Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Mummy on the Edge.

As I creep into your room an hour after putting you to bed I can hardly believe that the little angel that I'm looking down on was the hurricane that has been giving me a tough time over the last few days. You look so innocent, peaceful and so quiet (thank god for that.....!). I mean the last sentence in the nicest, possible way obviously. I feel like I am struggling at the moment. You are giving me a hard time and you don't even know it. 

Lets take yesterday for example, the morning you were ok until I allowed you to watch the tablet for half an hour while I washed my hair and got ready and I took it from you and I was number 1 hated mummy. Then you had a strop because I took your cereal bowl even though it was empty. Grandma and Grandad came over to help me out and you were pretty nasty to Grandma even though all she ever does is her best for you. Being rude and hitting out at them makes them not want to visit which makes me sad. You then threw a few things around, didn't want to eat your lunch and pretty much screamed no at me whenever I asked you something. Even after all of this Grandma and Grandad took you for a walk but then you came home and still acted horribly, you then bit Elarna although I wasn't sure at first that you had........until I saw the marks. At bedtime you were a bit better but still crying and stropping because Daddy wasn't home and made it tough for me. You did go to sleep but it was Mummy that was feeling exhausted after all this!

The last couple of days have definitely been the most testing in a long time, this evening I have felt like crying from a mixture of feeling like a failing parent and just pure anxiety. I thought that you had been quite a resilient little bug from the move but perhaps it has affected you more than I thought. You seem to have taken on a different persona of late, yes you are still my wonderful little boy who is at times, charming, sweet and loving but your exuberance, stubborn behaviour, stroppiness and crabbiness seems to be sadly winning and I have no clue what to do.

I am seeing behaviour that I haven't seen in a long time, the worst being the biting. I really thought we had gone past this stage but now not only has he nipped myself and hubby he has bitten Elarna badly to the point of nearly breaking her skin in the last few days. Worse still it is blatant and done right in front of me, usually when I'm boiling the kettle or putting clothes away. Thankfully the biting has never been to other children, I would be mortified if so! This is the behaviour that I don't know how to handle, he's had a right rollicking for doing it and several stints on the naughty step but still I feel I'm a fighting a losing battle. He knows it's naughty and he shouldn't be doing it and I'm assuming it's for attention but how on earth do I stop him doing it? There are so many conflicting bits of advice online but one thing I do know is that I won't be biting him back, logically I do not know how that teaches a child not to bite.

I worry that disrupting his routine in nursery hasn't helped, we have found a nursery that we like so I'm hoping that him getting back into twice weekly sessions which he was doing will hopefully help. He needs alot of stimulation, he's a very, very active boy and some of the activities that nursery can offer are definitely things that I can't at home, plus he has the social aspect and can burn off lots of energy while playing.


He occasionally does hit me, headbutt me and screams at me and makes weird dinosaur noises and very rarely listens to what I'm telling him unless I really yell at him (which I hate doing) or bribe......then he does seem to pay attention. It's so hard, I am constantly questioning my parenting, have I done something wrong? Is this a phase (which it probably is)? Have I made him this way, is it my fault? Why won't he listen? How does he know which buttons to press? Do I pay him more attention, do I pay him less?

I know I'm making him sound like some sort of demon child, the majority of the time he is a lovely little lad and as I said above he does have his wonderful side, he really is a sweet boy but this other side of him is just not so nice. If this is a phase I hope it passes quickly otherwise I really am going to need some serious guidance! 

I don't want to prattle on too much, and I really do want to emphasise that I love him dearly to the moon and back, he is my main man! He is hard work though. I think the term spirited sums him up......he's spirited, yes that's it!

Can anyone offer me any advice? Is this a phase? Is it my parenting fails that are causing the issues or is it just that he is simply testing the boundaries? Help!!!

