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#1 of 8 Old 04-16-2003, 04:20 PM
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My ds is 28mo and we have tried everything to get him to stop hitting, kicking, screaming, throwing ect ect ect. He was doing so great before dd was born and I have noticed that he does it most when he is hungry, tired or I am dealing with dd, however, there is never a real amount of time when I am hands free for him. We started discipline when we realized that he would do/touch things he knew were off limits and then watch for our reaction. He was always a very obedient infant and toddler and we rarely felt the need to spank him. In these last 4 1/2 months we have had to constanly repeat ourselves, take him away from his sister because he would kick, hit or shove her, send him to his room or the corner and yes spank as well. Lately I have been feeling very guilty about doing these things because I feel like I am pushing him away form me by sending him to another room and it makes no sense to me to spank him for hitting ( duh! : ). Distraction does not work at all, neither does ignoring his behavior. I have read through some of the other posts and everything I have seen we have tried, even the holding until he's calm again. I am at a loss because I feel like I am not allowed to protect myself and dd without making him feel unwanted or loved. I haven't had the time to spend with him that I did before dd was born and she has turned out to be a higher needs baby than he was which is making things even more stressful. I have been able to get ds to take his nap at the same time dd does which is a nice break for me, but what do I do when he wants attention and she's screaming for food/diaper/attention/whatever. I have to keep her close because he will try to hurt her (seriously, I'm not being overprotective here). I thought maybe he was jealous, but this is way beyond what I have ever seen with any other children his age. I see so much anger when I look at him and I can't help but think that maybe it is my fault. Someone please help. I've always thought I was a patient person, but yesterday I lost it and I don't want to become that person ever again.

P.S. I am going to B&N tonight to read the raising spirted child book that someone else had mentioned. Please, if you have any ideas at all - tell me... I can feel the connection we had dissapearing and it scares me. It's like I don't love him anymore.
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#2 of 8 Old 04-17-2003, 03:05 AM
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I know it can be very frustrating some days! I pray, take a deep breath, etc. and still some days I just feel like I am losing my mind! Maybe your toddler would benefit from an activity with you outside the house. We just started doing Gymrompers and a garden class which are both mommy and me type classes and dd loves them! Also any other special things you could do as a family like going to the zoo or children's museum. My friend told me she had read somewhere that a new baby is like your dh bringing home a new wife and saying now you have to live and get along with her too! It must be very hard to deal with for a toddler! Or maybe you could start a positive journal with five positive things your toddler did that day and try to focus on the positive, I know some days this can be challenging! I don't know if this helped, but I felt badly that no one had responded! I know it helps to know you are not going through this alone! My thoughts and prayers are with you! I hope things get better soon!

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#3 of 8 Old 04-17-2003, 06:55 PM
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i highly suggest the book "siblings without rivalry"

you're right in that spanking in NO way teaches that hitting is not okay. nor does physically restraining him. you don't teach a child not to be physical by in turn being physical yourself. it "works" momentarily but in the long run is very destructive in MANY ways.

ignoring him when he is 'trying' to get your attention by doing what he is not supposed to do does work, but it takes a while and a tremendous amount of patience.

in my world i absolutely pick my battles. i have to let some things go...just let it go...a lesson i learned while being a middle school teacher that has carried over into our family. pick your battles and let some things go.

you have two very young children---a very big and demanding job in and of itself, let alone all the other demands of running a household. go a little easier on yourself, and also easier on your children. it's certainly not our children's fault that we have too many added demands on our plate.

sometimes simply going outside works like magic when we're having a stressful time here. once we get outside (and thank goodness pretty weather has finally returned) we all melt and feel so much more relaxed. it is truly like magic. the more time we spend outside enjoying nature the better we feel awake and the better we all sleep.

your son naturally wants to please you and likes it no better if not worse than you do when things turn ugly. believe the best about him, imagine that he is perfect (because he is)---if he's 'acting up' then it's due to being hungry, tired, stressed...not that he's becoming somehow "bad."

as you have expressed, you will be burdened with regret when you react emotionally to stressful situations. as HARD as it can be to muster up loads of patience you will never ever regret it when you do.

