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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am close to my wit's end with my three year old (she'll be four in March). She just won't leave the baby (10 months) alone. She is constantly in her face, grabbing her, crawling on her, pulling her down when she's trying to pull up on furniture, grabbing her legs and pulling her back when she tries to crawl... this happens over and over, all day. She will get so close to her face that the baby will fall backwards. I really don't think she is trying to be mean - she just gets too excited and plays to rough, or maybe she just wants to see what will happen - "I pull the baby back, and she cries."

Anyway, I am sick of my dh yelling at her, me getting agitated at her constantly, and the baby not being able to explore when big sister is around. I usually send her out of the room when she does something so she can't keep doing it. I know the best solution would be for me to intervene before it happens, but that isn't realistic when I am the only one here. She usually does it while I am working on something else. I do try to involve her in my work around the house, but sometimes she just doesn't want to, and then she starts "playing" with the baby, which is sure to result in the baby crying.

Today dh sent her to her room and made her stay there a long time (maybe 15 minutes) which I do not like. But I don't know what we should be doing at this point... even when I am trying to change the baby's diaper, dd is right there in her face, poking at her. I have made the rule that she may stay outside the room or sit on the floor in the room while I change diapers, but she has a difficult time remembering to do this.

I keep the baby in a sling or on my back a fair amount of the time - most of the time I am doing chores, the baby is on me. Even then, dd will sometimes grab at her feet and pull on her. And sometimes the baby wants to be down on the floor while I work, although usually she's happy to be in the sling or Ergo.

What can I do to keep the baby safe and happy without resorting to harsh punishments? I really feel like dd1 needs a lot of guidance around the baby, but what can I do to get some faster results?
 

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Oh, Mama. This sounds very hard. I'm sorry you're going through this.


I don't have personal experience with sibling issues (I've got an only and it looks to stay that way), but I couldn't read and not post. The following link is to an article that I find helpful for MANY reasons. Specifically as to your situation, the author (Naomi Aldort, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves), talks about a time when her family went through a similar time with her two youngest children. Perhaps it might offer some insight for you:

http://www.naomialdort.com/articles4.html

The best to you. I hope you find some helpful solutions soon.

Em
 

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I don't have any suggestions but I'd love to here some responses from those who've been here. My DS 4.5 does the same thing to my 10 month DD. He just won't leave her alone. I do end up sending him to play in his room alone sometimes just so she can have some time to play without him right in her face. I am fortunate that he goes to kindergarten 3 mornings a week so that DD can have some time on her own. I guess I should be glad that he is so interested in her - but whenever my attention is not on them she seems to end up crying.
 

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OMG! I am so happy to hear that I am not alone! I just about lost it with my almost 3 yo DS tonight for knocking his 10 month old sister over and hearing her head land on the wood floor! One second (yes, only one second) they were very quietly looking at a book together and then I look over at my husband and then hear her head landing on the floor. My ds does all of the same things: crowds her, pulls on her feet when I am wearing her, takes toys away, etc! I am at such a loss with what to do with my ds when he does these things! I am afraid that he will really hurt her. And, I HATE it that I loose my temper with him...it is like my mother bear comes out and it is the ONLY time I loose my temper with him. I am so glad to hear that he is not just some aggressive, mean little boy. We start to wonder.
But, he can be so sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for al the replies so far. It helps some just knowing I am not alone!

I need to just be grateful that she likes the baby enough to want to play with her all the time. One day, the baby will be able to "fight back," I suppose. Then I'll have a whole 'nother issue on my hands!

Has anyone read Siblings without Rivalry? Might it have some relevant info for me?
 

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I completely feel for you, I am so there as well. My 2 year 9 month DS physically abuses my 9month old baby boy constantly.

I used to do the whole calm approach of saying, No, do not stamp on your brothers's head please, or No, please do not grab his toys', etc.

But the abuse became worse and worse and I had to think about the safety of my baby, so I started using time outs for every single thing he did to my baby. It was silly at one point, almost 10 time outs per day, but now there are around 1 per day. And after the time out, I explain that his baby brother loves him and will be his best friend and one day they can gang up on me and do silly things to me as it will be so much fun. I stress that he needs to protect his brother from nasty people and it is a great honour to have this responsiblity.

God only knows if he understands all of htis, but the fact that the time outs have gone from 10 per day to one per day in 9 months seems encouraging.

I also have started payhing a babysitter on sunday afternoons to take the baby whilst I spend all of my time with the toddler, since doing this I have seen hte most difference actually. He feels loved and gets lots of attention, therefore does not take it out ont he baby as much.

But yes, as you pionted out, eventually it will get tot he point that the baby starts to hit back. Can't wait! .....not.

I think motherhood is one hurdle after the next and we just have to treat each hurdle as best we can and enjoy all the fun moments in between.

Best of luck. XXX
 

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Maybe try encouraging behavior you want. like have a time where you get down and play with them and allow dd to play with LO while reinforcingbehavior you like to see plus then she'll get to interact with the baby and its not all nos
 
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