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Toddler hitting/abusing older sister - Page 3

post #41 of 66

 

 

This is your solution for the next year or so. Seriously. You ARE expecting too much, from both DD and DS. She is too young to be as responsible as you want / need her, and DS is just 3. I have a 9yo and 3yo who get along great most of the time, but I'm seriously lucky. The same 9yo doesn't get along with ehr 6yo brother--they are too different, don't share the same interests, like different things, and well, they are not good playmates. You can't be expecting siblings to be good playmates...unfortunately it might not happen.

 

 

Quote:
Essentially, if I am right there, at all times, things are ok.  If I can step in at all issues, things are ok.  Perhaps I'm expecting too much to think they can play together alone yet?

 

post #42 of 66

I haven't been able to read all of the threads, but I responded back to your oringal post that we had the saem issue.  Our pediatrician did blood work for us with no results.  He also recommended a fantastic play therapist, which has helped somewhat, but not completely.  ADHD may be an issue.  We may be turning to the Feingold Diet because meds are being discussed as a remote possiblility.  Have your gone the route of food allerigies or Feingold Diet?  Kids can "rage" from foods that dont' work with their body and it doesn't have to just be from red dye.  It can be apples or other natural foods. 

 

I truly feel for you as I think I know what you are going through.  Your story sounds so much like mine.  If you want to talk privately, feel free to inbox me.  I'm not on here much these days, but I'll try to come on to see if you have responded.  Best of luck.

post #43 of 66

It is not her responsibility to defend herself. She is only a child. Your daughter is being terrorized and you are not protecting her.

post #44 of 66

It sounds like he is not able to be unsupervised at this point. Until his behavior is significantly improved (weeks or months without hurting people), I think that he needs to be within your line of sight. Earshot doesn't count; you need to actually be able to see him.

post #45 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

It sounds like he is not able to be unsupervised at this point. Until his behavior is significantly improved (weeks or months without hurting people), I think that he needs to be within your line of sight. Earshot doesn't count; you need to actually be able to see him.



Agree and since you won't clarify I have to assume that I interpreted correctly that they are unsupervised NINETY percent of the time?  

 

You leave 2 small children unsupervised for the vast majority of the time and wonder why there are behavior issues?  Really?  Time to really step up here.  Letting this go on for years is nothing short of neglect.

post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

It sounds like he is not able to be unsupervised at this point. Until his behavior is significantly improved (weeks or months without hurting people), I think that he needs to be within your line of sight. Earshot doesn't count; you need to actually be able to see him.


I agree with this 100%!  A lot of 3yo's aren't ready to be unsupervised, especially if they have a history of hitting.  It's also not a good idea to ever leave a 3yo unsupervised in the company of a dog, especially if you know he's going to torture the dog and the dog is likely to bite him.  In fact, I'd keep the child and the dog completely separate for the next several years unless you are able to give them 100% of your attention (ie not just in the same room, but directing their interactions and keeping your hands on them both constantly).  If that isn't possible, I'd rehome the dog, for it's own protection.

 

Every time the 3yo hits his sister, he needs to be removed from the situation.  If he puts up a fit, oh well, sometimes 3yos have a fit, that's ok. 

post #47 of 66

You seem really concerned about impeding on his "rights" but I think you're forgetting that by him hitting, he is impeding on your daughter's right not to live in an abusive home.  And the dog's right not to live in an abusive home.  Your daughter and dog have amazing self restraint in having not beaten the shit out of him yet, but you need to step up and work on getting it to STOP!

post #48 of 66

It is your job as a parent to attend to your children's needs until they are able to meet them on their own.

 

After food, water and shelter, the most important need a child has is to be SAFE. Your children's safety should have higher priority than their self esteem. As it stands, your daughter is not safe from an abusive sibling and that needs to change. You can work out whatever issues there are after everyone is living in a safe environment.

post #49 of 66

So Calm....You've gotten some good and varied advice here. What do you think? How is the situation now?

 

It's hard to read something like your OP(s) and not get an update. People get worried and probably too invested. I know I do. redface.gif Let us know how things are going if you can...

post #50 of 66

I grew up in a family like this. I got the hell out as soon as possible and am not on good terms with my mother and brother and never plan to be. Your son has a behavior problem that you are enabling by allowing him to bully and terrorize your little girl. She is only a child. Now may be the only time you have to step up to the plate and be a parent to her before you cause her irrevocable emotional damage, if it's not too late already.

post #51 of 66

My case is similar to nmw.  My sis, 6 yrs younger managed to control the house and terrorize me. Parents took her side, every frigging time and I was told 'shes younger, be patient, etc'.  Ya well when it got to be I was 16 and she was 10 that didn't fly any more ya know?

