What would you do?

Eloise - posted on 04/10/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




My son is almost 3 and has major tantrums when he doesnt want to do what I say. He can be agressive towards his 5yr old brother and often yells and swears. Nothing that worked with his big brother seems to work. What should I do?


Michelle - posted on 04/10/2009




Where has he seen this aggressiveness? Did his brother used to act like this?

Where has he been taught swear words? does he watch T.V.?

First of all,

-Try cutting t.v. time to an hour a day. Only let him watch age suitable programmes. Cbeebies is a good one here.

-Get him out to the park more and let him have a kick about with the ball/run around.

-Look at his diet. What does he eat alot of? Does he eat alot of sweets/chocolate/biscuits?

-Always be firm when it comes to hitting/swearing/fighting or being abusive of any sort. Keep a low toned voice. Make it clear its unnacceptable. Only give 1 warning! If he does it again he loses a privilage.

-Make a reward chart for both children. Get some stickers and at the end of each week they can have a prize for being well behaved. If by any chance they dont get a sticker on one day - they dont get a prize at the end of the week. And thats it! 

-Make sure you give both boys equal amounts of love and affection. You have to pay attention to them when they are being well behaved. Dont ignore them, even if you cant be bothered or your busy.

-Praise your children when they do something good. e.g make a great picture/ kick the ball well and give each other hugs etc...



Something for you to read...

'Causes of Sibling Conflict:

Sibling conflicts can be capricious or serious, rare of frequent, long lasting or quickly resolved. Common causes of sibling conflict include:

-Children become bored easily, and fighting alleviates their boredom.

-Children become hungry or tired and then have a lower threshold for irritation.

-Children engage in competition or competitive play that results in conflict.

-Older children do not understand that younger children may not be as capable as they are, and misunderstandings result.

-Children are naturally selfish and can not yet look at a situation from someone else’s point of view, which means they will only concentrate on what they perceive as insults or injustices against them.

-Children often hold grudges. Often times new conflicts will result that seem insignificant, but are magnified by an old grudge.

Avoiding Sibling Conflicts

Very often conflicts result from sibling rivalry, or the jealousy and competition that naturally arise between most siblings. Parents can take a number of steps towards mitigating sibling rivalry, such as by:

-Giving each of their children special time to have their undivided attention.

-Frequently showing love and affection, as well as giving praise and support, to each child.

-Avoiding making comparisons between each child’s abilities or development.

-Avoid labelling the children and instead respecting each as a well-rounded individual.

-Encouraging each child to develop distinct interests and hobbies.

-Encouraging Positive Sibling Relationships

Just as parents can do a great deal to avoid sibling conflicts in their households, there is also much that they can do to encourage positive sibling relationships. Parents can:

-Model the respect and love that they would like siblings to show each other.

-Provide opportunities for siblings to spend quality time together, even if it means insisting on sibling-only activities and events.

-Encourage each child to share a special talent or skill with siblings.

-Support children in cooperative, rather than competitive, play.

-Require siblings to talk through their differences without acting as an external judge or referee.

-Ask siblings to support each other before, during and after events such as sports matches or artistic performances.

-Seek help for siblings who truly do not get along, such as by engaging a professional mediator or family therapist.'


Shawnette - posted on 04/10/2009




I agree with Stacey... Time outs are amazing. If you have not used them in the past... just keep doing it. They say it can take up to 1000 times of being put in time out until they understand. Good Luck!

Stacey - posted on 04/10/2009




every time he is agressive to anyone or swears, sit him in a naughty spot and persevere with it, explain why he is there and set a timer for 3 mins when the time is up make sure he apoligizes, if he is silly saying sorry make him sit there for another 3 mins, keep on going until he realises that the behaviour is not acceptable! just remember it will take him time to grasp what you are doing making him sit on the stairs or naughty spot, but in time it will work!  hope you work it out xx


View replies by

Kate CP - posted on 04/10/2009




Quoting Taylor:

I think a little smack on the behind will go a long way. It will make him resecpt you and he will know who the boss is. My parents did it to me and i knew they were in charge not me. I know its frowned upon now a days, but its still the best way.

I don't think it's ever a good idea to swat a child if they are having aggression issues. 


Although, I am curious about the cursing thing. Where did a 3 year old learn curse words? I admit, my family (myself included) do curse but we try to modify our words around the munchkin. Sounds like your LO has some serious anger issues. The best way to deal with a kid who goes overboard with yelling and screaming is for you to do the opposite: stay calm, don't shout, and get down on their level. When you lose control, the kids know it and they use that to their advantage.

Eloise - posted on 04/10/2009




Thankyou everyone for your ideas. I will give them a go. No his brother was nothing like him. He is a great and funny little boy when he is good. Its just when he is naughty he gets so difficult.

Jen - posted on 04/10/2009




It sounds like he may need something to do to express himself. He may need some time alone with mommy or daddy. He's probably acting out to get attention. See if taking him alone without his brother will help him. He needs another outlet for his anger other than his brother.

For the tantrums you can just ignore him until he does what you ask. Lock him in his room if you have to if he's getting aggressive with his fits that way he can't hurt anyone. It'd be like a timeout. Just keep telling him that it's not nice to hit and that's not how you're going to get your way. I hope things get better. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 04/10/2009




the above are all good also how much attention is he getting with the tantrums? Maybe try ignoring him when he does that and when he is being good make sure u tell him how good he is and that he is mommies big boy.....ect

Taylor - posted on 04/10/2009




I think a little smack on the behind will go a long way. It will make him resecpt you and he will know who the boss is. My parents did it to me and i knew they were in charge not me. I know its frowned upon now a days, but its still the best way.

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