Best of Worst

Mummuddlingthrough

46 comments:

  1. Morning Helen, I'm afraid I can't share any tried and tested advice but it sounds as though it's a phase. A health visitor did give me some advice when Tigs had a short blip when dangermouse was about 12 weeks, was to ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good.... That worked really great for us. X x keep going you're doing your best for your kids who you clearly adore

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  2. I think we all have days like this. Our twins can be so well behaved one day, but the next it can be a day of full tantrums and tears. Hope you're ok. #bestandworst

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  3. I know exactly how you feel and I have asked myself the same questions. Finley used to last out and thankfully has stopped but now Noah does it. I don't really have any advice as the naughty step didn't work for us but I am starting to use the 'if you don't stop you won't get....' An dthat seems to be working. I hope it gets better lovely. Big mummy hugs to you xx

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  4. Hey lovely,

    Go and find a mirror, look into it and repeat after me "I'm an amazing Mum and I'm doing and incredible job. My son is just a little Sh1t" lol.

    We never want to admit it about our own kids, but sometimes they are. But the main thing we need to realise is, they are usually doing it for attention. And it seems your little boy is acting up since the move and getting him back into a nursery routine will help. Just be consistent with your naughty step and try and not shout. He's after a reaction. Big hugs. Renee @peonieandme #bestandworst x

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  5. Hi Hun. I know exactly how you feel and how upsetting it is when our little treasures behave badly. It's so much more frustrating when you know how amazing they are and can be, but you feel like they are letting themselves (and you) down when they do something which they know is not acceptable. We keep going through phases of this and at times I could just cry! It makes you question everything that you do as a parent, but I think to be honest, they are just little people trying to learn the rules and the boundaries. It seems to me that you are already doing a brilliant job. He will come through this little phase I'm sure xx #bestandworst

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  6. Oh shame hun... I can't give you any advice since i'm currently in the same spot with my two year old boys, but I can say that i'm sure it has nothing to do with you failing as a parent. I'm sure it's just a phase and that he'l stop acting out soon. My boys are testing me to the point of breaking at the moment, and what works best is just to give myself some seperation from the issue by asking daddy or a grand parent to give me 30 minutes or so. It clears my head and calms some of my frustration.

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  7. My little girl used to do that too, every time she's confronted by her big brother, she always bit him. Most of the time, I put her in the naughty step, sometimes I threaten her to smack her naughty mouth for biting her brother. In fact, out of my anger as she's hurting her brother I've actually done it and that worked. Or I don't know if it's just a phase and that she's through to it now as she's not done it again. This goes the same with spitting. I'm just trying to share my experience with my kids here, not suggesting to do the same as it's not the most pleasant thing to do. Made you wonder as a parent where they got it from because it's not from us obviously. #bestandworst

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  8. Oh wow, this sounds so familiar. I have a very 'spirited' boy too!!! No advice, but I'm looking through the comments for inspiration. Best of luck x

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  9. Oh, I think it is just a phase as he adjusts to his new home and nursery. I read a really good post somewhere (!) about explaining to children, somethings are just too big for them to compute or we assume they know what's going to happen. Explaining things to my daughter really helped with her tantrums. Also praise the positive. And keep the wine cellar well stocked....#bestandworst

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  10. My daughter was a biter for a while and always her big brother who would never retaliate.We stuck at the naughty step for biting and explained that it was hurting her brother and whilst we love her very much we didn't like her when she was hurting him.It did stop eventually,seems to be a long game unfortunately xx #bestandworst

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  11. Woah, this sounds tough. Especially sounds tough when you're by yourself plus a baby. At school when kids are trapped in a negative attention seeking cycles we try hard to 'catch them being good' and ignore what behaviour is not OK. Obviously not ignoring biting but the lesser offenses and then giving specific praise as soon as you can: 'Wow, I'm really happy you listened to Mummy when I said it was time for lunch. Good listening!' with an over the top cheerful demeanor. With the stuff like biting that you can't ignore I'd get down to his level,
    try to get eye contact and say something like 'Biting hurts. Teeth are not for biting.' in a really low, angry voice with a very serious face- but no shouting. I had to practice to get my tones really different and sometimes I feel like a kids TV presenter but I did find it effective.
    From what I've seen what you're describing seems pretty typical for kids his age so I shouldn't worry. Doesn't make it any easier for you though. Good luck! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst x

