Today I was borrowing my mothers car so my 2 year old and my 8 month old ended up in seats right next to each other, one is usually behind the drivers seat and the other behind the passenger seat. We drove to my husbands work to see him(fire dept) and I went inside to let him know we were there. When I came back out I could hear the 8 mo screaming and I could see the 2 year old pulling her arm. I ran to the 8mo side of the car and when I opened the door I saw blood. The 2 year old had gnawed on the 8mo's hand and made it bleed in several places. Lucky for the 8 month old with mom and dad both being first responders we were able to care for her hand right away, however we were at a loss of how to deal with the 2 year old. We yelled at her out of anger which I really HATE to do and do my best not to do, but I was still in shock because of how bad the baby's hand was. I don't like the way we handled the situation, which is why I am reaching out here for help.
I've since shown(after I calmed down) the 2 year old a picture of her sisters hand and explained that she was hurt because she had bitten her. She cried and was saying, 'sorry sister' and gave her sister a hug.
My questions with the situation;
What are some good ways to deal with a toddler who is hurting a young sibling?
Do you thing the 2 year old understands that she was hurting the baby?
I read (on another forum) that impulse control doesn't really develop until around 5 (and even then it's not fully developed until the 20's... think of all the crazy stuff teenagers do!). So, even if they do understand hurting, if they get the urge to do something they most likely will. *hugs* I've walked out of the room where they were both for a few seconds only to come back and find DS1 doing something to DS2 :( I repeat over and over, "gentle touches only. We don't hurt" and tell myself over and over, "take DS2 with you" when you leave the room!! It is hard when they seem so big, but I agree with pp they are still a baby!
aj- married to JA and mami to Bug (11/09) and Critter (1/12)!
Thank you ladies! You both have made me feel as best as I can in a situation like this. I will now be making sure that they aren't left unattended together, even for a minute, for now at least! The baby's hand is looking better now(8 hours later), still missing a lot of skin but the swelling has gone down some.