I now live 2k miles away and avoid the family like the plaque.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post

I grew up in a family like this. I got the hell out as soon as possible and am not on good terms with my mother and brother and never plan to be. Your son has a behavior problem that you are enabling by allowing him to bully and terrorize your little girl. She is only a child. Now may be the only time you have to step up to the plate and be a parent to her before you cause her irrevocable emotional damage, if it's not too late already.



 

post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm View Post

I must admit, one of my hesitations with seeing a professional is that they will be mainstream and give me unhelpful advice.  I asked my doctor for a referral to get some tests as I wondered about aspergers or allergy or something, but she said, "Oh you don't need that.  He's fine. He just needs some behaviour management, like time out and so on." I mean, she judged him in five minutes as being "fine", and then suggested time out?  That is typical, and I'm growing weary of it.  I'm sick of the pendulum of feeling that I'm not doing enough for him yet then being told I'm over-analysing and jumping to the worst conclusion.  I can't win. 

 

I want some radical who is like Alfie Kohn or Lawrence Cohen who see children as whole humans, not as dogs that need training.  

 

Edited to put pics of them in... just to make them more than words on a page, and cos I think they're so gorgeous, a facebook album.

 

They are beautiful. Which makes us care even more, since they aren't just words on a page. So I wish you would update! :)

 

One thing, too, that I forgot to say before...your bolded comment, above? How can you know that a professional's advice will be unhelpful before you even know who you'll be seeing, or before you have even met said professional? You know what I mean? I've had many a counselor/therapist in my life....many have been useless; a few have been God-sends. All of the comments you've made about yourself give me the impression that you are, or that you see yourself, as a very open-minded individual. If that is the case, then why the dogmatic thinking about any possible "mainstream" therapist? It's your kids; it really might be worth it if your situation is in or is nearing the crisis stage that your words seem to indicate it is. Please, get any kind of help you can. Exhaust the resources, mama.

 


 

 

post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post



 

They are beautiful. Which makes us care even more, since they aren't just words on a page. So I wish you would update! :)

 

One thing, too, that I forgot to say before...your bolded comment, above? How can you know that a professional's advice will be unhelpful before you even know who you'll be seeing, or before you have even met said professional? You know what I mean? I've had many a counselor/therapist in my life....many have been useless; a few have been God-sends. All of the comments you've made about yourself give me the impression that you are, or that you see yourself, as a very open-minded individual. If that is the case, then why the dogmatic thinking about any possible "mainstream" therapist? It's your kids; it really might be worth it if your situation is in or is nearing the crisis stage that your words seem to indicate it is. Please, get any kind of help you can. Exhaust the resources, mama.

 


 

 




ITA with the above.  You don't know until you try.  I have had to deal with some mainstream therapists, and eventually I ran screaming from one (she was uber-feminist and didn't agree with breastfeeding, was constantly throwing the word "socialization" around regarding my homeschooled kid, and couldn't understand why I had a problem with letting my sick 15 month-old CIO).  I found a wonderful psychologist through FYT who was ok with the weird crunchy stuff we do helped me work through years of childhood trauma.  MY SPD kid also sees an OT and speech therapist, who have also been very non-judgmental which is a freaking miracle for the super-mainstream area I live in.  It seems as though you are very worried about being persecuted and balk at the idea of a professional that may see things differently from their POV.  Buck up and seek the help your family needs mama, it sounds like there is an awful lot of repair that needs to be done.

post #54 of 66

Hi Calm,

 

When your son hits, you need to remove him and hold him, bottom line.

 

That being said it would be a good idea to start teaching your 8 yo other coping mechanisms.  She is reaching an age where socially she will be meeting a lot of abusive behavior amongst other girls and teaching her how to protect herself without running away is a good idea.

 

If growling worked for the dog, perhaps your DD could growl as a warning to your son...make a seriously scary face like she means business.  Then she should take his hand firmly and say "You may NOT hit me."  Then hold his hand while calling for your help. 

 

She needs some training in NVC methods of protecting herself.

 

You're one of my favorite posters, and I know you are doing a great job raising your kids, but you're right.  something is amiss that a 3 yo is ruling the roost.  His needs are important, but they don't supercede everyone else.

