my 3 year old beats on my 10 month what can i do to stop this behavour

Echoe - posted on 04/20/2012 ( 50 moms have responded )

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what do i do my child is 3 years old and he has a little brother and iwalked into the room after leaving for a second and i cam back to him beeting on him completely punching my 10 month old baby in his tummy what can i do for dicaplin how will he learn that hitting is rong and dangerous

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Krista - posted on 04/20/2012

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What you could also do is a lot of positive reinforcement. When he IS playing nicely with his baby brother (with your supervision, of course -- don't leave them alone together!), give him lots of praise and tell him how happy it makes you. Maybe even reward him with some extra attention or playtime with Mommy.

Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" recommends "hand checks". So when your toddler is doing something good, you give a little checkmark on their hand with a pen. That night, you sit together and talk about your day, and you can say, "Oh, and remember this check? This was when you were playing so nicely with your brother, and didn't hit him at all. You're SUCH a good big brother to him!"

I'm thinking if you use a lot of positive reinforcement for when he IS nice to him, coupled with negative consequences when he's NOT nice to him, it might help.

Becky - posted on 04/23/2012

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A "marshmallow-y" approach to parenting and discipline is fine if your child has been caught getting a cookie when you've asked him not to, or playing when he's been asked to clean his room. Many parents find that their children just don't get into that much trouble, and when they do, the infractions are quite minor, all things considered.



What you have here, Echoe, is possibly a much more serious issue. You're a good mother, clearly, as you are seeking advice and you are interested in, not only appropriate discipline, but that your son learns the correct values to go along with the discipline. Don't take anything I'm about to say as an insult to your parenting, because every child is different, and, while you have raised him, he does have his own brain in his head, and some things will occur that you'd never encourage or allow. You have taken the absolute appropriate step - seeking advice and displaying intent to actually have your child LEARN what is right and wrong.



Your son may have concerning issues with not understanding violent behavior (and I'm ONLY basing this off of your post; my take on this may be completely off, and if it is, please correct me). Is your son angry or making angry noises and faces when this type of incident occurs? Is he yelling? If so, take careful note of what is being said. Is he laughing playfully, like how a father might laugh while "wrestling" (playing) with his son? Is his face blank and expressionless? Each of these attitudes, obviously, indicate different things.



If your son thinks he's playing with the baby, have a very clear talk with him about how doing things like that to someone smaller will hurt more than he realizes. Using examples and instruction, show him the ways that he IS allowed to play with the baby, and teach him "NO" zones, like face, private areas, head, stomach. Say, "He might giggle if you tickle his toes!" or, "Watch what happens when you put kisses on his hand!" Then, give your son a bit of "alone" time (with you watching carefully from the doorway or pretending to be occupied with something else) with the baby, and see if he puts it into practice. If he continues to be rough, but not with anger, tell him that, since this is dangerous for the baby, you'll have to [insert usual effective discipline here] each time he does this. For instance, if he hits the baby, instead of "patting" the baby, spat him on his hand or knee, just enough to issue a quick, stern reminder of the urgency to be gentle with the baby, and that not listening and obeying Mama won't be allowed. He'll learn that HE has to make the effort to do what you demonstrated, or it will be considered disobedience, even if he wasn't trying to actually hurt the baby. Extend the punishment to be a little more harsh each time it's needed, so that he doesn't just learn to take the punishment when he doesn't feel like using self-discipline.



If your son is angry when the hitting is taking place, your problem is deeper. When I caught my oldest daughter hitting my youngest (they are 5 years apart), I was livid. I picked up the baby and put her in her playpen (diffuse situation first). Then I had my oldest sit down right where she was. (Don't send the child to another room unless you have to. Kids' attention spans are miniscule, so leave the child where the infraction occurred. It will allow a better "visual" and help keep the focus on the situation at hand.) I walked out of the room for several seconds, because I was ANGRY. I'd had serious jealousy issues with her, and she was old enough to understand that she was out of line. She was being defiant, and knew exactly what she'd done. The fact that she knew how badly she would harm her sister, and the fact that she had repeatedly refused to use self-control (but only when no one was looking), told me she was fully aware of what happened, and that made me MAD. I had to take a second to chill. That is rule number 1 - if you're angry, take a minute and calm down. Your child needs to see you acting under control so your purpose in disciplining him is clear. I returned to the room and spanked her on the bottom. Yes, it hurt. Spankings are supposed to hurt. What it did NOT do was HARM her. It did not make a mark on her. She cried. I sat in front of her, cross-legged on the floor, and waited for a few moments. Then, I gently asked her to go look in the mirror at where I'd spanked her, and tell me if there was a mark. She did, and said there wasn't a mark, but that it had hurt. I took her to where the baby was, and asked her to show me where she'd hit her. She said, "Right there on her arm, where it's red." THAT was my teachable moment. I said, "You know how bad your spanking hurt just now, and how it didn't leave a mark on you at all? Would I have had to spank softer or harder to make a mark?" She said, "A lot harder." I said, "So, if your spanking hurt that much, how badly do you think your hitting your sister hurt her?" She said, " Probably a lot worse, 'cause it left a spot." I told her that, no matter how angry I was with her for hitting her sister, that didn't give me the right to just start hitting her because I was mad (this would not work, though, had I chosen to discipline while livid). I told her that, because she was the child, she didn't have a right to lay a hand on anyone, for any reason. She asked how come I could spank her. I told her that, since I'm the mama, and since it's my responsibility to teach her to do right, I have a right to issue discipline when she chooses to do wrong. I reminded her that, if she feels her sister has done something "bad," that she should tell me, because I'M the only one that is allowed to give punishments in our home. That let her know that what she was doing would never be considered okay for any reason, because until she's someone's mama, she doesn't get that kind of authority.