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  12. Sound like you've been having such a hard time recently. I don't have much advise to offer as my little girl is still very young but hopefully some of the other mums can give you some pointers. I just hope things improve for you soon! As you said maybe nursery will give him chance to let off some steam. #bestandworst

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  13. I have to say I haven't had any experience of this but I do think we should all go with our instincts...it sounds really upsetting thoughx #bestandworst

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  14. Oh no, I feel so bad for you, we've had a few of these issues over the year and in my experience they are phases, and although the seem to last for ages they do pass! I think you have probably hit the nail on the head that it's something to do with moving. It's a big change for him, especially with changing nursery too. That doesn't help much does it! I'm SURE it's nothing you have done though!! I really hope it passes soon. Becky xx #bestandworst

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  15. Oh no, I feel so bad for you, we've had a few of these issues over the year and in my experience they are phases, and although the seem to last for ages they do pass! I think you have probably hit the nail on the head that it's something to do with moving. It's a big change for him, especially with changing nursery too. That doesn't help much does it! I'm SURE it's nothing you have done though!! I really hope it passes soon. Becky xx #bestandworst

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  16. Sounds like you are having a really tough time. I'm afraid I haven't really got any advice for you, but I do agree about not biting him back. If you bite a child in frustration, how does that teach them anything except that biting when frustrated is ok? I hope he settles down soon :) Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
    Debbie

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  17. When I was an early years teacher I had to deal with biting a lot..it really is quite normal around the 2-3 year age group. I did a lot of shadowing- being close to the child who was doing the biting and keeping him close to me but whenever i went for a break, the other teachers did not keep an eye on the child as instructed and he would bite! It does eventually stop but i had to be firm and let them no that it was not okay. I also had to take away treats! The best approach i find is positive reinforcement. Rather than giving lots of attention when the child bites (although they do need to be told off) focus on the times they do not bite and praise them. You will get all sorts of advice but this is what worked for me as a teacher! - Angela from daysinbed x

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  18. Aww hun this is hard. All I have tried is ignoring or staying very calm and explaining why something is wrong. If I yell or get upset the gremlin does it more or she gets really upset. I hope this is just a phase as is so hard to watch. He's just in a funk and I'm sure it will pass. You are an amazing Mum. Hugs xx

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  19. Awww I'm sorry you're having a hard time. I really don't have any advice as we've just started having tantrums as H is only 11 months. Hopefully it's just a phase (I know, everyone says that, everyone blames a phase, it doesn't really help). I really do hope it passes soon, you're doing the most amazing job, and just remember that peaceful sleeping boy when ever you're having a difficult time xx
    #bestandworrst

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  20. We're right there with you with the unreasonable toddler tantrums (minus the biting). I think it's a phase.
    Our health visitor gave us the same advice as Mrs G - ignore the bad and praise (OVERLY praise) the good.
    Obviously some bad behaviour can't be ignored - like the biting - but I think it's a matter of dealing with it and then moving on...not labouring the point as then they get attention from it.

    In any case, it's horrid, horrid, horrid. Sometimes when Little Miss A is screaming and crying it's difficult to see where our beautiful little girl is, but I know she's in there somewhere. I just try to minimise the things that might set her off, which is hard in itself.

    Hang in there. I'm sure you're doing an amazing job.
    #bestandworst

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  21. Sounds like a really tough phase, but definitely just a phase. I certainly know the feeling of questioning 'have I failed?/what have I done wrong?' but when I read someone else saying it with things like this I definitely think nothing! Completely agree with some of the other comments about accentuating the positives! The only other thing I can add is to look after yourself lots. Thanks for hosting #bestandworst xx

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  22. :( Kids are so hard. Sounds like "normal" naughty boy behavior to me and not something you did wrong. I did pop in the mouth over biting and got it under control for mine quick..but not every kid responds the same so I'm not saying it as a cure for all. I had the hardest time overall with my oldest at this age and I found the book "123 Magic" and it really did change my home. I reccomend it so much. It not only gives you ideas of what to do but it also explains why kids do some of the things they do and how our reaction play a part in it. It also divided their bad behavior into things they need to stop now (like biting and hiting) and things they needed to do now (like pick up the toys when I say) I had no idea it was important to separate the way you treat the two, as I was just yelling over it all. I used it with my next 2 and it made a world of difference getting through the preschool years. Good luck to you! #bestandworst