 

HTH

post #55 of 66
There is a difference between punishment and discipline.   You can discipline your children without punishing them.  It sounds like neither is happening in your house, and your children are suffering the consequences.  ALL children need boundaries and rules.  Some need more than others, but they all need the basics.  You can't really believe that your children will just know what's right and wrong, can you?  Children need guidance from their parents.  Ignoring him is the absolute wrong thing to do.  The message you're sending your children is that abuse is okay...which is the opposite of what you believe, right?  This passive/pacifist stance is obviously not working.  At the moment, your DD thinks if someone hits her she has no recourse, she just has to put up with it.  Which doesn't bode well for her in the future.  And your DS has no empathy for others, and thinks it's okay to hit people (and animals) for the heck of it.  Which also doesn't bode well for him in the future.  If I was in your situation I think I would let DD hit DS back.  She needs to learn that it's okay to protect herself against an attacker, and he needs to learn what it feels like to be hit because right now he has no clue that it hurts. 

 

 

post #56 of 66
I don't know....allowing the 9 year old hit the toddler back seems like retaliation and revenge, and I think of the old "two wrongs don't make a right" saying, you know? Plus, she could seriously hurt him. Especially if she's super pissed off, which I think I would be if I were in her shoes. Of course, defending herself is a whole 'nother thing. IF she's being attacked, she needs to defend herself, physically or however. Especially if her parents aren't protecting her the way that they should be. She shouldn't have to be hiding from her little brother. With all due respect, that's a ridiculous and sad situation.
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
 


I agree.  Letting her hit him back certainly isn't ideal, but right now she needs to protect herself against him.  Ideally, he would never have been allowed to terrorize her for over a year. 

 

post #58 of 66

"Allowing" the 9 year old to hit the toddler doesn't make any sense. If the toddler is attacking her, she certainly has the right to use the MINIMUM force necessary to remove herself from the situation. There is absolutely NO REASON to hit someone who is half your size, and that should never be encouraged. If she did end up hitting him I don't think I'd really fault her for it. We all loose our temper, but it's not right to condone that kind of thing.

 

There are plenty of ways for her to defend herself that don't involve physical retaliation. I agree with hakeber, if he hits he needs to be removed and held until he is no longer a danger to anyone. If mom is not around when this happens, 9 year old should be taught to say "You may not hit me," then go to the nearest parent for help. If it happens frequently, the toddler should not be able to play with anyone unsupervised until you are ready to re-evaluate his ability to control himself.

post #59 of 66
Thread Starter 

Things are good.  We seem to have figured a few things out.  I'd love to tell you about it but I will have to deal with how I feel about some of the "advice" here first.  It's amazing what people think is helpful on this board.  Frankly, some of you are in serious need of a check in on your judgments and approach.  

 

I post when I have PMS, I noticed the correlation... PMS makes me make mountains out of molehills - and I guess makes some of you do the same.  I use strong language like "terrorise" and that is because I've usually just walked away from a situation that was difficult.  Don't tell me you haven't been there.  What are you smoking that allows you to believe it is helpful to tell a mother who is obviously pretty concerned already and a very gentle parent to "start parenting instead of letting the dog do it", or suggesting she is neglectful?  Don't pretend a mother doesn't know a trigger word when she uses it. (D McG what a surprise one of them was you.  Darn, and I thought you liked me.)  I don't make it to every argument in time, but they are in my home, my backyard, and held in my arms when they need me because I homeschool.  I carried a baby who was 25 pounds by 5 months in a sling, 24 hours a day.  I breastfed for over 3 years.  I have shared a bedroom with a child for the last 9 years of my life.  At a forum like this one in particular you know the sacrifices make to lead this life, to give what we deem is the best to our kids, we give more than most or it certainly feels that way as I see my friends take short cuts I decided I could go without... I really wonder what goes on in some people's heads to suggest "you're just not doing ENOUGH" before being certain of a person's story.

 

Talk about a mountain of assumptions.  I never said I ignored anything except when he hit me.  I said I was considering the option of getting my daughter to ignore it... after over a year of not doing so, capiche?  The following are all my posts in order.  I was clearly asking for help as to how to empower my daughter. So why are you assuming I ignored it?  Not only did I never state I was ignoring anything, I clearly stated I didn't ignore it, and outlined some things I had been doing - why do posters on this board assume that what a person writes is the sum total of all that is going on or all that they do?  (bolded so a complete re read isn't necessary, enlarged when something was not obvious enough for some readers):

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
My daughter is 8 and my son is 2. As soon as she gets out of bed until she goes to bed at night, my son gets all riled up and randomly hits her, sometimes with objects, and sometimes screams right in her face. She usually does nothing to encourage or incite this, sometimes she is just sitting there trying to wake up and he starts on her. However, sometimes she is difficult with him, not sharing or whatnot but he has it good, overall.