Each time she ever hit her sister, she knew to expect a spanking, a talk, AND to be restricted from either TV, going to a friend's house, or certain toys in her room. She learned quickly that her behavior could do very real damage, and inferred from the discipline enforced, that if real damage were done, the discipline would be much harsher. The anger problems faded, but there are other issues (that probably contributed to the anger and jealously issues) that we're having to seek counseling for, even 6 years later. So, I say from experience, discipline your son (spanking is NOT going to harm him. It WON'T. Not if you spank him out of your desire for him to become better, and not out of anger) and teach him visually what he's doing to his brother.



Maybe he'd looked forward to a treat at the store. Don't allow the treat. Tell him that special treats are for little boys who obey their mamas, and that since you love him so much, and like to give him treats, when he chooses to obey you and not hurt his brother, you will be thrilled to get him something. This way, he understands that withholding the treat isn't withholding your affection for him. He'll get the point about hurting his brother, and how this is urgently unacceptable, from the spanking. He'll get the point about negative consequences for wrong choices from being disallowed a special treat. He'll get the point that you love him more than anything when you express that you really want him to obey and make good decisions, because you really WANT to give him a special treat, and that you're sad that you can't because of his behavior.

Krista - posted on 04/20/2012

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Yikes! For starters, I would do my best to never leave them alone together.

If he DOES hit his brother, you say very sternly, "NO hitting." And you put him in a time-out and ignore him for a few minutes. Do that every single time, and he will eventually learn that if he hits his brother, he loses Mommy's attention. Kids at that age aren't really big on empathy, so it's pointless to talk about how he's hurting his brother, etc. etc. Show him how to gently touch his brother, and give him swift, consistent consequences if he hits him.

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Preach on it Jeannine. I have known many couples who were "non -spankers." They had terrible trouble with their kids. Eventually I would hear a "last straw" story where the child's behavior was so bad, they broke down and spanked. The behavior stopped, and no one experienced long term injuries, low self esteem, or got the idea that hitting was OK. Actually, in 100% of the stories the hitting stopped immediately, and did not return for an extended period of time. When a child inflicts harm on a sibling/pet/parent the punishment should be a severe deterrent. How do children who are being bullied at home by a sibling feel when the "punishment" never ensures any lasting security for them? Who is their advocate? Who protects them? This spanking teaches hitting is a myth. I was spanked as a child, and I do not ever remember a time when I thought hitting was OK.

Julia - posted on 04/20/2012

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Wow! I would agree that you should not leave them alone. Your 3 year old is also old enough to talk to about why you don;t hit...causes booboos. Then talk to him about if he likes it if others hit him and how that makes him feel. You may want to ask him why he hits his brother and depending on his reasoning give him a more constructive way to approach the situation like using words and what exactly to say. Keep doing the timeouts though.



I am not a huge fan of spanking or any physical discipline but my husband and i have resorted occasionally to slapping our child's hand during certain times; such as if they put themselves in physical danger (like running toward the street), or if they physically harm another or animal (we have a cat). You may want to try this. It works for us and they are very shocked....we definitely explain to them why we do this though. Always talk with you child!!

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Jeannine - posted on 04/26/2012

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Brenda and everyone else that believes spanking is hitting: hitting is done with the bare hand and usually a fist is involved. Spanking, when done CORRECTLY, it is a tool to get a child's attention. It can be humiliating to a child, this is why you do it without an audience. Being put in the timeout chair is also humiliating. Everyone that walks by you sees that you lost the power struggle, you lost, you were naughty, now everyone knows. You are on "stage" for everyone to see your punishment. When a child grows up without any humility you get an egotistical monster! Even the bible, one of our oldest tools that we base right from wrong with, states "spare the rod and spoil the child". Everyone that refuses(ed) to spank their kids thank you for this current generation dubbed "the gimmee' gimmees'" i.e. A whole generation raised without spanking and a whole generation of spoiled brats.

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This is completely unacceptable. I had a similar problem, but I nipped it in the bud before it got this bad. How? I spanked him, hard, and made him stay away from the baby. I also made sure they were never alone together. I warned my older son that if I even thought he was going to hurt his brother, he would get the spanking of a lifetime. I put the fear of overwhelming retribution into him. You may think this is extreme, but a baby is completely unable to defend itself. If you aren't the child's fiercest defender, who is? Children have to be taught empathy, as you can obviously observe. Any time I had to deliver a "wrath of God" style spanking, we talked about it afterwards. I told him how much I love them both, and will never allow them to hurt each other. I know a man whose parents allowed his older brother to kick him in the groin all the time. He grew up, got married, and found out he was sterile. This is nothing to treat lightly.

