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4 1/2 behavior problems

My son has been acting out recently & I'm at a loss on how to deal with it. He's been doing thing for attention I'm sure. I try to talk to him, but all I get is bullcrap answers. Lately, he's been taking his 21 month old sister's diapers off, so she'll pee in her bed. Last week, he snuck in her room & peed in her crib. SHE WAS IN THERE! Then he lied to me & said she pulled off her diaper and did it. When in reality, he snuck in her room, pulled her diaper off & did it. A couple of days after Christmas, we sent him to bed. My mom spent the night with us. We had an inflatable bed on the floor & he spit all over it from his bunkbed. Today, he peed behind his bedroom door! When my husband asked why, he replied "because I felt like it." I'm really losing my patience with him. Punishments don't work. Time-out is a joke. Spankings don't work. Giving him more attention doesn't work. When we give him more attention, there's no change in his behavior. He's a very loving child, but there's a demon in there too! He's just getting worse and worse everyday. He doesn't listen. He's even beginning to lie to us. I had a talk with him a few minutes ago & tried to explain that he HAS to stop misbehaving. It's like he cares, but something drives him to make everyone miserable anyway.
He's a very smart child, but he's so head strong. He knows right from wrong. He always acts like he's starved for attention, but we spend so much time with him. My mom has him when we're at work & he's behaving the same with her. She gives him almost all her attention. He seems to do things just to make life harder. I swear that he should have came with his own cleaning service. I love him so much, but I swear that I'm going to be on prozac by time he's five!!! This is seriously affecting our relationship. I never want to go anywhere with him b/c he's so bad in public. His bedtime can't come soon enough these days. I just don't really want to be around him when he's awake b/c he's so difficult & I feel like a failure. I can't even rear my son correctly. He's always up to something bad.

Any suggestions?

Re: 4 1/2 behavior problems

Hi sorry to hear you are having so many problems but it does sound like classic attention seeking behaviour. Ignoring bad behaviour (where you can, I know this is not always possible) and praising the good behaviour as much as you can. Sometimes we can forget to praise our children when they are being good so they revert to bad to get attention.

I know you said you have given him more attention but do you do any special outing with him. Just you and Nathan? Maybe just go to the park, movies, zoo, anything that is fun and special occasionally.

How about trying a reward chart. Put a sticker or stamp on the chart whenever he is being good and give him a reward when he reaches ten like a small toy or book.

Failing all of this I would look at this diet. Low sugar and cut out as many preservatives as possible. A poor diet can send some kids feral. A great Australian site is In Australia there is particularly bad preservative called 282 here which is an anti mould preservative found in breads, refridgerated pasta, cakes etc. I cut this out of my daughter's diet and after a week the improvement in her behaviour was amazing. It doesn't work for every child but certainly worth a try.

Good luck and hope this helps.