I'm at the end of my rope....4.5yr old constantly hurting his sister!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-23-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Please Help!!!!!  My 4.5 yr old ds will not leave his 19mo. old sister alone. He is constantly hitting her, pushing her down, throwing stuff at her, jumping on her. Its always when she is in his space but he also seems  to do when he is bored or just for fun. He laughs about it, she has broken her lip open bleeding before an I have gotten no different response.


At first we all about explaining why we can't hit, it hurts makes her sad etc. But the years have gone by I use to make him sit down for a few min. and then we would talk about it. Now I ended up putting him in his room and by the end of the day it throws me into a screaming rage! He is hurting her like 20 plus times per day. I'm so done with this behavior!! I was planning on homeschooling but I'm thinking he may need to go to school because I can not deal with this all day long!!!!


I sat and talked with him while his sister was taking a nap and we were playing, he is angry that she is always in his space, I have tried to explain to him that if he needs me to move her I will, he needs to tell me not just hit her. That being said its really hard to keep them separate we have a tiny 700 sq ft. house and there is really no place for him to go off completely on his own.


So how do I even respond to this???


I dread getting up in the morning because its usually not more than 10min being up and he is at it again!!


Any Suggestions??


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#2 of 6 Old 08-23-2011, 12:28 PM
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How many bedrooms do you have?  perhaps you could set him up in your bedroom with his stuff for "alone time" while you keep the little one occupied.

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#3 of 6 Old 08-24-2011, 11:26 AM
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How about getting him a regular play date? Just something that's all his and his sister doesn't join in. Maybe even a music class or something similar?

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#4 of 6 Old 08-25-2011, 07:27 PM
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subbing, my two have been going at it all day long recently

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#5 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 09:40 PM
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I have an idea, and I used it on my girls. My oldest is similar with the hitting and since having a sibling to play with or hang around is akin to having a friend around I told DD that if she hurts her sister she is grounded from interacting with her since I can't exactly send her away. At first she didn't care but when I would interrupt good moments of play to remind her that she was grounded from playing with her she was upset and begged to play with her sister. I've used it both ways by the way and neither like the idea of actually not being allowed to be together.

I look at like this, my parents divorced and my other half went with my dad while I stayed with my mom. Our separation was heart breaking, I mean I remember feeling that ache of not having him to share my jokes or help me with silly things like catching bees. And I refuse to allow them to take each other for granted. They are each others ties to growing up with good memories. My heart breaks when I hear of sisters or siblings that fought gladiator style. Like, don't you know that it could be taken away? Love each other, respect each other! I refuse to allow mistreatment.

Of course it works at our house, maybe just a tool on the days you've tried everything. And I do remind them often of the pain of losing my best friend ( my dad and brother moved a days drive away). Just so you know my brother and I talk daily, About everything, Our problems, the good and everything in between. DH is jealous of my relationship with my brother since he and his sister never talk and had the gladiator fights. And knows why it's so important for our girls to remain friends.

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#6 of 6 Old 09-04-2011, 06:21 AM
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I don't think he believes you.


You are telling him he can't hit, that it isn't nice, that it hurts, etc.


But those things are not true in his world.  For HIM...he can hit (he does it all the time!).  It IS nice...he gets what he wants.  It DOESN'T hurt HIM. 


And, when you tell him not to hit, and he has to sit in his room or whatever, what happens when he comes back out?  Do you keep the younger away so that he can play?  Because if you do...then you are teaching him that to get some space he:


1.) hits his sister.

2.) gets a "talking to".

3.) sits in his room.

4.) gets what he wants.


If you want the hitting to stop, it must stop WORKING.


I like the grounding idea, but I also like the immersion idea.


Here's what I would do if he hits:


1.) Confiscate the toy or materials that originated the conflict.  People are more important than things (or space).  They go in the closet or something for a few weeks.  Period.  No discussion, no arguing or bribing.  (And no, "if you don't stop, I'm gonna..."  Just DO it.)

2.) Require that for 15 minutes (or whatever) he play WITH his sister...at her level, something SHE likes.  Because if you can't be nice, you must need to practice.


And also, to meet his true need (which is some time and space), find acceptable outlets for him, but not at the expense of his sister, and not BECAUSE of his sister.  She is NOT his problem.  She just IS, as he IS, and their varying levels of development have needs.  It's important not to blame her for his needs.  So, he can:


1.) get out his special stuff when she is sleeping.

2.) sit in a pack in play to play with his special stuff.

3.) understand that if he leaves things where she can reach them, she may have them.  (that's the rule in our house and it works great.  If you leave your stuff out, you may NOT take it from the baby.  If it is that special, put it up.)

4.) figure out ways to include her in his play

5.) be given time when she is in the bathtub, high chair, being read to, etc.

6.) (insert other appropriate outlet here)

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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