Brenda - posted on 04/25/2012

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I don't think the right way to teach a child not to hit is by hitting them. That's a very mixed message. You tell her not to hit her little sister then you hit her? Spanking is hitting. You are using your size and position of power to hurt, humiliate and intimidate her in order to teach her not to do that to others.

Jami - posted on 04/22/2012

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Tell him that he is a big brother now and that is an important job. Stress that this is the only little brother he has or possibly will ever have. Tell him if he takes care of his brother then someday little bro will be there for him. Maybe if he feels it's his "job" to watch over his little brother than his actions will become less severe toward your youngest....

Jeannine - posted on 04/22/2012

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When we, as parents, resort to spanking it should NEVER be done when angry. Other corrective behavior modifications should be tried first such as time outs extra chores being grounded, or taking away privileges such as t.v. or going out the movies with the rest of the family ( this last one works very well with 2 of my daughter's 5 kids). You should never use your bare hand. I always used a wooden spoon. Just pulling it out would often correct my children's behavior without me having to go through the lecture/discussion that should accompany every spanking. This was as they were a little older though (6 daughter, 10 for my son). I was abused as a child and always feared the hand of my parents. I read a lot of parenting books because I wanted to break that cycle I was brought up in.

Spanking should be used to get a child's attention. Not to release a parents frustration or angrer. Leaving a mark on the child's buttocks isn't the worst thing that can happen. However bruising is a bit much. Spanking humiliates a child if done improperly. Always spank when alone, not in front of siblings or other family members.

Always tell them you love them and remind them you just want what is best for them. As the adult you need to be their parent! Not their friend! If you can not get their behavior in check before teen years you will have failed as a parent, but congrats on being their friend.

We as human beings always want what we want. Wether you are a child or adult. As the adult in your child's life it is YOUR responsibility to teach your child that in life you don't get everything we want. We are a part of a greater community of people. To get along with others you have to make compromises and concessions. Sometimes we lose, but sometimes we win. If everyone wins everytime what is the point in winning?!

If you want your child to respect you be a patent not a friend. Spank only when absolutely necessary and be there for your child as a parent and they will still resect you when they are adults and be your life-long friend then.

Jeannine - posted on 04/22/2012

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I absolutely agree with you. My 7 year old daughter hit my 6month old son and it continued for a couple of months. I tried time outs, lectures, positive reinforcement and none of them worked. When I saw her yank my 8 month old off of our couch and onto the floor ( his head even bounced off of the floor) I ran in and comforted my son first. As I did so I discussed with my daughter how dangerous and awful her behavior was. She denied doing it! I saw the whole thing though. I lectured her for aproximately 15 min. Then I explained to her she was going to be spanked for this behavior and would be spanked every time I saw her be malicious. I explained to her how important her brother would become to her and that relationship between siblings is a very special one (she was 7, not 3 and understood the concept). I spanked her, with a wooden spoon, never my bare hand ( you never want your child to fear your hand). I comforted her after and reassured her how important she is to me, and how much I love her and yes the "it breaks my heart to have to spank you" speech I got as a child. She did great for over a year. Then there was one more incident; the kids were playing outside on a playset and my 9 year old daughter pushed my son off. The four foot drop onto the edge of the sandbox below I saw from the window and ran out to see if I needed to rush him to the hospital. That scared me! Imagine as an adult making a fall like that at twice your height! She got another lecture and another spanking. My son was badly scraped up and bruised, but was ok. She started showing concern for him because of his injuries. She had remained jealous of her little brother since his birth and there was nothing left untried by her father and I in those two years. That second spanking did the trick. Getting her to understand how bad she hurt her brother also played a part I'm sure. Now she is 27 and he is almost 20. They are SO close. My daughter learned how to spank her own 5 children the right way, as a last resort and with love.

I feel for and am afraid of those children that have parents that are afraid to spank.

Jenny - posted on 04/22/2012

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I am a firm believer in spankings. I do try other forms of discipline when spankings are not appropriate but there are definitely times when a good solid spanking is warranted. Beating baby definitely qualifies as a spanking situation. We have 4 sons so I know all about rough boy behavior and if the situation is as you describe it then normal rough play wasnt what was going on so maybe also think on what he was doing that for. Most often kids don't have the same reasons for doing things that we do.

Eva-Lotta - posted on 04/22/2012

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My daughters are 2.5 years and 15 months and I found the older one hitting her sister and got really angry. I told her very sharply that we do not hit and made her apologise and give her little sister a nice hug and kiss. That was all well and good for about 2 seconds and then she was hitting again. I got angry and I told her that I would smack her so she knew what it feels like being hit and I smacked her. Well she cried and apologised (without being prompted) to both her sister and me and we had nice long cuddles afterwards. She has not hit her sister since so it worked because she realised that it hurts to hit.

