Mothering Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my almost 3 year old (ds1) has started hitting / shoving toys in the face of / climbing on top of my 4 month old a lot. sometimes I know he's just wanting to play and getting over excited (he is very physical and rambuctious these days, and very generally high needs and emotional), but a lot of times I know its just for the reaction because he does it right after I've reminded him to be gentle and he just has that "what are you going to do about it, mom?" look in his eyes.<br><br>
So far I've been trying to just do the "We don't hit / kick / touch baby's face" routine and physically removing him or sending him to his chair until he can be gentle. Also, if it is a toy he is driving over or otherwise hurting the baby with the toy goes away for the day. Sometimes, though, I just lose it and yell at him, in which case he just laughs maniacally or does his horrible fake cry and does it all over again. I don't know what other steps I can take to make it better, and my ds2 is starting to cry whenever his older brother comes close to him or whenever I put him on the ground at all.<br><br>
I also must say that I give ds1 a lot of attention. Whenever ds2 is napping I spend at least half the time just reading to my son or playing with him, and I have a running dialogue going with him all day long and he is constantly on and off my lap and getting hugs and cuddles. Of course he doesn't get my undivided attention like he used to, but I don't think I could possibly give him any more attention than I am and still get our basic laundry / dishes / food needs met. I also make sure he gets out every day at least to the back yard, and usually to the park as well, so he's getting outside and getting excersise. But if he's bored, or things aren't happening as fast as he wants them to, or I'm occupied (like, trying to actually go to the bathroom or make supper) he just preys on his little brother. Its infuriating.<br><br>
Any other suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
I don't have any personal experience with this, but our neighbors had a 4 yo and 1 yo and dealt with this for a while. What they did was to dote on, hold, and give complete sympathy to the "victim" while completely ignoring the victimizer. The idea was that even negative attention is attention so they didn't want to give anything to the bully. Of course at other times they talked to him and said he was not allowed to hit/push/whatever the sibling but at the moment he got no attention whatsoever, just ignored.<br>
It seemed to work. The only problems they have now is that the younger one will occasionally hit, but the older one is never aggressive anymore. I guess he learned that he didn't get anything out of it except that his sibling would get even more attention.<br>
I think this approach worked really well, but I'd also add that if you do it, be sure to give him a lot of positive reinforcement when he does interact positively with the baby. And I'd talk up the big brother protecting the little brother thing, too, to help him feel more responsibility or that he has a role to play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
This sounds very, very familiar. All of TudoBem's ideas are great ones, but I must admit that we've tried them and still have issues. I still think they work -- I'm guessing we'd have a lot more violence without them, but we're still not 100% incident free. We give all the attention to the victim and really play up the positive relationship, and I think these things help a lot.<br><br>
I think I've realized that I'm expecting too much from my older kid (who is 2.5). He's so verbal that I expect him to be rational, but he's not and I was getting frustrated. The baby just started sitting, and the older kid really likes to push him over. He just thinks it's fun. It will happen, the baby will cry, and my older kid will laugh. We'll have a good long talk later on about how that's not nice, and then it will happen again.<br><br>
I've basically decided that if the baby gets hurt, it's my fault, not my older son's. So right now we're focusing on avoiding situations where the baby is in a position to get hurt. This is unfortunate, because it means I can't sit the baby down unless I'm right next to him, and I feel like he's not getting as much sitting time as he should, but at least he's not getting hurt. We're going to set up a playpen for him so he can get some safe sitting time.<br><br>
The toughest part for me is that my older kid adores his little brother and I find it hard to understand why he can be so mean. I think he's just experimenting and trying to find ways to be powerful. I find incidents tend to happen when my older son is upset about something (not necessarily related to the baby) or transitioning in some way.<br><br>
Since my older son seemed to really start enjoying the whole "fuss over the baby" thing, now I keep my reaction totally mellow. I usually just pick up the baby and comfort him as minimally as possible.<br><br>
Sorry for the lack of actual advice. I'll be following this thread to see if others have suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,375 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>trinaker</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8174103"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So right now we're focusing on avoiding situations where the baby is in a position to get hurt.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think this is key. If you can prevent it long enough, I think they can get out of the cycle. Even when the older sibling really loves the younger, there are still times that they might feel angry at them, or jealous. And since they are toddlers/preschoolers, they don't have the self-control yet to stop themselves from hurting them.<br><br>
To the OP, one thing I've noticed through trial and error w/my older siblings and by watching my niece and nephew is that "reminding" them to be gentle will frequently cause them not to be, as you may have noticed. Like you said, it's kind of like you're challenging him when you say that. Oh, gotta go!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
My boys are 3 and 1 and are 23m apart. My younger son spent his infancy in my sling until he just got too heavy for me to carry all day while playing with my toddler, too. Slinging him kept some of this from happening, but now that they are older we have daily run ins between the two of them. On the one hand they adore each other, on the other hand if I turn my back the older one is on top of the younger one, knocking him down, etc. I get frustrated sometimes (far more than I should), but mostly I say things like "Do I do that to you?" No. "Does daddy do _____ (hit, kick, push,etc.) you? No. "We don't do that because it would hurt you and you wouldn't be happy. I am not going to let you do that to your brother." Then, we check on the baby and comfort him. I model saying sorry but don't force it. This isn't the perfect solution as the behaviors continue, but my older son says he's sorry about 90% of the time. I just wish he wouldn't even need to say sorry in the first place.<br><br>
I think my son gets randy when he is tired, needs to poop, or is hungry. Usually fixing one or more of these things yields better behavior.<br><br>
I will be reading the rest of this thread in search of new ideas, too.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top