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  23. Oh dear, I could really feel your sense of struggle here... It is so tough when they behave this way, and you have no idea why. All of this is very familiar to me, as my youngest (20 months) has just gone through an intense period of the same behaviour. He would just walk up to random children at softplay/playgroup, and bite them for no reason at all, not even provoked in any way. I was mortified when he bit his baby cousin on the face, seconds before her christening... And I went through times of being covered in scratches, as he'd lash out and scratch at the tiniest thing I did 'wrong.' I was pretty sure it wasn't anything I'd done wrong, as his slightly older brother has never done anything like this, and they've both been raised exactly the same! I know it must be normal to think that, but I also think it's very normal behaviour for them. Over the last few weeks he seems to have been much better, showing no aggression to other children at all *touches wood* so don't worry, you are doing a grand job!

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  24. sorry, forgot to add #bestandworst

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  25. Oh it's so hard when they're playing up isn't it. I think the fact you worry about doing a good job means that you are definitely doing a fantastic one - mummies doing a bad job don't ever question themselves. I wrote a post about wondering whether I'm really cut out for motherhood sometimes because at times I just feel so overwhelmed by the idea of getting up day in day out and doing it over and over again. But we do it, phases pass and then we wonder what all the fuss was about back then!
    You are clearly a doting, fabulous mummy and we all shout, cry and feel like we don't know what on earth we're doing at times. You're not alone lovely and it WILL get better. Thanks for hosting #bestandworst - sending positive vibes for a good week :)

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  26. Not that it helps you on these trying, nightmare days, but I most certainly can say you are NOT alone!!!! I haven't just had days like you describe but endless weeks of complete hell and feeling like I was failing and that kids hated me! IT WAS ROUGH...but the storms do pass..it isn't personal, its just their age, adjusting and all sorts of other stuff. I have no advice because when I am at my limit like this I yell too, feel bad and cry and the cycle continues! I always find being out of the house helps - new scenery captures their attention and is more refreshing x #bestandworst

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  27. I'm sorry you are having a tough time at the moment, I'm sure over time it will get easier. I found my daughter really difficult for quite a time, biting, hitting etc. This 'phase' has mostly passed now and it is like having a completely different person around. I use the naughty step for hitting, biting (not done this for long time fingers crossed) and try to praise a lot when she behaves really well etc. You are doing a great job and i'm sure the routine will help him! #bestandworst

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  28. I feel for you this is a very tough phase by the sounds of it I'm sure it will pass over soon I always feel guilty when I shout at the twins and to be honest I feel it never works good luck thanks for hosting

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  29. This is definitely a phase. My boys go through trying times every 4-6 months when nothing I do is right and their behaviour is down right awful. These are the times I wonder about selling them on eBay! Just kidding. It only last a little while and bizarrely usually occurs with a growth spurt or serious lack of sleep. Just be strong and keep doing what you're doing. He's pushing the boundaries and learning :-) #bestandworst

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  30. It's so difficult to tell when you don't know the kids, and I'm certainly no expert on anything, but I would think that this is probably a phase more than anything to worry about. Ignoring what you say is definitely really common - I read that apparently you need to be careful how & in what order you phrase things to toddlers as they typically only listen to parts of what you say, and may therefore take instructions not to do something as being told to do it if they did not listen to the don't part! We haven't got to biting yet, but I hear that is a really common phase that, sadly, most of us will have to tackle! Rebelliousness & aggression seem part and parcel. My eldest has a lovely character, she's sociable, loving & caring, & even so she is not immune to major tantrums and hitting. I would think it is very likely that change in routine and the move are playing their part - little ones are so attached to their routines. I would really think that it is probably just his age and adjustment to big changes, especially if you still see the other side of him the rest of the time. Regardless, I'm sure it is nothing you have done wrong! #bestandworst

