son pushed little brother face-first down stairway - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the proper gentle discipline response to this situation?

 

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#2 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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How old is your son? What were the circumstances? Is your little one OK?


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#3 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Yes, more details are needed to give appropriate ideas.


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#4 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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7 years, 4 years, both wrestling/crazy all over house, pushed him down stairs as he ran by.

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#5 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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small one is fine but of course it could have been bad

 

but small one needs to know it's not OK to be hurt like that

 

and older needs to know it's not OK to hurt like that

 

looking for second opinions.  it's already been dealt with.

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#6 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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Wow, I'm interested to hear what others have to say because I could totally see this happening in our house one day.  And I would be PISSED at the one who did it, so knowing in advance what to do/not to do would be helpful.  My first thought is a very long talk about what could have happened (e.g. broken bones, traumatic brain injury, perhaps with pictures if possible to convey the seriousness or at least a description of how such injuries can change a person's life forever) and how utterly unacceptable it is to do something so dangerous and cruel.  And some form of making amends to his brother ... not sure what that would entail. 


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#7 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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Omg, I can't imagine not scaring the older one hard. At least a good, firm telling him off with a sent to the room "to think about it ".  My friend's baby literally cracked her skull after a fall down the basement stairs, baby was okay after some serious medical care but very scary for the family.

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#8 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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I guess it sorta depends on the childs reason for pushing. If he was doing it out of malicious anger with understanding of consequences, to me this warrents actual punnishment.

If it was more of a subconcious passive aggressive thing, that maybe he did it for other reasons than just "I'm mad at you and now you must pay," he might just need more positive attention and other signs of love and affection, quality time, physical contact, eye contact, etc. Only you can know why he might be acting out.

If this is the case he of course also needs a talk about how serious a fall down the stairs can be. Sometimes younger kids don't grasp that.


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#9 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I guess it sorta depends on the childs reason for pushing. If he was doing it out of malicious anger with understanding of consequences, to me this warrents actual punnishment.

If it was more of a subconcious passive aggressive thing, that maybe he did it for other reasons than just "I'm mad at you and now you must pay," he might just need more positive attention and other signs of love and affection, quality time, physical contact, eye contact, etc. Only you can know why he might be acting out.

If this is the case he of course also needs a talk about how serious a fall down the stairs can be. Sometimes younger kids don't grasp that.


Honestly, it does not matter why he pushed him near or down the stairs. I don't even know what kind of a "talk" this needs. 6 is old enough to know better than that.

There is a time for a mama tiger to growl, and this is it. The little one could have been damaged forever. Certain things can't be talked away. There can't be the chance that this will happen again. If the 6 yr old was capable of doing this, he needs to know how upset his mom/ Dad is and NEVER do it again!

 

I am a talker, explainer, and my kids have there share of physical fighting. They do some awful things to each other, but know there is a line and don't cross it.

When my DD was 6 she stepped on DS' rib cage (on purpose to really hurt him-with all her 50 something pounds)  when he was lieing on the floor. He was 4 at the time and much smaller than her. I freaked out! I comforted and protected DS and let DD know I was MAD, SAD, and SCARED. We can't be rock solid robots all the time. Kids need to see normal human reactions to big deal things. It's not NORMAL otherwise.


 

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#10 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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If it was an accident, and there was a concern on the sibling's part, then I would not punish. Accidents do happen when kids play. Heck, I have a few stories to tell of my own (being on both side: being hurt, and being the one who hurt... door smashed into somone's forehead, head slammed into the desk with a cut across the eyebrow, a toy horse hitting someone's head, falling off of brother's shoulders onto a radiator, a 4 year old lost on a subway, etc.), but I love my sisters and brother to death, and none of the accidents happened because of malicious intent, and we always felt awful when someone got injured. Seeing someone you care about cry was punishment enough.

 

If the older brother actually meant to push the younger one down the stairs in the heat of the play, but felt bad and scared right afterwards - I probably would not punish. I would simply insist for him to spend the rest of the day playing quietly in his room. Talk about safe play, make rules not to play certain games in certain spots in the house.

