My 13 month old is constantly following her 3-year-old brother around, grabbing at his clothes, swiping at him, etc... She's not really violent, but she is really annoying. I do tell her not to, and I think she understands, but she's too young to really obey with any consistency. So the 3-year-old is constantly yelling at me to "pick up the baby, she's hitting me!" (or just if he thinks she'll get in his way) and will frequently hit or kick or push her to get her out of his way: "She was hitting me, so I had to push her away!" He's not very violent either, and never causes any actual injuries.
I tell him that hitting isn't OK, and that he can go climb up on a chair at the table to get away from his sister. But I can understand his frustration. She does interrupt pretty much anything he tries to do within her reach, and anything I try to do with him when she's around (read a book, etc...)
Does anyone have any good strategies for either redirecting a 1-year-old, or teaching a 3-year-old how to deal with her appropriately?
Does your three year old have his own room? I'd really recommend having a space that isn't accessible to the toddler that the three year old can play in. The toddler does not understand, and unless you want to engage and distract the toddler the.whole.time, encouraging the older child to play in a different room with the door shut has worked well with us, (though my kids have a three year spacing, so maybe the year difference helped make it a more feasible option). If my big kid is playing in the main space of the room,I tell her that she must be okay with her younger sibling messing with what she's doing.
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
Unfortunately, we don't have another room (at all, it's a very small living space). I do encourage the older one to play up at the table, where the little one can't get to. It's good for Legos and similar projects, but it does have it's limits. There are toys that just don't work well on the table.
I do tell him to come to me if his sister is bothering him, rather than hit her. But there are times (middle of cooking dinner, etc...) that I just can't go and redirect her immediately, so I need him to get himself out of the way first.
To some extent, I know I just kind of have to get through this age until my 1 year old is old enough to listen. But her brother's reactions just encourage her! She likes nothing better than to get him to pay attention to her. I wish I could get her to listen now...
I'm new to the 2 kids thing, but if you had a pack n play, especially for cooking dinner, could you put the 1 year old in there to play with something really super duper FUN and EXCITING? I never used a playpen with my daughter so I don't know the limitation for how old they can be before they don't want to be in the playpen (probably at that age, but if it's a really FUN and EXCITING thing that she can ONLY have in the playpen?). But i had to put up the pack n play downstairs so that my DS (baby, 7 months) could be safe from my daughter to give me 20 minutes (if I'm lucky) to get dinner on the table. If not a playpen, then a baby gate to keep them apart, at least while you have to be otherwise occupied? Since you can't ask him to go in his room, away from her? Just thought I'd throw it out there. I can feel his pain. I had a little brother who got into all my stuff too. I hope you find something that will work.
I thought today that I might get some kind of gate or "play yard" to separate the two at some point. www.onestepahead.com has some options.