Janel - posted on 07/22/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )
I'm going to ask this in a few different places, as I am flummoxed.
My kids are 9 months old (born at 35 weeks). DS is 22 lbs of pure muscle and boyish aggressive fun. DD is 18 lbs of pure girly tenderness. I didn't push these gender roles on them, they have them, and strongly. There's absolutely no violence in my home or where they visit. Neither physicall, verbal or emotional. Television is maybe a part of a few hours of their week on weekend mornings that Daddy is taking a turn (I sleep in one day a weekend). We don't play overly rough with them, though we do play. They're both at great places, developmentally. Both standing, with DS doing a little bit of proto-cruising (looking for that extra grip next to him, trying for it, sometimes achieving it, but usually sitting, turning and standing back up).
DD understands "no," and sometimes obeys it. She is aware of the emotional moods of those around her. DS, on the other hand, does not. He thinks everyone is playing, and that "no" is just a game.
The big problem comes in with DS playing way too aggressively with DD. She adores him, but he tries to push her down to stand up off of her, to catch her and grab her. Just is generally too rough. This freaks DD out. She screams, sobs and then needs reassurance. She can't outcrawl him, can't push him off of her (hell, I can't easily, he's too strong) and can't generally get away from him. She still wants to be around him, mostly, but is stressed by this. We have a 2 year old that regularly visits the house and even he is stressed out by DS's aggressive play. He doesn't bite or hit (yet), he just grabs too much, pinches, pulls and is sort of scary.
The only thing I've really been able to do is to separate them, but this is happening all the time starting recently. I'm a stay at home Mom, and standing over them and separating them every 5 minutes is a bit much. Does anyone have any solutions or thoughts? I have not been physically reprimanding him when this happens. Simply saying no, and separating them. Usually picking her up and comforting her, or picking him up and putting him in a jumper or much further away. I'm quite firm, quite consistent, and quite miserable about this situation. What do you do when one baby is so much bigger than the other and doesn't understand "no"?