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Desperately need help with my 3 yr old son

Since my second son was born (now 1), I have not felt like my bond w/ my first (3 1/2) is nearly as stong. The last few months have been crazy with him, and I am at my wits end. He used to be such a laid back child, who didn't have a care in the wold. Now, he is very defiant, will purposely do things for attention, and acts like a bully to his brother. A couple weeks ago, he sprayed perfume in his brother's eye and we had to have it flushed out at urgent care. Today, it was liquid dish detergent. He doesn't play w/ toys like a normal kid, instead he looks for things that him and his brother can get into together. I know some of this seems like normal 3 year old behavior, but I have honestly never met a 3 year old who is as bad as my son. I don't know what to do anymore! How do I get him to listen? How do I get him to play with toys instead of getting in trouble in the bathroom or the kitchen? How do I get my bond back w/ him


Asked by MichaelsMom330 at 6:21 PM on Oct. 30, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • I was running out of room and tried to include everything in my first post, but I wanted to mention that he can be very destructive at times and has even began peeing in his pants again. He has been fully potty trained since June, and pees in his pants more than I think he actually makes it to the potty during the day...

    I could really use any advise or support you all are willing to offer!

    Comment by MichaelsMom330 (original poster) at 6:27 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I'm going to address your bond with him first, since you mentioned it first. I think you need to spend more one-on-one time with him. Play with him without his brother. Also, have dad spend time with each boy alone. Think of things your ds loves to do with you and do those things. Have him help you bake cookies or a cake or dinner or anything, spending time just with him and explaining that he can do those things because he's bigger.
    He may not feel the attachment with you that he craves, as you are not feeling it with him. He can't reason that out yet and is doing things to get your attention. Try to do all the positive things that you can, "catch him" being good and praise and hug him. You both need your bond back.
    JMHO, Good luck.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 6:28 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • Maybe he is acting up because it at least gets your attention. maybe he feels that if he gets in trouble or aggravates you that he gets your full attention? Have you taken any time to spend with only him?
    How about taking a couple of hours each week where you spend time with only him and not both kids?

    Answer by Jademom07 at 6:28 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • He needs special "mommy time". I did this when my second son was born and it helped our transition. He just needs to know that you have not forgotten him - which of course you haven't. It really is normal, don't worry. He'll get over it and the boys will be best friends!


    Answer by Mommee42boyz at 6:42 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I must say it is hard to balance 2 children. You have to find time to spend with both children one-on-one so they feel like they are getting equal amounts of attention. Also, if you are always yelling at your older child and never praising them then the think the only way to get your attention is to do something bad, so you will talk with them. Also try to make things fun, I know for us we would let the kids play with the pots and pans. I would also try and ask him how he feels, I know he is young, although he should be able to hold somewhat of a conversation. Listen to what he has to say and see if he can tell you what he is feeling.

    Instead of always punishing him try praising him for the good things he is doing. Try and set up some system so he can earn rewards, like maybe a sticker calendar. They worked great for my kids.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 6:51 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • Agree with other posters. Lots of times kids go for the negative attention when they do not get enough positive attention plus praise when they do things right. GL!!

    Answer by elizabr at 7:05 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I have to thank all of you for the replies so far!! I was afraid I was going to be told I was a bad mom and that's why my son is acting out like this. I know that I am not perfect by any means, and it really helped that you all gave suggestions and offered ideas for why he might be acting like this.

    I was so desperate the other day that I got on the Super Nanny website and found a rewards chart, called the Ticket Store Game. They earn tickets for every time they do something you ask, and once they earn so many tickets, you take them out to do something fun. I bought it for $30 with tax, and can't wait to receive it! I'm hoping it helps. I will also be making sure that I plan quality time with JUST him as I really want that bond back :)

    Thank you all again so much, and I look forward to more responses!

    Comment by MichaelsMom330 (original poster) at 7:25 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • You are right on track with that chart you purchased. I hope he likes it. Keep smiling Mom. Best wishes.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:30 AM on Oct. 31, 2010