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4yo hitting her sister

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I wanted your opinion, ladies (and gents), about what to do about my 4 yo dd hitting my 2yo dd. Today, she hit her with a twirly wand when dh and I weren't looking. She's been doing this every so often. It seems to be a power thing--dd showing her power over dd. It's not vicious or in anger, just hitting for the sake of hitting. Dh's reaction today was to send her to her room. I don't approve. I think this "punishment" is just that--punishment. What do you think? Any alternatives?

~Melissa
post #2 of 4
My brother and I fought a lot. Our mom used to spank us (hit us to show that hitting is wrong?). I realize this is not what you're doing. Anyway, I think what she should have done is just separate us until we had calmed down. We probably would have fought less. Sending 4 y.o. to her room, or someplace away from 2 y.o., seems okay to me, but I think it depends on for how long. It shouldn't be for the rest of the day or anything like that. A few minutes is probably good. You might also consider sending the twirly wand into time out for some amount of time. Have you asked her why she hits her sister? Maybe it's something you can talk with her about.
post #3 of 4
My dd went through this with her younger sister. I believe that if you ignore the behaviour you want to stop, it will stop. So, I would scoop up my younger dd and do something with her while not acknowldging what my older dd did. I would discuss with her at other times how I don't think it's very good to hit. I would talk with her about how she would feel if someone hit her and encourage empathy. The behaviour has pretty much stopped. There is the occasional time that she will last out at younger dd if she is bugging her, but I do the same thing. And, sometimes I don't even need to because she'll apologize and find a way to include her sister in what she is doing instead of being bothered because her little sister wants to play with her.

For the record, it's kind of difficult, because my natural instinct is to say something to the one doing the hitting, but if you can get the hang of it, I think it's very effective.

Peace.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input!

~Melissa
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