My daughter is almost 4. My son is 16 months. Since he was born she has done this same thing with her hands in his face and it is getting out of control. I wish I could explain it better, but she just touches his face constantly. Like she just CANNOT keep her hands to herself. It starts as just a "gentle" hand touching his face (like covering his eyes, and blocking his vision and ability to do anything else, as he tries to get away from her hand) and then gets more physical the longer we ignore it.
We have tried so many things, from ignoring (until it gets to the point of knocking him down or she sometimes will grab at him) to putting our hands in her face every time she does it to make her see how annoying it is (not hurting her, of course, just the "gentle" first stage hand touching). and everything in between...I can't think of any other option. I feel like I have to separate them when we are at home (because this usually isn't an issue anywhere else...usually) and by the end of the weekend I am at my wits end.
Sometimes it seems calculated, but then sometimes it seems like she truly can't stop. Like she will walk past him and just CANNOT walk by without touching his face. This morning it got the point where she just seemed to not have control of her body and was lying on him and holding his head/neck and rolled off him, pulling his head! It was awful. Awful.
She is generally loving with him, generally a good big sister. She is kind to other kids and mostly has no extreme behavioral problems that would ever seem abnormal to me. Mostly a normal 4 year old. It does seem like attention seeking behavior, truthfully...but I just can't imagine any way to make her feel like she is getting enough positive attention other than not have had her brother in the first place. I try so hard not to give negative attention because of it, but obviously that does happen. We can't ignore it completely.
I am a nanny for 2 wonderful but sometimes fairly aggressive boys (the younger one mostly tends to have some physical aggression towards DD and is just sometimes mean to her...and I hate that, but mostly they get along well and play nicely together and have a good time). Today she told me that M (younger boy) teaches her how to be mean and that is why she is mean to DS. WTF am I supposed to do about that?! I love these boys, they are family.... I cannot possibly leave this job right now, but part of me really wants to see if removing the M factor from her daily life might fix some things. But then I think about how I always make the best effort to treat them as if they are my own, and I truly do, and if they were my own I couldn't run away from that....so how can I even CONSIDER running away from them...
I don't know. I just don't know. Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.
Edited by MJoKirk - 10/9/11 at 11:27am