adjusting to new baby and aggressive behavior

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by wvtwinmama, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. wvtwinmama

    wvtwinmama Well-Known Member

    Hi all.
    My girl/boy twins are about to turn 3, and I also have a 3 month old. We never really went through the "terrible twos" with the twins; they have always been pretty good kids. But for the last couple of months, things have been pretty rough, especially for my little boy. He has been having meltdown fits at daycare and has even hit kids and teachers, plus there has been some spitting and kicking. It seems to mostly be coming from getting angry because someone else took his toy or because a teacher told him no. He and his twin sister are also fighting a lot at home. Sometimes it seems like I just have to sit right with them and the baby and play referee. She'll push him and he'll push her back much harder. Lots of yelling too.
    I'm guessing some of this is just "the age" and probably also complicated by the addition of a new baby. I try very hard to give the twins lots of my attention, but it's hard with 3 under 3 and a full time job. We've tried talking about using gentle hands, tried to model empathy, tried sticker charts, tried time outs, etc etc. Basically everything but spanking, which I don't want to do. He just seems to get so angry so easily these days. His twin sister seems much more capable of saying what she feels and of being empathetic, whereas he just gets angry and lashes out or melts down. I know boys and girls are different and I know I shouldn't really compare them, but it's hard and makes me worry about him.
    Have any of you seen your kids become tougher at 3 than at 2? Everything I read says that tantrums and aggressive behavior peak between 2 and 3 and then get better, but I think we're getting worse as we get closer to 3. Any suggestions? I get really worried sometimes that this all points to something bigger than just normal preschooler issues, but I'm not sure if I'm just being paranoid (postpartum anxiety is so tricky!). I'll bring it all up with their pediatrician at their 3 year appointment, but was looking first for "been there, done that" stories from other twin Moms. Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Age 3 with my twin boys was much harder than age 2.  Lots of aggression with each other - fighting, hitting, etc.  It has taken lots of time and lots of work to get them to use their words, and it's still a battle some days, especially if they aren't feeling good, are cooped up inside because of bad weather, etc.  Things started to get noticeably better around age 4, then got a bit worse again for awhile when they went to preK and learned to deal with all those social issues.  I can't imagine having a baby in the mix, too!
    Hang in there!  This phase doesn't last forever, thankfully.
  3. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

  4. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'd say three was a tougher age here than 2. I think some of the issue could be the new baby.  As my two got closer to 4 the behavior improved.
    For me the best way to combat tantrums was to walk away.  Let the child have the tantrum as long the child is safe.  I found the more attention I paid to the tantrum-the longer it went one and the worse it would get due to the my frustration. After the tantrum was done, what Rachel suggested-acknowledging,validating and understanding the feeling when both me and the child were calm was extremely helpful. 
    And if you do have any concerns, do mention them to your pediatrician.  
  5. Nanny88

    Nanny88 Well-Known Member

    It sound like normal 3 year old stuff to me :( 3 is harder then 2. My boys sound like yours personalities wise. I have some that gets angry/tantrums and one that is much calmer(he also tends to be more sneaking about being naughty) 
    I had a lot of issues when the new baby was born(our are about the same age apart) When it comes to fighting I had to be very consistent. At first time outs didn't seem to work but then I started doing them ALL the time and they seemed to work. If they took something it was an immediate time out(3 minutes every time). I have several spots that are timeout spots so they aren't removed from me for normal timeouts. They is a spot in every play eara and the kitchen etc. I usually use outlets/plugs(they are baby proofed) they know they have to sit there with their back on the plug until the timer goes off. They will try to push their limits so I have to be consistent with this. It got a lot better when I NEVER let any kind of bad behavior slide. If they screamed and threw a fit in time out and I needed them to be out of the area(AKA it makes the baby cry too) I would carry him kicking and screaming to his bed and he had to stay there until he calmed down. It could be 30 seconds it cam last over and hour. Yes they want your attention but if they know if they are bed that you will sit on the floor with them and give them attention then they will continue. When they are in time out I completely ignore them and purposefully play with the other child/children. I also tend to say stuff when they are in time out to the other child like "I wish **** didn't do whatever so he could come play the game with us. He can come join us when he calms down" etc. I don't talk directly to the child in time out but I speak at a level that the timeout child can hear me. If the child doesn't stay in time out I just put him back over and over again. If you don't give in then they eventually will stay. I am also very consistent with them when they say "I want my juice cup' etc that I will say "Can you say that nicely. May I have my juice cup please?" If they don't obey and say it the right way they don't get it. This has helped a lot with setting boundaries of who is in charge.
    With tantrums I always put them in their bed and shut their door and they can stay in there as long as they want and kick and scream but they can't come out until they are calm.
    They also know that when we are out I will put them in time out. Even in the car it seems to work if I tell them they are now in timeout in their seats. They get really sad etc and then when I tell them timeout is done and make them say sorry and I won't do that again etc then they get happy again even though they never actually moved.
    Things that have help are explaining everything to them before we do something. Structured play such as games where they have to obey me which helps obedience. Also making sure everyone who cares for them is on the same page. Schedules are also great. Another thing is  
    I noticed a HUGE difference after doing this consistantly for 2 days so maybe start on a Friday night and go strong all weekend? I let they kids know that they rule have changed and they are .... and they as soon as they break them say "Remember we have to follow the rule because mommy and daddy are in charge. You have to have a time out because you broke the rules" they usually say "i will be good. i promise don't make me sit in time out etc" and I say "I am sorry but you did break the rule. You have to go in time out but if you are good after time out then you won't have to sit in timeout again" 
    I hope this helps :)
Similar Threads Forum Date
Adjusting the Second Nap The First Year Nov 5, 2010
Adjusting to Life Change with Twins The First Year Jul 19, 2010
nap adjusting quesiton The First Year Mar 22, 2010
adjusting to our new feeding schedule The First Year Jan 25, 2010
Difficult Time Adjusting To New Twins The First Year Jun 26, 2009

Share This Page