Dear Faith, Recently my almost four year old son has become incredibly loud, demanding, and seems to be playing the part of the “mean” kid. He thinks it is funny to hit people, to spit on them, and to be rather bothersome in general, to both children and adults. I know that this is probably a normal phase in which a youngster “tries on different hats”, but I just don’t know how to meet these behaviors. I also know that there was a marked change in his behavior (more neediness, crying, a seeming regression in ability to do things on his own) around the time my second son was born 7 months ago. I am sure there is a connection as my older boy senses that he doesn’t have everyone’s undivided attention any longer. But how do I draw these boundaries with these “annoying” behaviors? I work hard to maintain a rhythm to our day, to make sure he gets enough sleep, and to make sure we are outside playing a good part of the day. I try to offer him appropriately challenging tasks around the house and he does enjoy that. But these behaviors persist. I am really at a loss, find myself losing my temper often and am really sad because I am finding less joy in being with my boy. I hope you can consider this situation and look forward to your thoughts.