I have a 2 1/2 year old DS and a 2 month old DD. DS has been very aggressive towards DD and is now hitting and biting other children and myself. He only acts this way towards me. He is fine at daycare and with DH. I have tried time outs and it doesn't work. (he laughs at me), I know his world is upside down, and he is jealous but I am losing my patience and starting to get very angry towards him when he acts out.
Lots of supervision and extra attention and cuddles. This is totally normal and getting punitive won't eliminate the behavior. Keep an eye on him near the baby, give him lots of positive instruction on what he CAN do (instead of just saying 'don't' near the baby) and also lots of cuddles.
My son was 20 months when I had my daughter. He went through an extremely violent phase with her, that honestly lasted well past the first year. I really noticed a change when she began talking, and it was almost as if he stopped seeing her as this nuisance in her life, and realized that she was actually a live-in playdate. It was a really hard first year with his aggression, and we did so much talking/reading/modeling on how to be gentle with sister, that some days I didn't even want to be around him because I was so tired of reminding him how to treat her. I mostly used time-ins, as well as telling him that I needed to hold his hands for him when he hit (I would cup them in my hands firmly) and that he could have them back when he couldbe gentle. It was exhausting, so I feel for you.
I don't have a ton of advice, but I can tell you that I've been there, and we are totally past it, and for the most part they really get along great now.
So much sympathy. I spent 2 years playing bodyguard for my baby, when she got old enough to want to be down on the floor. When dd2 was 2mo, dd1 would smack her head and interrupt her naps until I gave up trying to put dd2 down (at 15mo! She was difficult to get down in the first place-- bad combination!)
And, no, the "time-outs" I tried just made matters worse. Best bet was to plop dd2 in the Moby wrap and try to pour as much attention into dd1 as possible. Forget laundry, dishes (poor dh). I spent my days focussing on my kids, and when dd2 was mobile I couldn't even be 6 feet away or else dd1 would move in and hit her or something else.
I'm not saying you should do this, because in the end I don't know if it helped one bit. Years later, things are better. Occasional hitting, no more biting. But dd1 still takes it out on dd2 if she is angry at me.
I'm still trying to figure this out. If that makes you feel better....
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
We're having this issue with DS1 (almost 4) and DS2 (13 months). It has only developed recently, like within the past couple of months. Ironically, for at least a year, he never touched his brother anything more than gently. But, DS1 has learned that doing something to DS2 gets a rise out of me, and is testing a lot more than before. Yesterday he told me that when the sitter was there, he likes to make DS1 sad. I asked him how, he said pinching his cheeks. I asked him how he though it made his brother feel, he said, "sad." I asked how it made him feel, he said, "happy." I told him that made me sad. Then, later, I said, "do you know what would make me happy? If you were gentle with DS2 all day tomorrow." He said he would try, so we'll see how it goes.
I'm kindof at a loss for this too. He also constantly snatches toys out of DS2's hands, tries take anything DS2 is playing with. I really wish I could find/think of a way to foster and reinforce more positive behavior. But, they get into some automatic behaviors, and I think this is unfortunately becoming one. When I get home (work 30 hours), DS1 is a really big challenge, and DS2 really just needs some loving.
I hope more people chime in on this one!!
DS1 (6) , DS2 (3) , DD is here!
I'm only chiming in because we need help here too. My daughter is constantly harassing her baby brother. CONSTANTLY!!! Pinching, poking, grabbing his head, shaking him around, putting her fingers in his eyes, whipping her blanket or toy at him, snatching things from him, squeezing his hands until it leaves red marks. I am so fed up with it. I try to give her extra attention when I can, but it doesn't seem to make a dent. I am so tired of saying, "don't...." "stop it" etc. And I do try to tell her what she can do, but it doesn't help.
Just found this thread, which has some helpful suggestions.
DS1 (6) , DS2 (3) , DD is here!