Mothering Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My older daughter has become a terror to her sister. She is 4 years, 10 months and the baby is 21 months old. I don't know when this started but for a few months now, the baby has had little scratches and small bruises on her arms and legs, just a few at a time, which I chalked up to being under two and easily distractable while walking/playing whatever. Prone to falling, really. However, now I think my oldest may have been hurting her all this time.<br><br>
The first time I caught her was in the car about four weeks ago. The baby was hysterical in the backseat, which I thought was due to the fact that she missed her nap and we'd been driving for an hour and she needed her diaper changed but I turned around in time to catch DD1 pinching and scratching the hell out of her arm and leg. We had a discussion about that and how completely inappropriate it was for her to be hurting her sister but it hasn't stopped. Here's some more stuff I caught:<br><br>
*punching her in the chest<br>
*poking her arms<br>
*grabbing her neck<br>
*clawing her leg - <a href="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y74/sjkmaurice/For%20Sale/Annascratch.jpg" target="_blank">I took a picture.</a> This happened yesterday.<br>
*hitting her with objects, especially in the head<br><br>
A lot of times, the baby will make some noise and I'll hear DD1 say, "did you bump your head" or "did you scratch yourself" but I see her do it! She's sneaky about it. It's NOT "oops I hit you, please don't tell mommy." They are rarely left alone out of my eyesight but I can't do anything without an incident, not clean the house, not pee and certainly not take a shower. I don't understand. She doesn't watch violent television while she's here. Her father and I are not physical or verbally aggressive with each other and neither one of us act that way towards her. I have asked her why she's doing this and the answers I get are, "I don't know" and "I want to." I WANT TO?<br><br>
Bless you if you've made it this far. Is this within the confines of normal child behaviour or do I need to get her checked? I did start a couple months ago with limiting her sugar intake, no more soda, healthier food, earlier bedtime, more fun activities during the day to try to alleviate some behavioural issues we had been having but she HAS to stop hurting her sister.<br><br>
ETA: I guess I should add the question I have in regards to gentle discipline <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. What is a consequence for this? I've been sending her to her room. I don't want them near each other after blood has been drawn and bruises come up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
How much one on one time so you spend with her? I only ask because it sounds like she may be trying to get your attention with behavior that she knows is unacceptable?<br><br>
Maybe she is jealous of her baby sister? It always seemed strange to me that a kid would do something that they know they're not supposed to just to get attention but that may be the only wa she knows.<br><br>
I always try to get my child to empathsize with the person hurt so they can try in some small way to try and feel what its like. i.e. How would you feel if someone bigger than you scratched you and pretended that they didn't do it and you couldn't tell me about it? Get her to talk about how that would feel.<br><br>
Also decide what the consequences will be for this behavior. Physical violence in our house equals removal from whatever they are doing. Then a cooling off, then a talk and an apology. Every family is different so you have to decide what that will be for your family<br><br>
I don't know how helpful that is. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. I hope it gets better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
I can hear your love for your children and your pain and worry in your post. What a trying situation.<br>
4 yrs old is prime time for learning empathy. So she's normal in that she's dealing with these concepts now. A 10 yr old you would expect to know better. At 4 she is still learning that her actions affect another being. That's where you come in. It sounds like it is not safe for them to be alone out of your sight. That's not forever, but for now, safety for the little one requires you be there - clean house or no.<br>
1-on-1 time -- can you arrange time for little sib to be out of the house so you can be really focused on filling DD with love? Chk out <i>playful parenting</i><br>
And the "I want to" just means "I thought it and don't have impulse control yet so I can't evaluate my action before I go ahead and do it just because I thought it". That's normal too.<br>
In sibling stuff I have a hard time coming up with consequences that diminish the antagonism -- it seems anything I do makes them think the other gets more love. Seems like prevention is key - being there and making sure DD1 is getting all the love and attention you can muster. Clear your calendar and focus just on this for awhile? And teaching empathy in other areas besides just with the sib -- like soft touches with a small animal, kind words to a friend, soft back rubs for her, etc.<br><br>
Ohhh, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Hey, do you live in my house? THis is what is going on here too. My dds are 4 years 6 months (on May 4) and 22 months.<br><br>
I am soooooo glad to know that other people are going through this. I thought it was kind of normal but I hate hate hate having the baby getting hurt and she is scared(!!!)of her big sister now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
I am going to try more hugging, cuddling and kissing with the 4 yo. When an incident happens, I"m going to say<br>
"Stop! You may not push. Look at your sister's face. She is sad. Pushing hurts. Try gentle hands...." (taken from this thread: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=659813" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=659813</a>)<br><br>
Can you move the car seats apart? I had to do this when dd2 was very young because dd1 was kicking her in the face when she had a tantrum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Dd1 is also spirited so I am trying to address that also.<br><br>
See this thread also: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=661226" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=661226</a><br><br>
Dd1 likes to push dd2 down for no reason. She is just standing there. She is also a big pincher. SHe will take something away then pinch her anyway.<br><br>
I am also concerned about dd2 becoming a victim or assuming the victim role. I"m not sure if this is a valid concern though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for those links, Villageidiot. That second one is really descriptive of us. I did move the carseat to the opposite door of DD1 after the scratching incident.<br><br>
Violet, thanks for the book recommendation. I'm going to see if the library has it tomorrow and if not, I'll find a copy. I'll admit it's frustrating to me to not be able to get the house put together during the day so I can concentrate on myself when the girls go to bed. But it's better than the alternative of bleeding children. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Co-op Mama, I thought about the attention seeking aspect but she doesn't want me to know about it. She's really sneaky about it and I didn't know for so long.<br><br>
Alright, game plan time. Spend more time playing with the kids, lengthen cuddle-time, try to stop the violence before it can escalate and read Playful Parenting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I would say total supervision is required - not forever, but for now - really watch every interaction, take one into the bathroom w/you when you pee, have one help w/cooking dinner etc. to avoid any alone time (again, just while you work out what is going on).<br>
My kids are similar ages. Along w/the other ideas, I try to redirect the younger one's crying to the older. When ds is crying because dd hugged him too hard, etc., he turns to me crying. I say something like "Ouch! That hug was too tight and it hurt! Tell sister!" and then help him "tell" sister about the injury. In quieter moments, dd and I have talked about "making amends" and sometimes she will hug him (not much of an "I'm sorry" girl) or I will comfort him more if it is a big injury to demonstrate the family caring I am eventually hoping for.<br>
Soemtimes if I hear ds is upset I will now ask dd to see if he is ok (even if I see that it is a response to something she has done) and she will - just trying to make it about their relationship w/each other and not so much about me and my reaction (negative attention, etc.). Sounds good, but it is still a real struggle! Violence is very hard. I have told dd that I don't like to see either of my kids get hurt!<br>
Love to hear what others are doing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
This must be so stressful for you. I just wanted to second the book suggestion that Violet gave-Playful Parenting by Laurence Cohen. We have also been working with my 3 yo ds. He has been very aggressive toward my one yo ds. The situation got much better when we started working with some of the playful suggestions from this book.<br>
He also uses a "Meeting on the couch". Anyone can call for a meeting on the couch (or wherever you choose at your house). This is a meeting that you have to talk about act outs, feelings, or just to connect and cuddle. My three year old loves to stop in the middle of an activity and call for a meeting on the couch. Cohen explains it in detail, and it is one of the things that has helped us to connect and talk about jelous feelings etc. It may be something that helps you connect with DD throughout the day.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top