She is starting to hide, which means I get even less time with her, which was already stretched since his birth as he is high needs.

So far, my advice has been not to retaliate, which is easy for her as she has always been passive, she doesn't even yell with much conviction. They are like chalk and cheese.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't have said not to retaliate now, as she has absolutely no recourse, and sometimes it just isn't fair on her to walk away, or not possible. We are all going insane with this.

He started hitting me about a year ago, but I ignored it, and it ended up he only hit me a couple of times and then gave up. I advised her to do the same, and it worked. He didn't hit her for a long time (he did yell in her face still, though, as my mother lives with us and has a real problem with his screaming/yelling and makes a big deal of it - this, I believe, has caused it to remain long past it's due date). But now, his hits are stronger (he is older) and my daughter doesn't ignore them, even though I think this might cause them to die out - my friend described it well by saying we become their "squeaky toy", so when we react, this is very satisfying to the average toddler.

How can we help DD protect herself, yet not infringe on DS's rights, yet not have her keep having to leave the room, hide, or some other unfair solution?

 

 

 

 

My second post...
 
 

 

Quote:
DD does say gentle, in fact, DS says it - about his drumming (which is very LOUD) and often after he hits someone, so I think he gets the concept, I just don't get why he does it. It's the only recourse she has is to tell him how she feels and ask him to stop. Much of the time I can tell it is like an accident, he gets ahead of himself. When DD starts to cry, he ALWAYS (which is incredible) says sorry and gives her a kiss and usually doesn't hit her again for the day or for a long time. She always responds (even if she is in tears) with "thank you" or "that's ok" - she is pretty amazing, in fact, both of them are really. I never told him to say sorry or any of that, he just learned it by watching us. But I'd like to avoid that in the first place, as it can go on and on sometimes.

If I pick him up he freaks, so that will be a kind of punishment. He fights being picked up unless he instigates it. He was carried in some type of sling his whole life so I think it created this earlier independence, at least, that is what other cultures show will happen and it seemed to happen to us.

What happens is someone ends up freaking out on him because he just won't listen. Yelling at him or moving him out of the way a little too roughly. I wouldn't say we "let" him bully DD, but I would say we don't know how to deal with it - we tell him how we feel, remove him from her (or vice versa) and say we don't like it and I thought we could just wait this out... how long will it take?

He actually also hits DH and takes his glasses a lot which drives him so nuts he has yelled at him about it before (he has broken his glasses twice in the past), but I'm not so worried about that because it is DH. DS doesn't hit me, and I believe that is because I wasn't his squeaky toy about it. DH and DD react, and therefore DS continues.

I've taught DS the word "frustrated", in hopes he'll use it as DD seems to frustrate him a lot, and so does life in general.

Hence why I'd love for DD to try ignoring it, as reacting to this and telling him not to etc has only caused it to get chronic. But then, now he is older, sitting there while he hits you is not such an easy feat... so I'm not sure it is an option. Feeling stuck. Kind of like when a child wants to run onto the road, at his age it is best to just not go near a road because they simply don't understand "don't go onto the road, it is dangerous". But I can't keep him away from DD like the road, kwim? He doesn't have the understanding of what he is doing and I don't have the option to "wait it out" because DD is suffering.

Edited to add: interestingly, he no longer hits the dog, and hasn't for six months or so. He kept hitting the dog a year ago until I told everyone to "back off and let the two of them work it out!" and somehow DS stopped hitting him... I personally think it is because WE stopped feeding into it with reaction. The dog didn't change in any way, only our reactions did.

 

 

and the third post:

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Still happening, and he is 3 and she is 9.5.  I came here to start a thread only to find I had this one.  That was not a great realisation.  I certainly didn't ignore the hitting but it seems nothing is helping.  I've almost been at the point of telling her to retaliate, because that is what an older brother would probably do and he might learn some caution if not respect that he is out of his league size wise.  But I am a pacifist so I'm not really attracted to that option.  I have re read this thread closely with fresh eyes to see anything I might have overlooked.  The only other option is that there is an issue with my son.  I might have to face that fact soon, as he really is emotionally out of control, and I can't go into details here, I feel too flat for how much effort that would take.  