I am anti smacking and after the kids were in bed that night I told my partner and cried for hours and I was really upset about it for days.

If we used smacking as a general way to punish what will the kids learn? That it is ok to hit (although we tell them that it's not)? Talk about mixed messages.

Talk to your children, show them how to treat each other (i.e. lots of hugs, how to share toys, how to help each other as well as their parents etc) and you will get kids who instead learn the skill of how to care for others!

Good luck!

Tonjula - posted on 04/22/2012

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I'm sorry, but I would swat his butt or his hand. Then ask him how does that feel when someone else hits you? I had the same problem. Time out didn't work and all I kept thinking was that my oldest daughter was going to kill my lil one. There are times, I had to leave them alone (i.e. going to the restroom). Also, check what TV shows or games, your child maybe watching to cause this reaction.

Holly - posted on 04/22/2012

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Been there, had that! Although it is unconventional, when I saw my 3 yr old hitting my year old, I told him if he wants to act like a beast and not have me trust him I will treat him like a beast. I put my son on a dog leash (clipped onto a belt loop) and fastened the leash to my leg for the rest of the evening. Told him if he could not be trusted out of my sight, he would not be allowed out of my sight. My son is fairly independent so losing his freedom reduced him to tears. I have rarely had to deal with that issue since. He hit her one other time on Christmas eve when she wrecked a lego project he was working on. He got coal for Christmas and all his toys taken away so he could learn that people are more important. Several years later he is actually quite sweet now to his little sister.

Holly

Mrs. - posted on 04/22/2012

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This happened to me, the younger sibling, from infancy to my teens. My father would spank my brother if he found bruises on me, but they never really addressed his issues effectively. It is possible my brother is just a sociopath and the discipline in any form wouldn't have made a difference, but I doubt that is the case with most siblings.



I only mention my experience because, as I'm sure you can imagine, it shaped me to be regularly hit and abused by my older sibling and then dismissed by my parents who would minimize it as, "boys will be boys". I just want to tell you how important it is that you don't leave them alone together until you can address it. You don't want you younger child to become a habitual stress release for the older one. As you can imagine, I no longer have a relationship with my older sibling and I know that is no family's ideal.



I actually think this is an easy fix if addressed at the beginning and it does not become habit. I have an almost three year old so I know that you can have little chats with them about consequence.



My daughter went through a stage where she was kicking our very small dog. This was dangerous because she could have injured the pup if she hit her mark. I made a point of never leaving them alone in the room together and if I saw her try to swat/kick the dog we made a policy. This policy now applies to anyone she might hurt, accidentally or otherwise. If she does this, we tell her she has hurt the dog and will not be allowed to play, snack, or do anything unless she says she is sorry and gives the dog (or person) a hug/kiss. We will ignore her and if she tries to approach us will we just say, "I'm not speaking/playing with you until you say you are sorry and give a hug." Sometimes this will take her up to 20 minutes. However, once she, herself, decides to apologize, she will tell us how bad she feels and how sorry she is. After a few months of this, she stopped with the kicking and I began to feel comfortable about leaving her in the living room with the dog while I was in the bathroom or kitchen.

Krista - posted on 04/22/2012

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At any rate, we are digressing quite badly. Can we please focus on how to help this mother keep her toddler from using the baby as a punching bag?

Krista - posted on 04/22/2012

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I live on planet Earth. How 'bout you?

From StatsCan: Similar to the trend in overall crime, the rate of crime committed by youth has been generally declining over the past decade. The 2010 youth crime rate fell 7% from the year before and was 11% lower than a decade ago. The severity of youth crime has also declined over the past 10 years, including a 6% drop in 2010

From the US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention:

According to the "Juvenile Arrests 2001 Bulletin" which analyzed the data gathered on national and state levels by the FBI, juvenile arrests have drastically declined in many areas including violent crimes and property crimes while other areas of juvenile arrest rates remain a concern for the juvenile justice system.

In analyzing the data gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the arrest rate for Violent Crime Index offenses decreased in 2001 causing the Violent Crime Index rate to be at the lowest since 1983 (Snyder, 2003). In fact, the juvenile arrest rate for murder declined 70% from 1993 to 2001 in which the juvenile arrest rate declined from 3,800 arrests in 1993 to only 1,400 arrests in 2001 for murder (Snyder, 2003). Additionally, juvenile arrests for burglary decreased by 66% between 1980 and 2001, juvenile arrests for forcible rate reached the lowest level since 1976, and the juvenile arrest rate for aggravated assault declined between 1994 and 2001 (Snyder, 2003).



So do you have any facts with which to back up your extremely rude assertion that I am living on an other planet?

Tabitha - posted on 04/22/2012

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"Youth crime rates have been dropping steadily for the past 20 years." What planet are you living on? The youth crime rates are at an all time high! 12 year olds are murdering people, we have 12-15 year old prostitutes, 16 year olds raping girls at school, 8-10 year olds torturing and killing animals, 10 year olds carrying guns!!

