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My 5-year-old is regressing and "acting like a baby."
Q: My 5-year old daughter is regressing in her behaviour. She talks baby talk, won't sit up at restaurants or in church, etc. When she was a toddler, she always seemed mature for her age; she talked early, and would sit quietly for an indefinite period of time. She has a 2-year-old brother, but even he isn't misbehaving as much as she is. Besides being patient with her, what can we do?
A: It sounds as though your daughter is imitating her younger brother, either consciously or unconsciously. She has somehow gotten the idea that being babyish is the thing to do. Are you sure her little brother doesn’t get more than his share of praise and approval? And are you finding opportunities to praise her for being older and bigger? “I’m glad you’re such a big girl and so able to do things for yourself.” Tie privileges to age-appropriate behaviour on her part. “Yes, you can go and play with Cindy today because you’ve been acting like a big girl lately. She wouldn’t want to play with you if you acted like a baby.”