4 year old tantrums and hurting older brother - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 01-04-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know what to do with this kid anymore. He can be soo loving and sweet and cuddly, and then out of the blue turn into an out-of-control mean child. He might decide he wants to cake for lunch and have a full-out tantrum (I thought we were done with those at two). Many episodes are provoked by playing with 7 yo ds1  and disagreeing on something. He often hurts ds1 now, by kicking, hitting, pushing, pinching and today he bit him. Twice! He used to do this every now and then, but it's a daily thing now, and he will do it even out of sheer frustration over anything, not even related to older ds.


7 year old is amazingly patient and will tell him (or scream at him if it really hurts) to stop and try to hold his arms or push him away, but ds2 can become so vicious and most times will only stop once I physically pull him away.

We've told him many times hurting is unacceptable, to use his words, to hit a pillow, we've removed him from the situation (asked to sit in another part of the room or sometimes in his room), and also discussed things after the fact, but nothing seems to make a lasting impression. He usually will come to say he's sorry after a while, but then do it again an hour later.


I find it really hard to deal with, it makes me so angry, and I find myself wanting to "hurt him back so he knows what it feels like". I know that's ridiculous, and we don't hit or spank and I really am not planning on starting now, but in the heat of the moment it is my gut reaction. I also feel really bad for my ds1, who gets attacked for no reason, and I almost want to tell him "forget everything I told you about not fighting and hurting people back and finding an adult, just hit him back already", 'cause I'm thinking that might be the only deterrent for ds2.


Does anyone have experience with this? Suggestions? Reassurance that it's just a phase?

mama to my August boys ('03 & '06)
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