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Hi, I am 24 weeks pregnant and very excited. My six year old seems to be greatly excited about being a big sister. However in the past month her behavior has gotten out of control. She has always been a perfect well behaved child. (I'm not the only one who thinks that she really is great!) At school and other peoples houses she is great still but at home she won't listen, she throws tantrums, whines, ect. I assumed she was under stress with the thought of the new baby coming and not being the star anymore, but she just says she is excited. We have tried everything and nothing seems to help, talking to her she says everything is fine. I know my patience can be a little thin when I don't sleep well but I really try to not let her see it and I always talk to her about what is going on. Has anyone else had problems like this. Do you think it really is just stress and worries and maybe she is afraid to talk about it? Please help!!
What sort of behavior is she exhibiting besides whining and temper tantrums? She may very well be feeling stressed about the baby and even "good" excitement can manifest itself the same way. Anxiety is anxiety! Just do your best to remind her that you are counting on her to help you with the baby and try to involve her in the planning phase of your pregnancy..let her help buy the cribbing etc...If she continues to act out at home, you may have to get a bit tough with her and remind her that this sort of behavior is not tolerated. My guess is that she is testing you to make sure that you still love her "no matter what". You will need to be firm with what is not acceptable behavior but still remind her that you love her. Let her know that you love her sooo much more because she is a big girl and can help you with the baby. Either way, if it is a phase, it will be a short lived one if you set the ground rules now! If you let her get away with her tantrums because you feel "bad" for her etc...or you feel guilty that she is anxious about the baby...the phase will likely only get worse.
Thanks that is exactly what we are trying. Yesterday we all sat down and started a traffic light behavior system. If she is bad she moves up the traffic light with different punishments for each level. So far so good, since she knows exactly what the consequences will be she does not want to move her clothespin. It has been a great day and a 1/2. We are a very vocal family we constantly tell her how loved and proud of her we are. I tried a different approach by telling her that everyone, even mommy and daddy, get anxious about the new baby. She was shocked and started talking about how she is afraid she will leave her toys out and the baby will choke on them and things of that nature. Thanks for your advice I think you are right on.
MommyRN said it great... couldn't agree more!
I am glad that things are working out a bit better for you all now...It sounds like you have things well under control and it is GREAT that you were able to get your daughter to vocalize her feelings. It sounds like she is very nervous about doing something wrong to hurt the baby etc.. My gut tells me that when the baby comes, she will be a wonderful sister and a big help to you! Good luck and welcome to Strong Moms.