 

I'm homeschooling and oddly, that helped since we started.  Either that or I'm numbing out to it now.  I hope not.  

 

I've taken him into our room onto our swing chair for "feelings" time.  This works if he is reacting in anger.  I actually cope better with aggressive outbursts as they seem to make sense... we all react poorly with anger and frustration at times, and I am great with tantrums and expressions of anger (hey, I gotta point out my good points when I find 'em!).  But it is the threatening with a stick/knife/etc by waving it in front of her that I can't get a handle on.  He isn't angry, in fact, he seems to be enjoying it.  I refer to it as when he is "playing her like a conductor", because as an observer, that is what it looks like.  He waves something in front of her, and she screams and yells and so on at him and he just smiles and keeps doing it. 

 

I should add here that it has been commented on gently by others that my daughter tends to overreact.  This is true, plus she is hypersensitive.  They both put their fingers in their ears when other kids seem fine with the noise levels of an event... I think they are both easily overwhelmed.  So I must add that into the equation for solutions.  I have mentioned that she might like to see if he will actually hit her, or if he is just enjoying the show she puts on.  She tried it and said, "I feel like you're going to hit me" and he calmly replied, "I'm not going to hit you."  How much truth is in that is yet to be seen but that was just today.

 

For several months I can't take him to social occasions with children younger than him, esp babies.  He pinches them really hard, sometimes getting a fistful of their back or arm flesh and pulling.  I am very vigilant with it, and when I see him making a beeline for a young one, I dash right beside him to guide him through it.  We are "that" family that others make a wide berth around, and eventually I have to literally pick him up and drag him out (of the library, park, where ever we are) for the safety and comfort of others.  If I see him reach out for a young one, I will gently grab his arm and say, "we wait until invited to touch our friends" (or something else just as lame) and if he has tried to hurt them, I will say to be gentle and he says, "I want to hit the baby.  I wanna hurt the baby.  Hurt the baby hurt the baby."  WTF??  We're a gentle family so this is just freaking me OUT.  

 

He is smiling when he does it so I don't know how much is for effect and how much he even understands of what he is saying.  I remember as a little girl I gave an arm burn by twisting the flesh of a younger girl when no one was looking.  I try to remind myself of that time so I don't start thinking I'll find three 6's in his hair one day.  

 

Anyway, ack.  So, aside from aggression from emotions (which I'm ok with, even though his emotions are frequent and intense and he won't take no for an answer) it is this torturing of his sister that doesn't seem to be emotionally based, although I'm sure in some way it is, it looks more like part of his fun.  He only actually hurts her by pulling her hair or hitting her if he is angry and part of that I'm trying to teach him to express another way and part of it I am trying to help DD see him as a baby, not as an equal as she does tend to frustrate the living heck out of him and expect more from him than he can achieve right now.  My concern is that he screams most of the time, and I feel like pulling him up on the screaming isn't fair but pulling her up on not being fair isn't fair either... if you follow.  He isn't like this with his cousin.  He is a quiet little mouse when she is around.  So he has it in him, he just has no respect for his sister.  He won't listen to her at all, and if I pull him up on something, he'll get upset and go over and hit HER for it.  

 

BTW, he still tortures the dog.  He does the same thing to him as he does to his sister by waving something in front of him like he is going to hit him with it and the dog now bites DS regularly.

 

 

 
the fourth post:
 

Quote:

 

Sorry, I should have mentioned, initially letting the dog and DS work it out worked, as the dog growled and snarled and DS stopped, but largely because we stopped reacting... I thought.  But whatever the reason, it didn't last, but we didn't let the dog bite DS and do nothing, or DS annoy the dog and do nothing.  It's been a long time since that technique (I started this thread over a year ago). 

 

We are on it, right away.  But it is constant at times and luckily the dog lives downstairs with my mother and brother so they are mostly apart.  And mostly it was that threatening by waving something in his face, and not actual hitting.  It's like this kid just doesn't learn and I keep trying to tell myself it is just that my daughter was so easy that he seems so, well, slow to learn and difficult, but I'm not so sure now.  

 

NNicole when you said this: Other than freaking out, what real choice does she have?

