3 yr old scratching 4 yr old cousin - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-17-2013, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Wanted objective advice:) My four yr old girl and 3 yr old cousin are babysat regularly together by myself or my sister. It's a good arrangement and the kids ( normally) love each other so I dont want to stop doing it.

Everytime they are together lately my four ye old gets scratched during disagreements. Last time it was about a friend they mutually know. My dd said "this friend is my friend- you dont know her" of course causing hurt feelings in 3 yr old and escalating very quickly to a scratch. I figured the cousin would eventually grow out of it and wasn't too concerned until one scratch was quite severe and appears to be scarring.

Working with my sister to come up with solutions. Thinking about takijg away cartoon privileges and heaping concern on my hurt kid in the moment. She is also concerned that her daughters feelings of hurt are validated after we deal with physical violence.

Thanks in advance
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#2 of 3 Old 01-19-2013, 02:23 AM
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Personally, I would do an immediate time out instead of taking away cartoons. Loss of privileges might make sense to an older child, but I put kids in time out immediately when they hurt someone.


Also, rather than addressing the feelings of the child doing the hurting, I would emphasize that it is not okay to hurt people regardless of how one is feeling. I've seen too many times where a mom trying to be gentle ends up giving a child an excuse for hurting people by bringing up how they were feeling when they did it.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds
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  11yo dd
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and 2yo ds 
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#3 of 3 Old 01-19-2013, 06:59 AM
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I agree with the immediate time out, stressing that "you may not hurt others."  It might require more supervision while you try to set up new boundaries.


I'd also give the girls a "manicure" and make sure their nails are kept very short.

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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