I've spanked my kids, they learned early on right from wrong. Are they perfect? No way, but we regularly get compliments about their behavior so I stand by my decision. I also believe that a non-spanking household can have the same results, if done properly. The problem I've noticed is (and this is just my observations), the ones that had said no to spanking also believe in allowing their kids to learn on their own, make all of their own decisions with no real limits or consequences. So these are the kids runnin around at the grocery store, screamin in the restaurants, acting out in church or whatever the case. Their children have no idea how to behave at home, let alone in a public place. Again, that's just what I've observed. Spanking is not "losing control of your temper", if you're angry, you don't spank. Send them to their room until you're done being angry.

Krista - posted on 04/22/2012

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Your assertion doesn't hold water, Renee. Youth crime rates have been dropping steadily for the past 20 years.

Renee - posted on 04/21/2012

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Children always have, and always will, get into trouble. The juvenile delinquency you are referring to in the 50's though...does it really compare with the way children are today??? Um, kids today are out of control! I am a firm believer in spanking when it is appropriate. I spanked my kids when they were small and now they are pretty amazing kids! When done with love and calmly, not out of anger, it is very effective.

Terrie - posted on 04/21/2012

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Most everyone has said what I would say. I don't have two children, but I am one of four. Let me tell you I was highly jelous of my little sister when she came alone and I was eight years older than her. Now, I did not beat her up or my Dad would have put a strap to my butt. I am not saying that is what you have to do. I don't even spank my child today. All I ever new about parenting went out the window when my son was born because when he was two he was diagnosed with Autism. We had to find other ways to discipline. What I am saying though, is the driving force of your sons problem like everyone said is probably jealously and the best thing you can do is give your older son more one on one time and don't leave him alone with his younger brother. When he does try to attack his older brother interupt it and either give him a time out or redirect him. And of course always praise him when he is being nice to his brother. Yes I just repeated what everyone else said. Usually taking things away at age three does not really have much conciquence. And also, at this age children easily forget what they were disciplined for so don't be surprised if you have to repeat several times.

Kristen - posted on 04/21/2012

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I just have to say, ignore everyone that said to spank him. Children learn best by example (supported by much research), so hitting them is NOT a good way to teach them to not hit. And my personal feeling is that you want your child to listen to you because you've taught him that you're in charge, not because he is scared of you. I do agree with progressive and immediate punishment. Progressive being if timeout doesn't work, progress to losing toys or privileges. Good luck with this, it's tough.

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after the time outs dont work, take away their favorite toy, take away playtime outside. i did this with my three step kids. if they hit or were unruly i would put them in time out. if they did it again after time out, i had them put one of their toys in the baskey and i put it ontop of the fridge. when they were good for the rest of the day and they werent in trouble theyd get it back.

Jessica - posted on 04/21/2012

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I have to agree with Teri...everyone is talking about time outs and positive reinforcement. Give a kid enough time outs and it means nothing to them. Then what?

Amanda - posted on 04/21/2012

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Big-sibs need time and instruction to help them become comfortable and competent interacting with their younger siblings. Try not to overreact when they do something incorrectly because they may get scared, withdraw and form negative associations with their new sibling. If you calmly explain how they can adjust what they are doing to make the baby even more comfortable/safe, they will be much more receptive to your suggestions. Having said that, you should never leave a newborn unsupervised with a young child, no matter how responsible and loving he/she is with the baby.
Children often regress to more baby-like behavior when a new baby is introduced into the family. Most likely everything will return to normal in a relatively short period of time, so be patient. It is extremely important to praise positive behavior and to try to ignore negative behavior, if it’s not dangerous. Most likely, negative actions are attempts to get attention; therefore, you will just be encouraging the behavior if you react. “I Am a Great Big Brother” reward chart (http://www.excited2learn.com/shop/index....) can help everyone to focus on positive behaviors. By focusing on socially appropriate behaviors, you will help your child replace negative actions with desirable ones. Try to avoid potential acts of aggression toward the baby by expressing praise about how kind and gentle your child is being when he/she gives hugs, kisses or other appropriate attention.
Listen carefully to how your child is feeling and spend special alone time with the big-sib. This will help minimize feelings of jealousy and uncertainty. Each parent should set aside one-on-one time with the older sibling so he does not feel forgotten. Even a short amount of time can go a very long way toward assuring that the older child does not feel replaced by the new baby. If possible, let the child pick the activity so he feels very important.

Pamela - posted on 04/21/2012

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Of course you interrupt the behavior whenever it occurs. It is possible that YOU are paying more attention to the baby than the older child and jealousy is developing.



Put aside "special time" for the older child. Tell him "This is YOUR special time with Mommy. Just me and you." Try to do it when the baby is sleeping. Play games, read books....do something with just the two of you and try to do it several times a week.



Hopefully this will help the child to feel that he is loved as much as the baby. As adults we forget what it feels like to be a child and think that a sibling is getting more attention and love than we are.



The highest and best to all of you!

