3.5yo hitting/kicking her little sister. Help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 10-23-2013, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Me again [sigh]. Actually things have been quite a bit better the last few days. I've been reading ahaparenting.com and trying to practice those strategies as much as possible. However, it's a bit short of concrete examples and I don't know how to manage this.

For a while now DD1 has been hitting DD2. Usually when DD2 gets to close to her or tries to grab a toy etc. She usually slaps her hand away. I tell her again and again "no hitting!" I've explained that no-one hits her or each other and it's not ok for her to do it.

Today she hit her twice and twice kicked towards her. Once she definitely did not make contact (and, didn't intend to I don't think). The first time I didn't see it but she told me she kicked her sister and DD2 was crying so maybe she did.

It is neither practical nor desireable, IMO, to keep them separated all the time. But how do I keep DD2 safe while teaching DD1 that this is absolutely unacceptable?

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#2 of 5 Old 10-28-2013, 05:46 PM
 
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Have you read the book Siblings Without Rivalry? I know it has specific examples about how to deal with sibling aggression. The original version focuses mostly on kids older than yours (which is still useful to read), but the newer edition has a bonus chapter at the end called Coping with Young Rivals: Getting Off to a Good Start. It's by the same authors as How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, but there's enough original stuff, especially dealing with sibling fighting, that I think its even better than How to Talk if you have more than one kid.


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#3 of 5 Old 10-29-2013, 03:23 AM
 
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I think fights between siblings are very common problem. This is because of jealousy which is known as sibling jealousy. You should tackle both the kids carefully. Do not punish your elder daughter cause I think punishment is not a solution. Explain what she is doing is wrong and she should take care of her young sister rather hitting her. If they fight for the toy then takes that away and give them something different to play. Or buy the same thing for both the girls.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-29-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I should have clarified in my OP. DD2 is 11mo. I don't doubt that this is sibling jealousy but I don't really call it "fighting". I don't think DD2 is capable of being involved in a fight at this age.

@researchparent - thanks for the book suggestion. I have How To Talk... so I will look into the other one as well.

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#5 of 5 Old 11-05-2013, 04:21 PM
 
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Hi again, I know this is totally old now, but I had another thought. You said you didn't think that this was a sibling jealousy issue, and I agree that jealousy might be the wrong word. However, I think the behavior is really common for siblings that are your kids' ages. In the book The New First Three Years of Life, the author repeatedly makes the point how much harder it is for the older child when the younger child starts crawling than when the baby isn't yet mobile.

 

That was definitely true in my case. My 3 year old son absolutely adored his baby sister until she got good at moving around. For me, problems didn't start until she started walking, but once the older one couldn't keep things away from her just by putting them up high, his frustration level went through the roof. Oddly, he didn't really take it out on her very often, but he started acting up at school and was just generally more miserable until we got things under control. What helped for me was to at least act like I was taking his side most of the time since the 1 year old obviously had no idea what was going on. I frequently told her, "Uh-uh, it's brother's turn to play with that." Eventually she actually started listening and backing off when we asked nicely, though that obviously took months. Now they're almost-4 and 18 months and they actually play really well together. So maybe there's hope for your kids in 6 months.

 

Also, regarding concrete examples, I think you might really like the book Children: The Challenge. It's from the 1960's, I think, though I really agree with about 90% of what he writes (just ignore the over-arching 1960's mentality). Unlike most parenting books, it's just back-to-back-to-back scenarios and how to deal with them in ways that are surprising practical and helpful.


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