 

If the older brother meant to push his sibling, and showed no concern afterwards, then I would debate all kinds of consequences in my head, but they woudlnt be logical, I guess, so I'll leave them out. I would also look into counseling, as it is not natural to hurt someone like that on purpose without any remorse.

 

Curious to find out how you resolved the problem.


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#11 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I guess it sorta depends on the childs reason for pushing. If he was doing it out of malicious anger with understanding of consequences, to me this warrents actual punnishment.

If it was more of a subconcious passive aggressive thing, that maybe he did it for other reasons than just "I'm mad at you and now you must pay," he might just need more positive attention and other signs of love and affection, quality time, physical contact, eye contact, etc. Only you can know why he might be acting out.

If this is the case he of course also needs a talk about how serious a fall down the stairs can be. Sometimes younger kids don't grasp that.


Honestly, it does not matter why he pushed him near or down the stairs. I don't even know what kind of a "talk" this needs. 6 is old enough to know better than that.

There is a time for a mama tiger to growl, and this is it. The little one could have been damaged forever. Certain things can't be talked away. There can't be the chance that this will happen again. If the 6 yr old was capable of doing this, he needs to know how upset his mom/ Dad is and NEVER do it again!

 

I am a talker, explainer, and my kids have there share of physical fighting. They do some awful things to each other, but know there is a line and don't cross it.

When my DD was 6 she stepped on DS' rib cage (on purpose to really hurt him-with all her 50 something pounds)  when he was lieing on the floor. He was 4 at the time and much smaller than her. I freaked out! I comforted and protected DS and let DD know I was MAD, SAD, and SCARED. We can't be rock solid robots all the time. Kids need to see normal human reactions to big deal things. It's not NORMAL otherwise.


 



I disagree. Finding he REASONS kids do things is the key to changing their behaviour. It's not always as simple as "Child is mad, hurts other child, mother punishes child, child never does it again." If it were, no one would have problems with parenting.


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#12 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I guess it sorta depends on the childs reason for pushing. If he was doing it out of malicious anger with understanding of consequences, to me this warrents actual punnishment.

If it was more of a subconcious passive aggressive thing, that maybe he did it for other reasons than just "I'm mad at you and now you must pay," he might just need more positive attention and other signs of love and affection, quality time, physical contact, eye contact, etc. Only you can know why he might be acting out.

If this is the case he of course also needs a talk about how serious a fall down the stairs can be. Sometimes younger kids don't grasp that.


Honestly, it does not matter why he pushed him near or down the stairs. I don't even know what kind of a "talk" this needs. 6 is old enough to know better than that.

There is a time for a mama tiger to growl, and this is it. The little one could have been damaged forever. Certain things can't be talked away. There can't be the chance that this will happen again. If the 6 yr old was capable of doing this, he needs to know how upset his mom/ Dad is and NEVER do it again!

 

I am a talker, explainer, and my kids have there share of physical fighting. They do some awful things to each other, but know there is a line and don't cross it.

When my DD was 6 she stepped on DS' rib cage (on purpose to really hurt him-with all her 50 something pounds)  when he was lieing on the floor. He was 4 at the time and much smaller than her. I freaked out! I comforted and protected DS and let DD know I was MAD, SAD, and SCARED. We can't be rock solid robots all the time. Kids need to see normal human reactions to big deal things. It's not NORMAL otherwise.


 



I disagree. Finding he REASONS kids do things is the key to changing their behaviour. It's not always as simple as "Child is mad, hurts other child, mother punishes child, child never does it again." If it were, no one would have problems with parenting.



I agree with you on finding the reason. I find the reason behind everything my kids do, so we can work on solutions.

There just isnt a reason good enough for a 6 year old to push his little brother down the stairs. I am not saying anyone should spank or have revenge against the child.

I'm saying that I would show my emotions with my face and be the real me. I would NOT talk in a nice voice. I'd talk in the voice that came out of me when I saw my other child crumpled at the bottom of the stairs.

I would still talk about it afterwords and be very gentle, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

If this was an accident, that is a different story.