hang in there. you have a tremendous job of caring for two young children. i know how hard it can be (my dds are 20 months apart). it DOES get easier.
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#4 of 8 Old 04-17-2003, 07:34 PM
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On another thread, you wrote:

"when he is being openly defiant I will, have and will continue to give him a spanking. I always follow every discipline with a reason and some "love time", so rest assured I am not abusing my children. I know that there are a lot of moms who strongly disagree with this form of discipline and I respect and understand their reasons; however; until my God and my Bible tell me differently this is how we have chosen to bring up our children. My DH and I are thankful that our parents chose to raise us this way"

Your opening post on this thread leads me to believe that you may have changed your mind regarding spanking. If that is the case, I am glad for you and your children. And, my response is based on the premise that you have decided to stop spanking.

I think that you need help. Your children are very close in age. And, your son is too young to comprehend that he must share you and your attention with another. It may be a good idea for you to get a handle on what is age appropriate behavior for your son. Some child development books may be needed. You will have to change some of your expectations for him. All of mine are professionally based - so maybe someone else can recommend a good one for parents.

And, you need to learn some positive discipline techniques. Nancy Samalin is a great resource for parents. Here is a link to her website:

Some of Samalin's books are:
"Loving your child is not enough: Positive Discipline that Works"

"Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma"

"Loving Each One Best"

I think those books would be helpful to you. You can also sign up for her newsletter.

And, another books I think you should look at is:
Michael Thompson's "Raising Cain"

Do you have any friends or family who can come and help you? Please get the help you need.

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#5 of 8 Old 04-22-2003, 12:00 AM
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well I think its great that you came here asking for a suggestion~
I have two sons and my oldest was a little jealous at times when my lil one came home, not that he was mean to him just wanted my attention he wasn't used to sharing me. Well thats probably what your son is doing, just doing anything to get your attention whether good or bad.
Could you include him more like sitting by you when you hold the baby, or helping get dipes or little things just to show that he's still very much loved and included~
Goodluck =)

P.S. maybe his anger stems from your reactions and how you are treating him latley, sounds like you two were closer before the baby came obviously that would hurt any child..... Definitley include him even if its something simple like come help mama in the kitchen while I fix something, or lets hold hands and get our clothes for the day. (maybe you already do these things but just trying to help)

"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." -Vincent Van Gogh
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#6 of 8 Old 04-22-2003, 04:24 AM
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I don't think spanking is OK but I have never had two kids so I'm in no position to judge you. Even one is a real handful sometimes! I imagine you must be really stressed out, needing to protect your baby while still wanting to show your son you love him. Hang in there mama and read those books that were mentioned. I agree with those who said that getting out of the house is a great stress-reliever. If there is anyone who can come over and help you out with the kids, maybe take your older son to the park for a bit or even just play with him in the next room for a little while, that would give you some time to re-charge yourself.

Sending positive thoughts your way,
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#7 of 8 Old 04-22-2003, 09:19 AM
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Boy do I feel for you!

I notice you have a November baby--- could you perhaps put her in a backpack for part of the day? That way she is still with you, but your hands are free for DS?

The alone time for yourself is nice, but perhaps you could stagger the naps so you can spend some quality time with DS while the little one sleeps? Even laying down on the bed while nursing DD and then reading/playing quiet games with DS?

Could you get another source of alone time with DS? Like each eve have DH watch DD and you and DS have some time alone?

And one last, hopefully not offensive suggestion... consider talking to your health care provider about PPD. *Anger* at your older child is one symptom and you don't have to live like that!

Good luck,



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#8 of 8 Old 04-23-2003, 01:42 PM
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Thank you all very much for your suggestions. We went to a family reunion this weekend and most everyone told us the same things.

Laurajean, We have decided to reserve the spanking for life threatening situations and use other means of discipline for daily tantrums. I made a point to watch him and his attitude more closely this weekend to see what may cause his outburts and we are on our way to trying to aviod having them happen in the first place as much as we can.

TiredX2, no offense was taken, but I do not have PPD. I do sling dd through most of the day and ds hates it because I cannot deal solely with him - we are working on that too.

Thanks again for all your suggestions.
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