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Old 03-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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Different personalities...vent, encouragement?

So, here's my long story about as short as I can get it. Not sure what I'm looking for, other than understanding mamas.
My oldest son is 7 1/2. I had really bad PPD w/ anxiety up until he was about 6 months old. It took a really long time to bond, but when we did, we became as close as can be. He is empathetic, sensitive and intuitive. He knows how I feel without asking, he is protective of me and always tries to help. DS#2 is 22 months younger than Joshua. He's 5 1/2 now. Bonded with him at sight, PPD wasn't really an issue. He had/has a speech delay and we went to speech therapy from 20mos-3 years. He communicates fine, and now is understood by everyone, but he is very dramatic, screams a lot, gets frustrated easily & doesn't always take others' feelings into consideration. He's not detached or distant, but it's clear that his needs are always in the forefront of his mind.
Caleb (#2) tends to annoy Joshua just for the sake of doing so. They play nicely oh, about 70% of the time. The other 30% is awful!
I love them both (all 4, actually) dearly and have NEVER said Joshua is my favorite or put down Caleb in any way like that. Lately though, I'm finding that I just want to scream at Caleb for disrupting family life so much.
There are 2 more kiddos, Noah 2 1/2 and Emmi 15 mos. Noah is a fiesty toddler. He is headstrong and stubborn, but very sweet and funny as well. Caleb & he get along fairly well, but I see many of Caleb's bad behaviors mirrored in Noah. He'll scream about something, Caleb screams back, hitting, kicking and biting can ensue. I get more frustrated w/ Caleb b/c Noah is 2. Caley should be learning self control. No?
Emmi is way like Joshua. Sweet, bonded, even intuitive at her age. Is it middle child syndrome in my middle boys? How can 4 children raised in the same household be so vastly different??
What on earth can I do to encourage Caleb to be more a part of the family instead of being so disruptive? I'm so frustrated.
Mamas of many, please tell me something!!

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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Re: Different personalities...vent, encouragement?

I just finished reading What the Bible says about Child Training by Fugate. It is out of print but I am recommending it to everyone I know.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: Different personalities...vent, encouragement?

Your #2 sounds like my #2 -- I really believe it is "second child syndrome". It is also made worse by having an older sibling of the same gender, IMO. I would recommend James Dobson's Raising Boys book (not the actual title) and the Love & Logic books to help you. I am working hard not to get drawn into my son's "dramatics" but it is a long process. He is 5.5 and ODS is 9.5. Most days it's great - some not.

ETA: also recommend The 5 Love Languages for Children as a must read for parents
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