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#13 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post

I guess it sorta depends on the childs reason for pushing. If he was doing it out of malicious anger with understanding of consequences, to me this warrents actual punnishment.

If it was more of a subconcious passive aggressive thing, that maybe he did it for other reasons than just "I'm mad at you and now you must pay," he might just need more positive attention and other signs of love and affection, quality time, physical contact, eye contact, etc. Only you can know why he might be acting out.

If this is the case he of course also needs a talk about how serious a fall down the stairs can be. Sometimes younger kids don't grasp that.


Honestly, it does not matter why he pushed him near or down the stairs. I don't even know what kind of a "talk" this needs. 6 is old enough to know better than that.

There is a time for a mama tiger to growl, and this is it. The little one could have been damaged forever. Certain things can't be talked away. There can't be the chance that this will happen again. If the 6 yr old was capable of doing this, he needs to know how upset his mom/ Dad is and NEVER do it again!

 

I am a talker, explainer, and my kids have there share of physical fighting. They do some awful things to each other, but know there is a line and don't cross it.

When my DD was 6 she stepped on DS' rib cage (on purpose to really hurt him-with all her 50 something pounds)  when he was lieing on the floor. He was 4 at the time and much smaller than her. I freaked out! I comforted and protected DS and let DD know I was MAD, SAD, and SCARED. We can't be rock solid robots all the time. Kids need to see normal human reactions to big deal things. It's not NORMAL otherwise.


 



I disagree. Finding he REASONS kids do things is the key to changing their behaviour. It's not always as simple as "Child is mad, hurts other child, mother punishes child, child never does it again." If it were, no one would have problems with parenting.



I agree with you on finding the reason. I find the reason behind everything my kids do, so we can work on solutions.

There just isnt a reason good enough for a 6 year old to push his little brother down the stairs. I am not saying anyone should spank or have revenge against the child.

I'm saying that I would show my emotions with my face and be the real me. I would NOT talk in a nice voice. I'd talk in the voice that came out of me when I saw my other child crumpled at the bottom of the stairs.

I would still talk about it afterwords and be very gentle, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

If this was an accident, that is a different story.


I agree with both of you.  It is crucial to get to the bottom of *why* it happened.  AND, it is ok, good, normal and natural to let your emotions show, especially in a case like this where someone could have been seriously injured (or worse), and strong emotions (terror, anger, etc) were being felt. 

 

OP - how did your 7yo react afterwards?  What did he say when you talked about it?

 

TBH I think my reaction in the moment would be very strong (based in fear) and so I would probably have whoever did the pushing spend some time in their room because I'd need that space away from them in order to cool down a bit.  Then we'd have a pretty serious talk to find out exactly what happened (pure accident, momentary loss of impulse control, mad at sibling about something, etc) and take it from there.  Even if it was an accident pure and simple we'd be having a conversation about the possible consequences of falling down the stairs and how it is absolutely crucial to always remain mindful of safety on and near the stairs.  From what the OP said it sounds like the kids were wrestling all over the house and kind of going nuts.  After the stairs incident I might implement a rule that any wrestling had to happen downstairs (to eliminate the danger of falling down the stairs).  I'd also be careful to keep an eye on where the kids were emotionally if they were engaging in that kind of play.  It's easy for fun wrestling to devolve into angry wrestling so I'd want to make sure I was on top of it to help the kids get a little space from each other and cool down if necessary.

 

ETA If my older dc admitted that she pushed her younger brother down the stairs on purpose (because she was mad, for example) I think I would lose a fair bit of trust in her.  As if she was a 3yo who had taken to constantly hitting her 1yo sibling, I would feel like I had to keep a much closer eye on her.  Even though she is old enough to understand that it is *not ok* to ever push someone down the stairs (my dd is 6.5yo), I would realize that she was not at this point in time able to control herself from acting out in a dangerous way.  To me the natural consequences would be that she would not be allowed to play with her sibling out of my sight (or maybe it would be that she wasn't allowed to play with him upstairs if an adult wasn't also upstairs).  Something along those lines...


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