 

That is what I'm asking.  Exactly what I'm asking.  When I started this thread a year ago, things were different, but we've tried everything now and nothing is stopping it.  I'm looking for creative solutions as she seems to have no options, and like I said, I even considered telling her to retaliate... even though I don't think she really could, she is very gentle.  

 

The worst part of this I have written about SO many times on MDC but my threads went largely unanswered...  It has been hard to say the least but the worst part is his screaming.  He screams over everything.  If you asked those in my life, they would tell you that DD has pushed DS to the brink.  To show her, I once videotaped them in secret and played it back to her.  She was shocked at how badly she treated him (this was a year or so ago).  She threw a huge ball in his face, she took anything he was holding, he would speak to her and she would ignore him and this kind of thing would go on until he exploded.  It isn't one sided, and I do wonder why he is so obviously frustrated with her, it has been an extremely tough battle because they both add something to the mix.  I don't know how to fix it... DD, being older, is getting better with him.  He is great when she is not around.  I'm not blaming her, I'm not suggesting she "asks for it" and I'm not going to pull the line that the victim of aggression deserves it or any of that... I'm saying that together it is a really stressful mix.  I can't keep them apart for obvious reasons, but holy cow how I'd love to.

 

I did one month of Aware Parenting counselling over this, which was about helping him release his big emotions etc but it didn't help.  The main reason is I find it difficult to help him release at every outburst, as they are so frequent and he just tells me to "go away, I'm going to get lost" and walks away like the whole world is against him.  

 

I'm not sure what my question is anymore... but I'm fairly convinced I will be seeing an OT about this.  I've had secret concerns over him since he was a baby.  My mother is very anti-diagnosis, so I took it as a huge sign when she said, "that screaming is not normal, you need to sort this out".  But what she means is, I need to start punishing/hitting/disciplining him as she puts down his whole thing to my parenting (and yay, hasn't THAT helped).  Yet, I parented DD the same non-punitive way and she is not a lunatic. I don't believe this needs punishing, I think it needs something else.  I don't believe in punishment.

 

 

 

my next post:

 

 

 

Quote:

I must admit, one of my hesitations with seeing a professional is that they will be mainstream and give me unhelpful advice.  I asked my doctor for a referral to get some tests as I wondered about aspergers or allergy or something, but she said, "Oh you don't need that.  He's fine. He just needs some behaviour management, like time out and so on." I mean, she judged him in five minutes as being "fine", and then suggested time out?  That is typical, and I'm growing weary of it.  I'm sick of the pendulum of feeling that I'm not doing enough for him yet then being told I'm over-analysing and jumping to the worst conclusion.  I can't win. 

 

I want some radical who is like Alfie Kohn or Lawrence Cohen who see children as whole humans, not as dogs that need training. 

 

 

next...

 

 

 

Quote:

Thanks to both of you.

 

I wouldn't say I have a philosophy or ideals or anything.  I parent as though they are people, I respect them and I treat them as I would anyone I care about.  When I've tried formulas, it doesn't work.  I found that there are certain authors or philosophies I resonate with, but it isn't about what suits my children, it is about what makes sense to me.  I can't abide punishment because it makes no sense.  I don't reward because it makes no sense.  I don't do these things to my husband or my mother, and I couldn't do them to my children.  I mentioned those authors because they are most like me.  I don't believe any philosophy fits any child completely... but I do believe that every child fits being respected and simply treated like any other person, not like a dog that needs training.  I find all training or behaviour focused approaches to be disrespectful of any person, whether adult or child.  I believe all behaviour has an underlying emotion or issue... it's just applying it takes much more time and energy than I have.  I wouldn't get anything else done, as DS is so tightly wound.

 

A large part of the problem might be that I am not in the mix enough.  They go out on the trampoline for instance and I should be near them to guide them but I'm usually upstairs doing dishes or something.  I find I can't do it all, esp with a house with stairs that makes getting to them every single time difficult (added to clarify, my stairs are on the OUTSIDE of the house, if I am inside, I am "upstairs"  I cannot chain them inside, nor would I want to).  Good questions though, and I could probably answer them by listing them:

 

 

 

Quote:
I have a LOT of questions - how is their sleep

Excellent.  My son still cosleeps but he is solid all night.  My daughter has her own room and has mentioned waking in the middle of the night recently but then I woke her early for a couple of days and reset her body clock, and she slept through again.