Audra - posted on 04/21/2012

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Mary, I've met children who are well behaved who were not spanked, but whose parents have lovingly set boundaries and enforced them. The ones who misbehave and lack respect for their parents and adults are usually the ones whose parents do not set those boundaries or who are not consistent in enforcing them, regardless of whether they've chosen to spank or other, non-physical disciplinary measures.

Audra - posted on 04/21/2012

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I've been in your situation with my two boys (20 months apart, seemed like the older one picked on his baby brother whenever he could); fortunately, I'd been warned by mom never to leave the two alone together from her experience raising 5 kids who were close in age, so I never did, even for a second. I used to go to the bathroom with the door open and the younger one near the door so I could keep an eye on them.

What worked for our family was a combination of trying to give more positive attention to my older son when he was behaving and (let's face it, I was busy and tired with a new baby and baby was getting a lot of my attention; this newcomer was not very welcome by his older brother). A suggestion I read about but was never able to work in was to give him dedicated mommy time daily, even just 15 minutes -- that's one of the few things I'd have done differently. At night, I would tell him 2 or 3 things I enjoyed about him that day (e.g., how he helped me put away his toys or how he went down the slide by himself or how he was gentle with his brother.) When he did hurt his brother, there would be discipline, usually time outs -- they are great, but make sure that you are not giving the child on timeout extra attention; when I had to sit with him to keep him on time out, I was calm, emotionless and did not give him eye contact. Also, it has to be immediate. With a new discipline thing, I would give 1 warning then time out, with something I'd disciplined the child on or something severe, like hitting, there was no warning, it was an immediate time out. I agree with the suggestion to talk to him about his feelings, but not right after hitting his brother. If anything, you should pick up the hurt child and make a huge fuss about him -- "oh, poor baby, punches in the stomach hurt, let's go in another room where you will be safe and make sure you are ok." and avoid the older child for 4 or 5 minutes -- you will be punishing him by removing your attention away from him. Then, when everyone is calm, you can go back and show him "good touches", "gentle touches" and talk about his feelings.

I tried spanking, grew up with parents who spanked and so it came naturally to me, especially when tired or stressed, because that's how I had been taught to discipline. As the oldest, I was sometimes left to babysit my younger siblings while mom ran an errand; even though instructed not to spank them, I did if they misbehaved, because I had not been taught other tools for discipline. (I never spanked children when I babysat for other families.) I spanked my children a few times when they were younger, but it wasn't effective discipline for my older son; I stopped when I saw my older son spanking his younger brother for throwing a toy because his younger brother was "doing something he wasn't supposed to do". Children learn more from our behavior than our words.

I recommend these books, they helped me a lot!
Happiest Toddler on the Block
Siblings Without Rivalry -- Faber / Mazlish (while more effective for younger kids, it helps you to understand dynamics and keep yourself from accidentally creating more rivalry between your kids; also applies to single children and close cousins or friends)
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline

Good luck -- my boys get along really well now (for the most part :P ), and stick up for each other, but it was tough when they were younger!

Mary - posted on 04/21/2012

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I spank my 4 children when necessary and none of them are violent. They do not hit other children and are not aggressive. If spanking is done properly (not out of anger) then it can be a VERY effective discipline tool. I have yet to find anyone that has kids as well behaved as mine that do not spank. The families I know that do not spank have disrespectful kids that hit their parents, talk back and are generally not that nice to play with. My children love each other and play well with other kids. Everywhere we go people comment on how well behaved they are.



The point is that you are a mother and you need to protect your child. If you give your older a child a good spanking and let him/her know in no uncertain terms that hitting the baby is NOT under any circumstances allowed then they will stop. I would also recommend swiftly removing them to their room to sit on their bed for a while after administering the spanking and talking with the child about what they did.

Louise - posted on 04/21/2012

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You should continue timeout, you can't just stop discapline. Sit and talk to hm explain he is wrong, I have an 8yr old and 4 year old but son dotes on his sister good luck

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plus, how can you spank a child and it not leave a mark? Their skin is sensitive and youre alot stronger and bigger than they are. You really should start redirecting your child instead of man handling him, for you who are spankers.I was spanked when i was little and i see it as a loss of control or temper. Like i said earlier, keep your older child busy helping you and being creative rather than restlessly being distructive throughout the house. Have a routine going through the day so that youre spending equal amounts of time with him and more while the little one is napping. Is he mean to animals as well? this could be jealousy and anger or restlessness. My daughter is two and we had a 8 yr old, 30 lb cat with long long hair. He was a nice cat all these years but never around a baby. She would tug on his legs or feet and pull his tail and laughed when he meowed. It was mean what was happening, the cat didnt scratch or hit at her, but she laughed thinking he was talking back to her. But, she just turned two and this was back around Christmas, she didnt know any better. We gave the cat to a family member since there was no way to distract and redirect her from the pretty furry kitty that would meow when you poked and pulled on him. Now, i know its not that easy with a small infant and a toddler, but my point is they dont really understand what they are doing, he thinks hitting the baby will make it cry and thats funny to him. But, you have to teach him to be nice and sweet and get him a baby doll to carry and know that it is to be sweet and careful with , maybe something you should have been preparing him with before the baby was born. Practicing and playing with a babydoll that looks real, to know to hold it and talk quiet and to touch softly. A childs nature and manners is a reflection of the parents. If the parents don't teach them better then there is no discipline. And look up the word discipline, it means to teach, it doesnt say to repremand or hit!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/21/2012

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Terri, I understand the difference between beating and spanking.....but a child cannot understand the difference. It is one and the same to them. How are you expecting a child to learn not to hit, when you are teaching them that all too important lesson through hitting them? Bit hypocritical.