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  31. Geeze... I am SO selfishly pleased to read this one today! Obviously I am really sorry you are feeling like crap, but I have been going mildly mental myself over the last week! I really needed to know others often felt like this. Without a doubt we love them ferociously, but my two are totally pushing my buttons at the moment and I just want to have a tantrum and lie on the floor and kick and scream. I am just holding out hope that it will pass. Thanks for such timely honesty!!! #bestandworst

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  32. Oh what a cheeky one. Just make sure you are explaining every time he bites etc that it is not okay to do it and even offer him a calm down for a couple of minutes, as long as you consistently do this then your doing all you can. It's only a phase though. It's his way of dealing with change probably. Hang in there, you'll be out of the other end soon enough #bestandworst

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  33. Oh it can be a real challenge when our little ones misbehave and we take it so personally don't we? I think we just have to take a step back (and breath) and remember that this is something they'll probably outgrow hopefully sooner rather than later, and that they're growing and developing and trying to get to grips with their emotions with the necessary skills to process them or articulate them.
    It'll take time, and lots more frustration no doubt, but it will come.
    We don't use the naughty step but it's the 'Time Out' step - less confrontational, I think, and it's there for them to calm down because sometimes they are just so emotionally charged they don't know why.
    best of luck xx

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  34. Just reading through some of the comments, so much advice, not sure I can offer anything different. I agree with 'catching the good behaviour', I wouldn't say ignore the bad but don't over react to it, try to gently discuss it, or act out what you want him to do with his favourite Teddy bears (this really helped with my son) I would act out a good and not so good choice and ask him which one seemed to make everybody happier and therefore they had more fun. Really praise anything great he does. My daughter who is 11 has been very upset with us moving house which has caused some anger and crying, I think at any age but especially when they are little like your son, moving can really affect them and they don't know how to express their feelings.

    As adults we forget how big their problems and worries feel for them, we think they will just adjust and get over change but it can take a lot longer than we realise. They feel they have no control over their environment so they act out. It is not their choice to move, to change routines or add siblings, and I know I would feel angry if I had no control over my life and someone just decided for me. I think sometimes we need to remember how they feel.

    Also try to keep things calm around the house as much as possible. So what if beds aren't made or the dusting isn't done. Maybe put some calm background music on, when you have nice weather get outside ass much as possible, pointing out all the beautiful things in nature, changing leaves, dew drops, spiders webs. Make up stories about what adventures the spiders go on, encourage his imagination and get him talking as much as possible. When he talks, if you can, stop and listen, get down to his level and show you have listened by repeating things back. He needs to feel heard right now.

    I agree with you, don't bite back, don't smack, don't say naughty step, if he needs time out say "i think we both need a moment to calm down, mummy feels a bit angry or sad right now because what you did wasn't a nice choice, I know you feel sad too. Let's both do something else so we can calm down". It won't be easy, but give it a try. Direct him to his calm down area, maybe an area you can se up with a cushion, or Tee Pee with books, teddy's, some blocks, or colouring. Somewhere he goes when he needs to calm down. It may seem like you are rewarding 'bad' behaviour, but you are actually teaching him to make a good choice, and to redirect his anger into something more constructive.

    I know I am going on and on, but one more thing. When you have a spare moment, sit with him and look at baby photos, talk to him about how sequel he is, maybe even make a special photo book that you can flip through at his bedtime, or create a routine each night of writing or drawing something in a special book that made you both happy that day.

    Hope something here helps, sorry for rambling too much I guess us writers do that lol. Good Luck honey, #bestandworst.

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  35. I don't really have any advice as I'm in much the same boat myself. Instead, just wanted to say you are not alone. My son is pushing all my buttons lately and it's a daily struggle. I get through it by remembering EVERYTHING is a phase, and this too shall pass. And making a special point to focus and enjoy every little positive moment that does happen. Take care of yourself. #bestandworst

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  36. Hey, can understand and when you want to change behaviour use positive reinforcement. Of he doesn't behaviour correctly take somethong he loves.so much. Praise him for being good use a positive reward chart and use a chill out step when he gets out of hand. These able all helped me deal with difficult behavior X #bestandworst

