I have a big problem with one of my children pulling hair. A is 21 months old and pulls the hair of everyone in the family very hard, including her older brother, me, and her twin sister (L). It is the worst with her twin sister, who is smaller than her (by 4 pounds) and much less aggressive (so she doesn't ever stand up to her).
This has been going on for a long time (probably since the twins started walking around their first birthday) but getting progressively worse. Lately A has been pulling fistfuls of L's hair out and L just cries her eyes out. I don't blame her - it is very painful when A does it to me, so I can only imagine how painful it feels to someone so small. A seems to pull hair most often when she is jealous, wants attention, or wants a toy her sister has. But sometimes it seems to be just random. A also is just a very physical child and seems to really want/need time for physical play and roughhousing.
I have tried to prevent the hair pulling by thinking about ways to meet her needs ahead of time (giving her positive attention, her own toys to play with when she seems to be getting jealous, or time for physical play like wrestling with me). But I really have not seen any improvement despite doing those things. I have also tried to intervene/redirect/distract when I see her getting ready to pull hair, but in a house with three kids, I can't always be there to do that. And she is FAST! I feel like I can't turn my back on her for a second (which is also hard to do in our household). I've tried keeping them separated when I know my attention is going to be divided (like during meal preparation time), but someone inevitably ends up getting upset because they both really want to be where I am.
I know A will grow out of this eventually (right?), but right now it is making our daily life really difficult! I can get nothing done and I feel like it is hurting relationships between members of our family (L does not want to be around her sister because she keeps getting hurt, A wants to be around her sister but keeps getting rejected and doesn't seem to understand why, and frankly I find myself becoming angry with A frequently for hurting her sister).
Has anyone else been through this or have any ideas on what I could do? I am starting to feel pretty desperate and don't know what to do!