I have 3 sons. 5years, 3years and 9 months. I follow the "How to Talk to Your Kids..." method.
My two older sons like to rough house and wrestle and I let them. However if things get out of hand I stop them and they both have to sit where they are, breathe, calm down, and apologize (as it is always accidental.)
However, (and I know that they are looking for attention), when I place the baby down on the ground with toys and turn my back to grab the phone, stir cooking etc...one or both of the boys will attack the baby.
They squeeze him, and hurt him. (intentionally)
I have tried and tried and tried to talk about it with them, in the moment, later etc...how babies are fragile and one day they can rough house.
I just don't know how to make them understand that they could *really* hurt him.
You might not be able to make them understand, esp the 3 y/o. If you have to put the baby down do you have a playpen to put him in or a high chair?
Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS
Does the baby cry when hurt? How do they react? I warn my DD frequently to be careful near the baby (she is rarely intentionally rough, but very clumsy and dreamy) but she still ends up hurting her sometimes. Today she accidentally knelt on her foot (baby was in the bumbo, big sister was playing with her foot was under blanket tucked round bumbo for playing peek-a-boo) BUT she is devastated if she hurts the baby and the baby cries. Do they not mind? Or does the baby not cry?
I have been wearing the baby a lot up until this point. However, I would like for him to be able to learn how to crawl etc.
He does get upset when he gets hurt, and yells. My 5 year old gets upset if the baby cries (he cries too) but my 3 year old squishes harder.
I think a 3 and 5 year old should be able to understand that a baby can be hurt by play that is too rough. My dd took some knocks but really it was constant vigilance that kept them from really hurting her (well, my at-the-time 3 y.o. wasn't much of a threat - somehow I got it into him that he, too, was responsible for her safety - but my 2 y.o. was/is fairly bruta. He's starting to get it, though). I tried at all times to keep one eye on the baby and one eye on what I was doing. Over time, she got tougher and the kids got bored of harassing her unless she was trying to do what they were doing.
"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton