Mothering Forum banner

Please help. 2yr old pulling 3 yr old sisters hair.

458 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Magella
And pulling it hard enough that she is yanking it out.


They can be playing happily and my youngest decides she wants something her older sister has, and pulls. My oldest of course is in pain and starts crying.

Hurting someone to that degree is not acceptable. This has to stop now.


At this point I've been trying to comfort my oldest, and tell my youngest that pulling hair hurts. We don't pull hair. I understand she wanted X, but she needs to take turns or whatever.

On occasion I've put her in her room to calm down a bit. I don't like the idea of putting her in her room, but I don't have a better idea, and I don't want to be focusing negative attention on her, but need to comfort my oldest who has just had a chunck of hair pulled out.

1 - 6 of 6 Posts
That sounds very painful! Have you noticed any patterns to when the hairpulling happens? I know my 2 yo is more aggressive when she is hungry or tired. Can you keep them separated afterwards, not as punishment for the 2 yo but protection for the 3 yo? You could give the 2 yo the choice of "helping" you with dishes or laundry or whatever vs. playing in her room so it wouldn't seem as much like a punishment.
My 2 yr old is my 6th child. Yes, 6th and she is the first to bite, pinch, scratch. She was extremely aggessive towards my 4 yr old to the point that at one time she about 7-8 bite marks on her back! A little back ground she is the twin to my son who died. She and I did not bond very well during her first year of life do to circumstances beyond my control. After much frustration and much brainstorming we figured out she needed more time with my dh and I. She was the only one who had learned to fall asleep alone in her own bed. The rest of my children have always slept with us until they moved themselves. So the first thing we did was move her into our bed at night. That alone help a lot. Then we figured out that a good portion of her aggresion was due to the fact she could not express herself as she wanted too. When we really started trying to understand her more and then when she got mad we intercepted and helped her say what she was feeling. Of course it did not cure it all but it did cut it down substantionally. Now as she is getting older and she is getting more and more verbal the aggression is getting less and less. Hopefully one day she will be able to get her frustrations out constructively
See less See more
Thanks for the response, but the problem is that is SOOOOOOOOOOO opposite our situation. Hehe!!

a) DD started 2-3 words sentences at 14.5m and became conversational at 18m. At a little over two, she can speak her thoughts fairly clearly. SHe can't express her emotions yet, but we are working on that....working on her expressing she is angry or that she wants something, instead of just

b) Attention isn't the issue. NOT with my youngest. She is/was HN. She still nurses, still doesn't sleep through the night, and I still haven't been able to completely balance out attention to my oldest. If there is anyone in our family that needs extra attention it is my oldest. Not my youngest, who is nursing as I type.

The problem is she copies EVERYTHING her sis does.... obviously b/c big sis does cool things. So if her sis has something, she wants it. Says she wants it, and will do what she can to get it.

SHe will also get that way occasionally after she has been playing nicely with her sister for a good while.... almost like ok I need a break.

Anyway. Thanks for the ideas. Just, sadly I can't use them in this particular situation.

See less See more
We have a similar issue here, my 2 year old has a tendency to grab and tackle and lay on top of her siblings. I have seen her pull hair, grab her brother and sister around the neck and pull them down, and drag her big brother across the floor by his hood (that was a several months ago). She can be really rough. And usually she's not angry when it happens. She's playing or she's trying to get something they have, and sometimes I'm not sure exactly what is going on (though I suspect, like you, that she has just sort of reached the end of her ability to play with them gently and needs a break). So here's what we're doing: we are keeping a close eye on her and intervening to either prevent it entirely or to stop it right away. Once we have physically intervened (and given any necessary comfort to whomever she grabbed) we point out that what she did hurt her sibling and remind her to touch people gently. (Then if she's grabbing b/c she wants something, she'll say it and we'll help her solve the problem.) That's it, that's all we do, and the problem seems to be decreasing in frequency. (And if it seems that the little one is grabbing b/c she's tired and just all done playing, can't play gently anymore, then we move her out of the situation entirely-usually by offering a cuddle or a story or something else fun to do.)

For the siblings, we are trying to ensure that they have some private time and space-time to play without being disturbed (and grabbed) by baby. This means entertaining baby while they play. If it's something the older kids want to do with me and dh isn't home to entertain baby, then we include baby.
See less See more
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.