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Am I being unrealistic? It doesn't seem to matter what time of the day it is, lately my 6 yo and 4 yo boys have gotten the idea that it's ok to hit & scratch one another.<br><br>
It happens 1) when DS3 (baby) is napping & I'm out of the room b/c DS3 only sleeps on me. 2) when DS2 is bored and antagonizing his brother who is engaged in a project. Very rarely it is DS1 that starts it. It is most often DS2 that starts it, but they hurt each other equally because DS1 will "scratch DS2 because he was about to scratch me." It's preemptive violence. Staying on DS2 and constantly giving him projects helps a little but at the end of the day it doesn't seem like anything helps (that time between dinner and bed).<br><br>
What do you do? I need suggestions, or if I'm just being unrealistic & siblings hitting each other occasionally cannot be prevented, I'd like to know that, too. Both DH & I are extreme pacifists and it's really hard on us to see this happening.
 

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Well I can totally relate to the preemptive violence. When I see my dd about to bite, I tell her not to but then ds goes and hits her and says don't bite. I think some of it is just being siblings close in age (and I am suprised you are seeing it at 4 and 6 unlike me 2/ almost 4) I haven't any advice because the hitting drives me crazy and just came to look on her for some help myself.<br>
I am an only child so I only know what I saw with my cousins, and what my family tells me. It makes my hair stand on end when I hear my uncle used to chase my aunt with a knife and stabbed her with a fork after dragging her by the hair. YIKES. They are the same age difference - 17 months- as my kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nosy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15368562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DS1 will "scratch DS2 because he was about to scratch me."</div>
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DD's is "well, he was going to hit me next, so I hit him first." I'm sure a certain amount is normal. My only sibling is 9 years younger, but DH has 4 siblings close in age. He seems to think some hitting is going to happen.<br><br>
When things have gotten particularly bad, I've just guided them to play in different rooms. I try to remember that as each other's primary playmates, they're going to get tired of each other or have disagreements sometimes. Then it's just best for them each to do their own thing. Other times I've called for a "15-minute rest" when the fighting seems to stem from being tired. Once we got past the idea that the rest time isn't punishment, and they didn't have to go to sleep, they're both okay with it.<br><br>
When we're cooped up, I take them out to play or even just to a store to walk around (in the winter).<br><br>
Another thing DH started (MIL did it with them) is that if you're fighting over a toy, that toy goes up for a little while. It really has stopped most of the fighting over a specific Lego piece, for instance.
 

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I wanted to suggest a book that I loved. It's called, "Mom, Jason's Breathing On Me!".<br><br>
I have 3 girls - 5, 4, and 3 and the bickering never seems to stop. They don't hit too often, but when they do I usually let them work it out (unless of course I witness it or it could really do damage). I think in the book talks about a "metal firetruck" being used as a weapon. Obviously, step in... But if it's small squabbles with a few smacks here and there, let them work it out. Just keep reinforcing no hitting.<br><br>
We use words like peace keeper, peace maker, peaceful hands, etc. So, if I witness a hit, I will say, "That is your sister and hitting is unacceptable. Where is my peace keeper?" They attend Montessori school, so there is a LOT of emphasis placed on peace. We carry a lot of that over in our home and it works great!<br><br>
Sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose my mind listening to them argue. Today I put all 3 of them in the tub with popsicles. Ahh....peaceful bliss! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I guess your six year old is not in school? That would separate them.<br><br>
Or could your four year old go to pre-school for now?<br><br>
What about different classes or activities that are separated by age?<br><br>
I'd do my best to break them up some. Have your partner or you take only one of them on an errand or to do some shopping. Take turns with which one you take so that it stays "fair". And hang on .. this doesn't last.
 

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My kids bicker sometimes (6 and 3); it's normal and has nothing to do with whether or not they go to preschool, etc. Though I agree that some separation might help. Are there (separate) activities that you can set them up with before putting DC3 down? This sounds like a boredom thing.<br><br>
Not that it's practical for when you're putting DC3 down, but when my kids start to escalate to the level of violence, I put them in separate chairs to calm down. Then, when they've calmed down, we talk about the various ways they could have handled the situation, and how those actions might have played out (so instead of me imposing my opinion of how they should act, we're working through the cause/effect of various choices). The other consequence of this method is to essentially say, in no uncertain terms, that it's not okay to hurt another person and the behavior will not be tolerated. I don't really see it as punitive, it seems more like re-directing ("this is not okay, what can we do instead?" vs. "this is not okay, now you're going to have to pay for it").<br><br>
Another way to look at the situation:<br>
Since DC2 seems to be the instigator, what is he getting out of the situation? Are you coming out of the room a lot to try to be the peacekeeper? Is his older brother paying attention to him because of the annoyance? What do you think would be a way to address his motivations? Your response (or lack of response) will be more effective if it's based on the motivations behind the fighting, one size doesn't fit all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
BTW, I'd recommend you look at the book "Siblings Without Rivalry."
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> We have a lot of this, too. My kids are 4 and 3 and are each other's primary playmates all the time. About 50% of the time, they're best friends and so wonderfully, amazingly, awesomely sweet with each other. The other 50% of the time, they're mortal enemies.<br><br>
Some days, my ds can't walk by my dd without sticking his hand out to touch her -- and when he's running to the bathroom, for instance, that touch is more like a big push...for no reason. At all.<br><br>
Right now, they're playing Playmobil together and pretending something about a Bad Guy, a Princess, a Police Officer, and a Worker Guy. It's pretty hilarious, and they're playing so well with each other. Hearing them laugh together is the best. It is just as wonderful as it is awful when they play horribly with each other.<br><br>
Anyway...I don't have magic solutions. I do a lot of "Rewind That!" .... "Let's start over. How do you want to tell your sister that you're angry about blahblahblah..." .... and "That is NOT OK. Come on over here until you calm down and you can play without hurting." ((time out with or without me, while I tend to the hurt sib))<br><br>
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in the whole world whose kids aren't 100% perfect all the time with each other --- I had a friend a few months back make me feel really, really bad about that and it still makes me feel sad. I just want you to know that you aren't alone. A lot of us have this problem -- and like you, it bothers me on a 'being a pacifist' level. It worries me and keeps me up at night that this just isn't normal. My one friend thinks it isn't. My mom says it is. Most of my friends say it is not only normal but inevitable and happens no matter what kind of parent you are, particularly when your kids are closer together and play with each other.<br><br>
I don't know the answer - I hope someone does - but you aren't alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I tend to work things out on a day-by-day basis and hope that they're going to be okay.
 
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