I can't post this in Gentle Discipline, as I want to hear from others, who may be a bit firmer with discipline.
For the most part, I am very respectful and cooperative with my children. Many times I have had long discussions with dh, with an attempt to work on keeping our house a peaceful, happy place, which is respectful of each individual's needs, and 99% of the time we have just that.
However, something is bothering me very deeply. My background is that of being the youngest child, with two older brothers. The middle brother was terrible to me, growing up, and the oldest would join him, probably in hope that he wouldn't turn on him. I am talking about physical abuse, hitting teasing, constant badgering etc. It went on throughout the teen years, and to some degree even into the adult years. Some of you may remember a post I made awhile ago about ongoing extended family issues.
Needless to say, I have zero tolerance for bigger children being aggressive and mean to younger children. My oldest dd is very active, aggressive, impulsive and has little patience. When she is in her aggressive mode, she reminds me very much of my brother. I have been very loving with her, and I feel strongly that I have created an extremely strong bond with her, and feel positive that she will grow into a fine person. However, she is now 2 1/2, and as we all know that age doesn't yet bring much logic and comprehension. She is often rough with her baby sister, who is gentle and passive. She takes toys, from her, pushes her, and is sometimes very jealous when baby sister gets a moment of attention from me or dh. I realize that all these behaviors are normal...but I just can't stand to see the sadness in my baby's eyes when her big sister has just hurt her, or taken her toy. There are other times (most of the time) that she is so loving and gentle towards her baby sister.
Not all of her aggression is mean...she just gets so active and out of control that she doesn't realize she is hurting her baby sister. She sometimes even starts jumping, banging into me or dh. She will become persistent about doing something like sitting in my lap while I am on the computer. She just won't take "no" for an answer, and she becomes rougher and rougher until she either gets her way or I get up and leave the room.
My question to you experience mamas is...How can I protect my youngest from this child? It just doesn't seem right to take the long, patient road, when each day brings more harm to the baby.
Please offer me your suggetions.
I don't want this thread to turn into a debate about discipline styles, which is why I posted on the main parenting board, rather than Gentle Discipline. I welcome all stories and suggestions, and would hope that people can understand this.