I have a 9 and 4 year old, and a 4 week old. My husband had to start working out of town a week after we came home with our baby, so he is only here 2 days a week now. So things have changed a lot in our house, with a new baby and daddy gone. My 4 year old has always been mean. I think he's mean compared to his older brother, but I figured it was just a biproduct of being a younger brother. Now his bratiness is driving me up a wall. Sometimes he sais he's gonna be good, and then is out of the blue. Offering to help, and doing chores. Then he can be incredably annoying. He fights with his older brother and tries to annoy him. He whines way to much. And he is always all over the baby. I of course want him to be well adjusted, but I'm about ready to pull my hair out. My older son was also 4 when our middle son was born, and he acted considerably different, so this is new to me. Not only am I going nuts, but I'm really worried about how he will act when he starts kindergarten in August. He doesn't much enjoy the learning, and his whinning may make things difficult for us in school. He's aggresive in play, but is very in love with his new baby brother. I'm not sure what to do or how long it will take to regain my sanity, or ease the worry of the upcoming school year. I considered part time preschool, but I wasn't sure he'd take well to it, or we could afford it. Any suggestions?
The first 6 months of my DD's 4th year were hell for us. She was rude, obnoxious, talked back, pushed every social limit she could. I think it's just part of the developmental cycle. At some point she turned a corner and went back to her old self. If you go to the "parenting 4 yr old" board there is a link on the right to a discussion entitled "Is 4 the new 14"? where everyone basically notes that their kid turned into someone different for awhile during their 4th year.
I know you said he's "always been mean", but if it worse now it may just be a result of that 4 yr itch plus all of the scary changes in your household. He may just need some extra reassurance that he is still important and still loved. And don't count out that time to just mature - he may be a different kid by the time he goes to Kindergarten. And, frankly, peer pressure is a great instructor - the kids in his class won't put up with the whining for long at all lol.
You should stop in at the 4&5 yr parenting boards if you have not yet - I bet you'll get some great advice there.
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