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My DD is a very strong willed bright little girl. We just brought a new baby brother home and I'm really going nuts trying to curb her destructive behaviors. She hits us all the time and sometimes hits the baby. She is very bright and will tell us 'don't hit!' often right before she intends to do it and will repeat it afterwards if we try to talk to her about her behavior. If I give her a consequence like 'you'll have to leave the room', etc she'll repeat the consequence too. Sometimes she does this out of frustration, but most often it seems to be either for attention getting or amusement. The only thing that seems to get her to stop is if I impose some punishment that really upsets her, like bringing her up to her room or leaving the area myself. But I don't want to have to go to the point of making her cry to get her to stop doing this. I've tried to make time during the day to focus on her, but that doesn't seem to matter - she wants my attention NOW and hitting gets that for her. On the other hand, I can't figure out how to not give her attention for hitting. I can't ignore it


I've tried talking about the consequences - that hitting mommy hurts and it makes mommy sad - she just hits me because she thinks its funny that I'm sad. The couple of times so far that she has managed to upset the baby and made him cry her immediate reaction is to do it again - exploring the cause/effect there.

I am using hitting as an example here, but we have a few other essential safety / sanity rules that she just won't follow either and I find myself constantly getting mad and scolding or threatening her all the time. So far I haven't been home alone with her and the baby, but eventually I'm going to take care of the two of them by myself and I am just not going to be able to handle it if she is behaving like this. I feel that she will probably outgrow it no matter what I do, but I can't live like this until she does.

We are going on a road trip this weekend and I'll have lots of time for reading - I'm wondering of the books on GD if someone has a suggestion for one that really has practical tips - I've read a few books that have bought me into the concept of GD, but I don't feel like I have any idea of what to actually DO. Any help/suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
 

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We have much the same situation in my house, except today was the first time that my dd hit her brother. I think it was sort of accidental, but I'm not sure and she saw that I saw it and so I treated it like it wasn't. She's mostly been showing her anger by coming up to him and yelling/roaring at him as loud as she can. She also threw a toy at him once, but again I'm not sure if that was entirely on purpose or not.

When she first started yelling at him, I asked her if she was mad at him. Then she started yelling and saying "I'm mad at my brother!" So I said, "Okay, you can be mad at him, but you can't hurt him." Which seemed to have worked pretty well, but she's not a big hitter, either. I didn't ask her why she was mad at him, that seemed like too complex of a conversation, but your dd might be able to talk about that.

The other thing I do is try and show her how to make him smile, which isn't hard because he loves her, but I know your baby probably isn't there yet. We also talk a lot about why he's crying, or what he's doing, or what makes him happy. I think that's helped her feel closer to him and understand more why I have to get up in the middle of a book and go and get him if he cries.

We have long days together with just the three of us, and I was also pretty nervous before my dh went back to work, but we actually transitioned pretty quickly. I've just tried to stay realllllly flexible, and make time for enough fun for my dd every day.
 
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