7 month old son hitting his twin sister... How to discipline?

Kathryn - posted on 12/17/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My B/G twins are 7 months old and I find that my son is constantly hitting my daughter. She cannot crawl yet, whereas he is extremely mobile (crawling, standing, etc.). He will often crawl up behind her when she is on her tummy and grab at her head from the back and slam it into the floor. I immediately pick her up to get her out of his way, and in case he's doing it for attention, he's not the one getting picked up. We're always telling him "Gentle. Gentle." I don't think he understands and I really have no idea how to get it through to him at such a young age that he s hurting his sister. They are not spanked, nor are they around any hitting at all, and so I don't know where it is coming from.
Are there any parents of older twins who could help me out here with some ideas on how to get him to stop? Thanks for any input!

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Kathryn - posted on 12/17/2009

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Thanks Destiny and Dawn! I'm glad to see this is a normal part of development! My daughter is about the same weight as my son, but just appears much smaller for some reason. He is a bit too rough for me to not interfere, but I will just keep with trying to instill in him the meaning of playing nice and being gentle. Liam also will crawl up to Avery and steal her toys and crawl away, since she can't chase him just yet! When I see him heading her way, I try to give one or the other a different toy, so she either isn't bothered by the fact that she had the current one stolen, or he plays with the new one and forgets about the one he was about to steal.lol Oh, the joys!haha They are just so darn cute though!

Dawn - posted on 12/17/2009

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I have b\girl twins born 2/5/09 and they had the same behavior beginning around 7 months. When they are being rough with each other I try to not get involved unless I have to. My son is the aggressive one and will plow over my daughter and take what ever he wants from her. She has gotten better with not letting him get his way, she will hold on to the toy that he is trying to take out of her hand or will move away from him now if he is "bothering" her. This is a significant improvement since before she would do nothing and then cry. I have also been trying to instill the concept of nice. I do it ALL the time where I will take there hand and stroke my face and say the word nice so that hopefully they are learning the meaning of a gentle touch instead of being so rough. It is hard at this age because they "hit" everything but I noticed that as they are getting better control over their arms and hands there is less hitting of each other and more playing together, which is just awesome to watch.

Ciera - posted on 12/17/2009

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This is totally natural. My b/g are 10 months but my girl is the active mobile one even though she is half his size and my boy scoots, but doesn't crawl. For a couple of months now she has been really aggressive and everything to him. She also slams his head into the ground. At that age, the most you can do is continue saying no, or gentle as you said you say to him but what I did, bc they are still trying to learn that words have meanings, you can demonstrate to him what gentle is. He probably still won't get it for a while but eventually, he will learn. For my little girl, if she was on him, I would say "no" or "easy" really calmly then I would pull her off of him and sit her down beside him so that she knows she can still play with him, just not on top of him. She also had a problem taking EVERYTHING away from him. She still does sometimes. I always made her give it back to him...of course i would have to show her how. At this age, everything is so new to them and they are just exploring...even each other. They are aware of each other but they only see each other as a type of toy. He doesn't know he's hurting her or even that he CAN hurt her. I don't really even think they are doing much for attention's sake. Right now it's all about exploration. I don't know how your girl is or anything but my Nicholas used to get really annoyed by my Aubree and he would cry when she hurt him but now he's gotten used to it. Sometimes now she crawls right on top of him and he just lays there playing with a toy or something as if he doesn't even notice her. Now, he is a lot bigger than her (about 3 1/2 pounds) so if your girl is a lot snmaller than your boy, I don't know if that will make a difference. They will learn with consistency. I'm not saying I'm against spanking bc I know some really good parents who DO spank their children, but at this young age, I think they need to learn the meaning of "no" and other things that we say and that they need to obey what we say bc we are the parents (not just too avoid the discipline).

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