 

 

 

Quote:

how is their diet

Excellent.  They eat a ton of raw food.  They prefer it.  They eat some cooked food, but they just want simple stuff.  My son only finished bfing a few months ago.  If I cook, they are less likely to eat.  Recently DS got worse for two days (hence coming back to this thread!) and I couldn't figure the cause.  I then noticed a juice I bought had preservatives in it and he had just drunk the whole lot over a period of 24 hours.  I am very careful about that kind of thing but I messed up that time because it was fresh squeezed orange juice with pulp so I was fooled.  Today he was better.  As their diet is so good, I believe small things like that are more easily noticed in them.  

 

 

Quote:
how much time do they get outside to be kind of "wild" and get all the energy out?

Outside every day, but I'm not sure anywhere is appropriate for the kind of screaming my son does.  The neighbours have actually yelled over the fence several times.  One of them asked me if he was autistic.  

 

 

Quote:
  Do they have time apart?

When my daughter was at school, yes.  Not so much anymore.  I would like my son to have his own "space", like DD does.  I think it is time for him to have a place to retreat to.  We don't have a third room spare, but I am considering some kind of corner for him, that will be only his.  Actually, that is an idea I got out of a book, so I guess now and again I take some ideas like that.  My days with him while DD was at school were easier.

 

 

 

Quote:
Does your daughter regularly get to go somewhere and be with other kids (classes, clubs, anything)?

We are part of a couple of homeschooling groups.  Twice a week we are social.  It is smoothing out now, it took a while to get a social situation working.  I think she needs to have friends over more often.

 

 

Quote:
Do you keep them busy?

No.  I have to interrupt their play to get them to do anything with me.  

 

 

Quote:
  Do you have things set up for them to do at the same time, but not necessarily together?

As a homeschooler, I find this a tough challenge.  I need more one on one time with DD but DS is difficult to occupy.  Once he can use a computer mouse it will be easier but at the moment, I feel like I get a whole lot of nothing achieved most days.  

 

 

 

Quote:
When she takes things from him, do you call her on it calmly and make her return it?

Yes.  Although, I see perhaps 10% of them. - (bolded and enlarged only to clarify that my kids do everything together, and I do not sit and stare at them all day.  I assume I only see some of the good and bad exchanges between them.  I catch my daughter take something from my son, or my son snatch from her, and I think well, if I didn't just look over there then, I would have missed that because neither of them said a thing.  So yes, I see perhaps 10% of the times something is taken from one of them by the other.)

 

 

Quote:
  When he hits his sister, what do you do?

I hold DD and sympathise and if she is upset, I offer to fix it in some way.  I have done various things like ask DS to fix it, and he will then kiss her, say sorry or get her a bandaid or just say no and walk away.  I don't force that, I just ask if he would like to make amends.  I have also asked him why he did it... he doesn't seem to understand the question.  So I help him with words (frustrated?  Can't get the words you need?  etc)  I tell him it hurts to be hit, and it isn't ok to hit her.  I offer for him to get "feelings out" and 50% of the time he takes me up on it and has a cry or scream on my lap, or just sits and looks at me or tries to play it out - I make hand puppets and they play out the scene.  I find after a session like that, he is great for the rest of the day, so I try to initiate those but it doesn't always happen.

 

 

Quote:
Have you given her words to use instead of just a big screaming reaction?

Yes, but he doesn't listen.  This whole defiance thing I was warned about is really strong in this boy.  She needs to act.  Your advice about her walking away is probably the best thing for her as listening is not his strong suit.  Or, perhaps he listens but he does not like to do anything she asks, in fact, if she says "don't touch your nose", he touches his nose.  He really does NOT get negation.  Come to think of it, I should help her formulate her sentences in the positive the way I learned to, and avoid the word "don't", because he only hears the rest of the sentence ("don't put toilet rolls in the toilet" to him means "put ALL the toilet rolls into the toilet", for instance).  He actually used to come to me really happy and say, "MAMA!  I put the toilet rolls in the toilet!" as though I asked him to... he seemed so confused and devastated when I wasn't happy and told him "Please, DON'T put the toilet rolls in the toilet, it is making mama sad."  but he would do it anyway (if he got a hold of one, as we ended up hiding them)... it is mind boggling, and I struggled to find a way to phrase it.  I ended up saying, "leave the toilet rolls on the holder".  He hasn't done it since.  

 

 

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  Have you told her to say NO, you can not hit me and walk away?