[deleted account]

if you come in and spank your three year old (HIT him) for (HITTING) his sibling what does that teach? there are tons of posts on this website about spanking and its up to the parent to do so. But, if you hit him for hitting later on he will be hitting the baby as though he is the parent. Ive seen alot of kids doing that to their siblings as they are a little parent. What would you do if you caught him smoking when he's ten or twelve? Stand there with a cigarette in your hand and say, don't you smoke!! its bad for you and youre not old enough!! use your own intuition but dont leave them alone together!

Krista - posted on 04/21/2012

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Amazing how well our grandparents were raised and were responsible decent people. OH! That's right! Back then parents believed in spanking their children!

So, um, every person raised in our grandparents' day was/is responsible and decent? Because that's news to me. Goodness knows that in the 1950's there was a HUGE problem with juvenile delinquency...and I don't doubt for a second that each and every one of those kids had been spanked. So it's rather silly to idealize past generations, saying that they were all perfect angels due to having been spanked.

Can we PLEASE stop with the ridiculous assumption that no spanking = no discipline? It is very possible to raise a child to be a responsible decent person without laying a hand on them. There are entire COUNTRIES full of parents who have done just that, in fact.

Terri - posted on 04/21/2012

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Spanking is VERY different than beating or hitting in the face or stomach. My son is now 14 and I really don't have any physical hitting or fighting issues between my kids. Spanking is only on the butt and I didnt spank hard enough to leave a mark. It worked with NO more episodes of him hitting his sister AND it worked immediately! I didn't have to worry about leaving my kids alone or carrying them around from room to room and them being coddled all the time. I pity parents AND their kids when discipline is hardly existent In the home. Just look at society today! If more people PROPERLY spanked or disciplined their kids our world would be a much better place. Amazing how well our grandparents were raised and were responsible decent people. OH! That's right! Back then parents believed in spanking their children! ( "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong - please note MY sarcasm!) Wonder what happened when parents quit? Look at society now. It's gone WAY down simply because of the LACK of discipline! My method may not be the popular one, but it has definitely stood the test of time AND it still works. My son is 14 and is very respectable. NO! Spanking isn't always the best discipline for every situation, but in this case YES I would not hesitate to do so.

Terri - posted on 04/21/2012

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Spanking is VERY different than beating or hitting in the face or stomach. My son is now 14 and I really don't have any physical hitting or fighting issues between my kids. Spanking is only on the butt and I didnt spank hard enough to leave a mark. It worked with NO more episodes of him hitting his sister AND it worked immediately! I didn't have to worry about leaving my kids alone or carrying them around from room to room and them being coddled all the time. I pity parents AND their kids when discipline is hardly existent In the home. Just look at society today! If more people PROPERLY spanked or disciplined their kids our world would be a much better place. Amazing how well our grandparents were raised and were responsible decent people. OH! That's right! Back then parents believed in spanking their children! ( "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong - please note MY sarcasm!) Wonder what happened when parents quit? Look at society now. It's gone WAY down simply because of the LACK of discipline! My method may not be the popular one, but it has definitely stood the test of time AND it still works. My son is 14 and is very respectable. NO! Spanking isn't always the best discipline for every situation, but in this case YES I would not hesitate to do so.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/21/2012

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Applause to the spanker who this teaching a child not to hit their sibling, the best way to do it? Hit them...please note the sarcasm.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/21/2012

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Fitst of all STOP LEAVING THEM TOGETHER ALONE! BIG DUH! And maybe show your 3 year old how much you love him. he may be jealous.

Terri - posted on 04/21/2012

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I would absolutely SPANK my child if he did that! In fact, that's exactly what my husband DID do when he caught our son ramming a big toy truck into his sister's legs when he was 3 and she was about 8 months old. My son watched his sister cry (he didn't realize that he was also being watched by his father) and them he rammed her again with the truck to watch her cry some more. My husband firmly picked up our son and told him that he had better not ever hit his sister with anything again and then spanked him for it. That was the last time that our son ever purposely tried to hurt her for no reason. He learned right then and there that there were very unpleasant consequences for his behavior. We have never spanked our kids for no reason and it IS used only for major behavioral issues. Lesser infractions may include a time out or extra chores (our kids are much older now). I don't believe that there is anything wrong with spanking. I was spanked as a kid and I learned really quickly what to do or not do (fighting, lying, direct disobedience, etc.). I deserved every spanking I got and I'm a much better adult now because of it. Whether it teaches your 3 year old empathy or not, it will teach him that hitting his siter is absolutely NOT acceptable behavior.

