Toddler hitting/abusing older sister - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 66 Old 07-27-2011, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes.  I can see by the more recent page of responses that either I wasn't clear, or posters have bolstered each others assumptions (which I've seen happen before).  So I double checked my posts and I feel I was clear that I wasn't ignoring him hitting or yelling at her.  Protecting is part of it, but as you can imagine, that isn't very easy because the only real protection is prevention and I couldn't prevent it unless I prevented them playing together.  


If someone is crying, the fact that they probably wouldn't be if it wasn't for PMS doesn't make it any less real for her.  I meant what I wrote, I was overwhelmed.  I made some mistakes here, mistakes you can't make in writing but you can in real life.  I have learned from those mistakes.  


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#62 of 66 Old 07-27-2011, 09:31 PM
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If this conversation had happened IRL....where we could all be face-to-face and see each other's emotions, then I imagine that it would have gone differently. Same with all online conversations. I am not discounting the reality of the emotions of PMS; I just think it's kind of odd to have that be part of this discussion, now. I am sorry you were feeling overwhelmed. 


Are you still thinking that the only way to prevent the hitting is to stop the kids from playing together?

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#63 of 66 Old 07-28-2011, 06:07 AM
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The title of this thread is "Toddler hitting/abusing older sister".   When you say he is abusing her, then say you leave them alone to work it out themselves 90% of the time, you really can't expect people to be ok with that.  If he's actually abusing her, then they need to not be left alone together, ever, not even for a minute while you pee.  Yes, I know AP is hard, but you don't leave a 9yo alone with someone who you know is abusing her.  Ever. 


If what you meant by "abuse" was "being an annoying twit of a little brother" then ok, a 9yo can be taught to handle that, but I expect  that's pretty insulting to people who have suffered real abuse.  If that's the level of hyperbole that PMS brings you to, perhaps you shouldn't post while PMSing, because you  had a LOT of people really worried when you used "abuse" and "terrorize".  I know that I do not, personally, take allegations of abuse lightly, and the fact that you posted that a year later, he's still abusing her had my stomach in knots.   


Yes, I've occasionally gotten overwhelmed  and used hyperbole myself, but I do NOT use the word abuse unless I MEAN it.  I had an annoying twit of a little brother who did hit occasionally, but I was not abused, ever. 

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#64 of 66 Old 07-28-2011, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Calm View Post

Protecting is part of it, but as you can imagine, that isn't very easy because the only real protection is prevention and I couldn't prevent it unless I prevented them playing together.   


I disagree that prevention can only be achieved by preventing them from playing together. I think you work on prevention by supervising closely, and intervening when your son shows signs that he's likely to become aggressive. A child who is frequently aggressive is a child who needs *very* close supervision. I know it's hard, I've been through it. But you achieve prevention by committing to close, nearly constant supervision, and by intervening to both physically stop him from hitting and to teach him other ways of expressing himself. True, you can't prevent every single instance. But you can prevent a lot of them. 






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#65 of 66 Old 07-28-2011, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by stik View Post


In order for this to work, you will need to keep your ds with you all the time.  Bring him from room to room with you as you work around the house.  You can give him jobs to do to help you, or you can give him a little play space near you.  Learning to help can also be very helpful for aggressive toddlers, because it gives them an outlet for their energy and a positive way to get adult attention.  

In my experience this is absolutely necessary for awhile.


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#66 of 66 Old 07-29-2011, 05:15 PM
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I've been following this thread for awhile... didn't say anything because I wasn't sure if what I had to offer was what you were looking for.   But in your recent post, I saw that you are mostly looking for ways to empower your daughter, and I understand why.  It is so important for kids to feel empowered and supported.  I think... perhaps... as a parent we have to teach our kids how to name their boundaries, and then we help them enforce them.  Ultimately, they will meet people in life whose behavior they cannot control.  So how do we help them to meet that behavior and protect their sense of self and wellness?  I think the suggestion about walking away is a great one.


To that I would add.... can you teach and authorize your daughter to use just as much force is necessary to walk away?  Not in retaliation - not hitting back - but can you help her distinguish between force and violence?  I do believe they are different things and I also believe that it is very very important for women especially to be comfortable with force because we are bombarded with messages about it being improper for women to use force.  And I think that these are two different things.  I use force when I pry my toddler's hands out of my hair.  That's not violence.  I use force when I hold tightly to my toddler's hand to keep her from hitting me and say, "I won't let you hit me.".... that's also not violence.  If I were to smack DD's hand just before, or after, she hits me, that would be violence, and it would be retaliation.


I've seen a thoughtful and frustrated 4 year old learn to do the very same thing with my then 18mo, and while I wouldn't leave the two alone, her mom and I can have a brief conversation without  having things going from


happily playing together to in under 30 seconds, the 4yo having a meltdown because the 18mo was touching her face and 4yo thought she wasn';t allowed to do anything but say, "Stop touching my face.  EEEEEEE!!! STOP TOUCHING MY FAAAAAACCCE!!!!"  To me, the 4yo's reaction was totally understandable... she felt completely powerless because an 18mo doesn't understand words the same way an adult or another 4yo would.   And they aren't that much different in size.  I also believe that the 18mo was just being curious and not malicious at all.


We showed 4yo how to use her hands to guide my daughter's hands away, and I assured her that I wouldn't be angry at her if she needed to go so far as a gentle push to gain enough space to get up and move away.  We trusted the 4yo not to go overboard and she didn't.  Instead, she seemed very happy to be allowed to move the 18mo's hand away while say,ing "Not my face" or "gentle, gentle" etc.   And she did not have any more meltdowns, because the 18mo was understanding her better.   Obviously.... we are not throwing them to the wolves.  We were both there and ready to step in, and I was and still am working with my DD to teach her about gentle touches, and I don't want her to be pushed... but she understands me best when I communicate more with my hands and demonstrate what I want her to do.  So it didn't seem sensible to tell the 4yo, "I know what works but I won't let you do it."  We were a little nervous to see if disaster would occur... you know, a full on toddler brawl.... but it did not.... not even close.  


They aren't the same age as your kids, the temperments are probably very different, the situation wasn't as severe, and these two are friends and not siblings, so they get lots of breaks from each other!.... but perhaps you can extract some principle from the example that will be useful to you?  I am not too good at that, so I won't even try.  :)


Good luck!


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