As a matter of fact I really stressed this point tonight at dinner.  I told her that she can't "forget" anymore, as she is being tormented and she can't just accept that (to be clear I meant she shouldn't accept that).  If she decides it isn't a big deal, whatever he is doing, then fine... but if she finds what he is doing to be stressful, she needs to tell him and then walk away.  I really think if she can remember to do that he won't risk pushing her away like he does now.  I made it a big point, in an effort to not only restate my support for her but to encourage her to use her personal power.  

 

Essentially, if I am right there, at all times, things are ok.  If I can step in at all issues, things are ok.  Perhaps I'm expecting too much to think they can play together alone yet?  

 

Natalie, may I ask what the diagnosis was?  What is the treatment, or steps, that you do now?

 

 

Ok, I hope that helps make it clearer that "nothing" is far from what we have been doing.  People have confused what we have been doing with what I was considering doing.  I asked if it would be a good idea to get her to ignore some of these things in case it was her reaction that was causing it.  Not really that ridiculous an idea considering it worked for me, and even for her, only it didn't last for her, and as I stated, she didn't continue to ignore it when the behaviour started up again.

 

So where we are now is he is great with other kids, even babies.  We have been much more social and he seems to find other kids less like museum exhibits.  My son seems to be the helpful, quiet one during social gatherings, to the point where telling my mother about it recently I had tears in my eyes.  How far we've come.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop the first few times but it has been a consistent new behaviour in him.  

 

Regarding his behaviour with my daughter, the "balking" behaviour I had forgotten about until I just quoted my old posts on this one.  So I guess they've gone.  He rarely lashes out at her and when he does, it is an emotional reaction (much more recognisable for me, or "normal" you could say).  Not perfect, but so much better.  Where we are with dealing with hitting, screaming or being overbearing is that she says, "use your words or I won't play with you." or "if you hit, I won't play with you, use your words."  I am helping him express his needs/wants and his frustration levels stay low.  DD mimics my approach, I hear her sometimes, I heard her this morning when they were playing with some broken headphones say (when he was screaming at her), "Let me speak and I'll help you... you have one side and I have one side... are you yelling because you want both? (YES!!) Well, that's not fair, we share, you have one and I have one, why do you want both?"  and he said, "put them together, like this!" and he tried to fix them, then she said oh, ok, and helped him and when they were fixed, they took turns wearing them.  With the communication flowing better, he is able to say what he wants, where previously he was just screaming and freaking out because he couldn't make his wants known and it just looked like he was unreasonable.  He often IS unreasonable, but at least we can often try as a team to explain why something is unreasonable and he'll be happy knowing why.

 

Regardless of it becoming much easier and no doubt will continue to as he gets older, I still have him booked into OT for September.  After some preliminary tests, both he and DD have sensory issues, but we won't know for sure until some further assessments before September therapies.  I'm not a "labelling" person, but I can say that the things I'm learning about their brains are helping us all.

 

I thank you all for your opinions, although I won't pretend I'm not disappointed in some of them.  I put my vulnerabilities and family problems out in the open the way I did here because I want to be better, want to do better.  Keep all these complex facets in mind next time, because you made an awful lot out of what is essentially happening in every other home I know in real life with toddlers, only they don't care about it as much as I do - all siblings I know have fights and in almost every case, one is hitting the other.  The most I see happen is "don't hit" or some kind of punishment (including hitting) or humiliation and I simply want more for my kids than that - esp considering that, aside from punishment to the hitter, I had tried all of it and the hitting didn't stop.  What is working is actually figuring out why the child is frustrated to begin with, because the hitting is just a symptom.  

 

 


Edited by Calm - 7/27/11 at 8:52pm
post #60 of 66

Calm....I'm glad that things are better, but seriously...how are we supposed to know when you are posting hyperbole because you have PMS? When I see someone say that their daughter is ""terrorized" then I tend to come away from that believing that, you know, the child is terrorized. I can't speak to everyone here but I was responding to your words alone and then, later, to your lack of response. (although I'm not dissing you for that...you certainly don't have a responsibility to update on MDC regularly, even though I wanted you to. :))

 

When you say that your son freaks out when you try to pick him up and remove him from these situations, therefore you consider that a punishment....and then you say you don't believe in punishment so you can't do it....Well, I'm gonna take from that exactly what you said. We can't read you mind, mama. We can only read your words.

 

ETA: I understand that you were looking for ways to empower your daughter. Which I don't think is bad. But a lot of people here (myself included) think that you protecting your daughter from this situation would be more beneficial and more kind and far more fair than focusing on teaching her how to deal with it. Does that make sense? She's only 9 years old.

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