, I'd consciously ignore them when possible. He will quit on his own when he realizes that being naughty doesn't get him the attention he's craving. Make sure you get your hubby on board with this strategy, as consistency is key.
    Some things should always be "off limits-" such as talking back, being disobedient or disrespectful, or harming the other children. But now seems like a good time to cut him some slack on the less important things.
    Does he love to wear jammies all day? Eat in front of the TV? Stay up later then Kaiden? Play a certain game? Help you out in the kitchen? Give him tons of special privileges and emphasize that only he can do these things because he is the oldest.
    It sounds like you are doing the best you can to carve out quality time for him. Right now it may feel like it's just never enough for him. Perhaps your hubby or a Grandparent can help by taking him out to run errands, get ice cream, etc. Anything to make him feel special and forget the babies for a few minutes. Just continue to be consistent in your affection, and affirm your love for him. Eventually he will be able to accept that he will always be important to you, even though family life has changed. Keep us posted with new developments!
    Last edited by mulme944; August 13th, 2014 at 04:20 PM.
    Mommy to Travis Nevin 05/12
    and Angus Loudon is due April 6th, 2015

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