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  37. Toddlers are really tough! And that's tough on you hon. They are incredibly frustrated and their brains have not developed to interact in a civilised fashion so yes, this is totally normal! I find knowing how to talk to them goes a long way towards heading over armageddon. I'm going to link up a few articles I wrote on the back of my learnings of dealing with a very tricky toddler and hope they will go towards helping somewhat? Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub...

    http://baby.lovetoknow.com/7-secrets-happy-toddler
    http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/2015/08/10/amazing-toddler-hack-3-magics-words-the-rule-is/
    http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/2015/10/07/amazing-toddler-hack-2-three-more-magic-words-who-wants-to/

    Change is hugely disruptive and when our little girl moved house and changed nursery everything went crazy. Ultimately know that this too shall pass. Hang on in there lovely and thanks for linking to #coolmumclub xx

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  38. I've no advice, but I suspect that as you've just moved he's acting up because he's unsettled. One he's more used to the new stuff, things will get better. That said, I'm not always sure that knowing why something is happening helps you deal with any better! Make sure you look after yourself, hubby and the other little one too.

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  39. It's heartbreaking to read this... I hope it's just a phase. There's no doubt you love him dearly, but it must be very difficult right now. I can't offer any advice I'm afraid. Thank you for sharing something so personal #bestandworst

    Nadia - ScandiMummy xx

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  40. Oh I wrote you an ESSAY and hit sign out instead of publish! Sob! In a nutshell, my daughter went through a phase of biting me when her brother arrived, once it was so bad that she left rows of teeth marks in my arm and I'm so ashamed to say I bit her back in the heat of the moment. I actually think she didn't realise how much it hurt until that moment, (although it was nowhere near how badly she was biting me!), and after that moment she never ever did it again to me or anyone else. She would go to, and then look at me and stop dead. She used to be horrible to her brother and we always warned her that he would get bigger and get his own back. Now he is three and gives as good as he gets and I think she is actually a bit wary of him!! So the fighting has calmed down unbelievably. If jealousy is the issue, how about using special time with just mummy as a reward for good behaviour. Maybe a chart and if he gets so many stars you could take just him for a walk, or swimming or somewhere he loves? I know what it is like to have a spirited child and have just written about tantrums on my blog. Good luck, it is so draining but it will get easier with time. Promise! #bestandworst

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  41. How old is he? He sounds like my daughter (3.5 years). She is smart, funny, feisty, head strong, shy...... but my god when she flicks that switch she is absolutely impossible. I have gone round and round in circles questioning myself and how I parent. Her behaviour nose-dived when my son was born (she was 2.6). I could really understand that life had changed for her as well as all of us but there were occasions where I just felt infuriated :( Generally we ignored the tantrums when she was being really quite impossible and love bombed her when she wasn't being feral. If she bit or hit or did anything violent then we went with the naughty step idea. she would be told to sit at the front door which would send signals that the behaviour had been unacceptable and a rubbish thing of sitting on her own was an initial consequence. it also allowed us to be able to walk away and just re-compose ourselves. Once I was composed I would go to her and we would talk about what had happened (so not quite like super nanny stylie) and she would apologise to everyone. All this did help.
    To try and prevent the near on constant explosions I introduced the Promise Fairy which I have posted about before. It's a reward system but she is in control of it rather than me saying 'if you are a good girl you get a sticker etc'.
    She still finds sharing attention very difficult. She struggles to understand that her brother needs supervision. It frustrates her. I hope one day soon this phase will come to an end...... wishing you strength!
    Vix x
    #bestandworst

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  42. This sounds like a very tough time your going through. I cant really offer any advice as it was a long time since my kids were toddlers, but I can say I speak to enough other mums to be able tonassure you that this is very common behaviour and he will grow out of it.
    #Bestandworst

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  43. It sounds really upsetting :) I'm sure it will settle down and he's really pushing your boundaries. Deep breaths x I test my mummy too and know how to push her buttons! #EffitFridays

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  44. My boy has become like this since going into a new nursery class. It's so tough. Count to 10! Hugs! #bestandworst xx

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  45. It sounds like a phase, I hope its a very short one for you! xx #justanotherlinky

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  46. Popping back from #justanotherlinky. Thanks for linking up xx

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