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I have 3 month old twins and a 4 1/2 year old. What is a…

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I have 3 month old...
I have 3 month old twins and a 4 1/2 year old. What is a reasonable amount of time it should take for my 4 yr. old to adjust to his new siblings? He is very active in taking care of them and shows care for them. However he will be very spontaneous at times and do something to hurt one of them right in front of me. I'm not sure what else to do to prevent this from happening other than consistent consequences and giving him attention when he makes good choices. We have time during the day where we just give him attention without the boys.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/27/2010
Mental Health Professional: Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional replied 8 years ago
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
Verified
Hello:
You are doing a magnificent job on this issue. However, your son for whatever reason, believes his brother is getting attention that belongs to him and he is angry about it. He will continue to be resentful of his brother as long as he believes he is being shortchanged in the attention department.
I would enlist his cooperation in finding ways to avoid hurting the twins. Ask him what he can do instead of lashing out. Encourage him to use his words. You may put up a "feelings chart" in which he can point to his feelings when he is frustrated along with an antidote, such as watching TV, reading a book, or some activity he can do by himself. You can also have special toys or activities he can only enjoy when he is "using his words."
Another suggestion is to start a "Feelings Notebook" for him. This is a art pad upon which he can draw how he feels when he is upset. I would require him to draw while he is in his timeout. Then you can discuss what he was feeling, how he can use his words, and what he can do better next time.
When you see the escalation, you can cue him to stop what he is doing and remember to use his words with you. Then praise and reward him for being a good listener.
Remember, this little guy had you all to himself for 4 years. Now he is not one but two babies around all the time. He is no longer King of the Hill. He just needs to know that you are not abandoning him. Be sure to tell him how special he is to you and how much you appreciate all his help, his good listening, any positive behavior.
This will get better in time. I wish you and your family the very best.
Warm regards,
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Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
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