[deleted account]

Well maybe you can check out this book or order it. My little one picked it up at a second hand store because she loves Caillou. Its called Baby Sister. It shows Caillou being rough with his sister and she is a baby and that he can play with dolls that way but not a baby. Its sometimes hard to explain to them when youre upset they have hurt the baby. So a picture book will help. This is the exact one we have. Im scared and concerned of damage to your infant if he is punching it in the stomach!! Carry your infant in a Moby around with you so you dont leave him lying on the floor or in the swing or jumparoo because that could be dangerous. Even ifyoure in the bathroom or taking out the trash or leaving the room for a minute. Have your 3 yr old help you and be by your side. If youre doing dishes have him help. If in the bathroom have him help fold some towels for the time being,if you dont want to carry the ten month around with you as that can be heavy. Just dont leave them alone together.I had three step kid under the age of eight and I could not leave them alone together as the oldest would act like a parent since hi smother let him at their house. He would whip and hit and yell at the younger ones who were 1 and 2. I had him helping me alot if the other two were playing quietly he would be my helper than be their sitter. Thats not the oldest kids job.



http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Sister-Caillo...

Alexandra - posted on 04/20/2012

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i, also, would not leave them alone for now. Maybe in a few month, maybe. Up until then, I would just spend a lot of time with both of them and each other alone. This way they feel special because you are giving them a lot of attention: they are more willing to cooperate if you ask them to do/not to do something.

Rachelle - posted on 04/20/2012

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Ok I have three little ones aged 3,2 and 1. My three year old did and does act out sometimes towards the babies. This is how I deal with it. I give him lots of positive reinforcement when he is behaving. I do this with all my kids it makes them feel special and they know they have my attention. If he does hurt them I explain to him that he could hurt the babies and he needs to go sit and calm down. After he is calm he needs to say sorry and give them hugs and kisses. Kids are smarter than we think thy do understand if you explain something short and simple. Also I know people say not to leave them alone together this is sometimes unrealistic and if you are on top of the situation all the time it will resolve itself and get better over time. Now I'm not saying leave them alone together for long periods of time but sometimes we do need to use the bathroom Or wash our hands etc as long as you can hear them and can peek out to see them they should be fine. If you are really worried put the baby in the playpen till your son learns not to hurt him when you'll leave for a second

Echoe - posted on 04/20/2012

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thank you Krista E. i will use stamps cause he like to draw on him self lol

Echoe - posted on 04/20/2012

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thanks nicola smith that does help i have really busy with everything that is going on that i think that might be the issue

Nicola - posted on 04/20/2012

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Also I should have add it that rewards charts help if you have more then one behavior you would like to change only do a couple at a time & start of with a short time before he gets a reward ( like 2-3 day) & slowly make it longer so that you can faze it out over time & the reward doesn't have to be big or expense it could just be an extra book at bed time or a trip to the park.

Nicola - posted on 04/20/2012

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I have had the same thing with my two, what we done was tell our boy that it wasn't nice to hurt anyone & if he did he would go to time out which is 1 min for each year, then if he did hurt his sister we would just say no hurting timeout no warnings just straight there & when he come out we would ask him if he thinks there is something he should say to his sister even if it wasn't sorry & he just gave her a cuddle, but he he didn't want to we didn't fore it as he had done he time & you just lave it at that, but a lot of positive prays doesn't matter what it is for as long as it is the behavior you want to see, even if it is for sitting & eating nicely they seem to really like it, have been told you should give them 5-10 positives to 1 negative, also one other thing we found was that our son felt left out & didn't seem to think he was getting enough of our time, so may be if you don't already set sometime aside for just you & him each day even if it is just 10mins where you & him can just do something he really likes doing & I no that can be hard when you have more then one, but in our house it has worked & now they will go off & play nicely together & when my sons behavior starts going backwards we no that it is cause we have been spending enough time with him & it just takes me or my partner going & playing with him without his sister to get it back on track, also having family time where you are showing him how to play nicely with his brother is a good idea & if he stops playing nicely say to him if he isn't going to play nicely then he can't play, you need to be consisted & hopefully it will get better, it took about a week for us to start seeing changes. I no it can be hard but in the long run it gets easier & everyone it also happier & it all pays off, hope this helps you

S. - posted on 04/20/2012

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Do not leave them alone!!
If you leave the room even just for a second take one of them with you, if he goes to do it when your in the room hold his hand firmly say "don't hit baby" "be nice to baby" if he manages to hit his brother I'd do time out's too then ask him to say sorry for hitting.
Be firm he can't hit his baby brother, he won't understand that he might harm him but he could do, then he'll be left living with it and he's only a young him self, he might feel a bit left out as babies take a lot of attention away from bigger ones, so really be possitve on when he's nice to his brother.

Echoe - posted on 04/20/2012

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i was giving him a timewout for a while and still am but it doesnt seem to be working very well he still does it agin and again

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