August 2011 Moms

Sibling Rivalry

More specifically, the physical side of it.

Most times DD is pretty good with DS, but the other day she laid a full on smack on his face/head.  I put down DS, said "uh oh" to DD and brought her into her room. I very calmly and without a lot of words told her we need to be gentle with DS and that hitting is not something we do in our house.  I let her sit for a couple of minutes in her room after which I gave her a hug and a kiss, brought her out, let her kiss DS and she and I went outdoors.

She's shown a bit more of this physical jealously (or whatever it is) lately and I want to nip it in the bud now.  How do you moms of 2+ handle this?

 

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Re: Sibling Rivalry

  • I think you handled it very well, actually. Siblings are going to hit and all that. All you can do is stay consistent.
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  • image shanado:
    I think you handled it very well, actually. Siblings are going to hit and all that. All you can do is stay consistent.

    Yup.

    If DD2 hits her baby brother, I say "NO" and then take her hand and help her pet him while saying "gentle". It's sort of working, but it's not 100% efficient: up until recently, she would hit him then without us saying anything would pet him and say "gentle". Looks like we had somehow taught her she HAD to hit him first? Oops.

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  • I try to do what you do, tell her gentle touch and only when mommy is with her.  I am a bit stern with her, but she has a thing for touching the baby's face.  It's super hard not to react harshly when I look over and see her touching the baby's closed eyes!  I could take a page out of your book, sounds like you handled it very well.
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  • I think you did about all you can do.

    We've done a lot of reading of the book "Hands are not for Hitting" so I reiterate that a lot for him.  "What are hands for?"  Hugging, etc.  So he'll come up with something.  He says sorry to brother.  Lots and lots of "gentle, gentle..."

    My husband and I listened to an audiobook recently too called "The Child Connection" (I think).  Anyway, the gist was to disconnect when a child does undesirable things and connect/reconnect when desirable.  Connections are physical, eye contact, and words.  So I put that into play the other morning when my oldest threw (hard, ouch!) a wooden train at my littlests face.  I scooped up my littlest and gave him lots of love and kisses and turned completely from my oldest and walked away.  No eye contact, no touching, no words.  After I gave my littlest a lot of love and attention and my oldest calmed down (he was screaming b/c he got no attention from me), I returned to him and said, "C...do you want to tell brother you're sorry."  He said, "Sorry...choo choo...no hitting."  He totally got it and totally showed remorse.  Anyway, long drawn out way of saying at this age I am thinking a "punishment" is just another form of attention that they could seek so I am trying a new approach of ignoring him when it happens, and I've had more success that way.

    And PP reminded me that one time I was sure they were both fine.  My oldest was happily playing and my youngest was so content in his bouncy seat just watching...I snuck off real quick to pee.  HUGE MISTAKE.  I heard screams from my youngest and then my oldest runs out of the room screaming.  I'm certain he poked his eye.  He was so obsessed with his eyes.  Ugh :(  Took quite awhlie to calm them both down.  And I learned my lesson about leaving them alone together.  Felt horrible.

    Good luck!

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  • Thanks so much for all of your responses!  Good to know I'm on the right path.

    Stef, I really like that connection business - makes total sense.  So much of the time DD is looking for attention and I'm thinking we need to steer her away from wanting that negative attention.  I also like the idea of teaching her to recognize good choices and bad choices.

    I've read "love and logic approach . . . " and really like the ideas in that book as well.  

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