Fighting boys!

Stephanie - posted on 05/29/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My boys are 2yrs and 3mths(Evan) and just turned 1(Oran). My problem is Oran has started to walk and Evan has no interest in sharing his space. Before Oran started to walk he spent a lot of time in a playpen so Evan had free reign until now. The playpen has been made redundant. Evan doesn't want Oran anywhere near him and pushes into him whenever he is trying to walk by. Oran can't play with anything without Evan pulling it off him. Evan seems to think all toys are his but has been known to take things from Oran and just put them in the toy box or throw them on the ground. Another problem we are having is that any time Oran makes any noise e.g. crying, shouting, screaming, Evan screeches even louder. We are at our wits end. Some days are so difficult and where some days I can be calm and deal with it without raising my voice, more often than not either me or my hubby loose the cool and blow our tops. It's difficult to keep them apart as we have such a small home. We pray for good weather so we can bring them outside as we have a big garden and lots of playground equipment which they love. Unfortunately, as we live in Ireland, this doesn't happen very often! Time out/naughty step doesn't seem to work very well. I think Evan is too young to fully understand it. I also can't seem to explain properly about Oran being little and sharing is a whole other kettle of fish. From what I can gather from the creche, Evan isn't much into sharing yet. I've no idea to what to do so hopefully someone out there can help. How do you discipline a 2 yr old? How do you teach him to share? How can I get them to play nicely? Or do I just have to sit it out until Oran is better able to walk and able to participate in games! (please don't say its the latter!) All your help is appreciated!!!

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Stephanie - posted on 05/30/2011

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Thanks Katie! I think I'll go back to trying the naughty step again. I still feel he doesn't really understand very well when I explain to him what is wrong about what he's doing. I've had such a hard day today, harder than any up to now. I really was cracking up and lost my cool on several occasions and had to leave the room before I did something I'd regret like shouting or something. I was seconds from throwing a bowl at the wall earlier and I don't ever normally lose it like that, especially not on several occasions within a few hours.

I really appreciate all of your advice and will definitely try it. Hopefully I can get my other half on the same page as well.

Katie - posted on 05/30/2011

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Sharing is difficult but at 2 years 3 months your son is old enough to understand the naughty step. This is the best method i use for disciplining younger children. You have to be consistent in whatever discipline you choose and your husband needs to be with you 100%! I think that the sharing issue will be difficult. If i were you, i would make sure that if my eldest is playing with something and the youngest tries to take it away, you distract the youngest and allow the eldest child to have what he was playing with to start with. Babies are easier to distract than older toddlers. However if your older child goes and snatches from your youngest you need to come down to his level and tell him not to snatch and his brother was playing with that and make him give it back and offer him something else to play with. I have a 16 month old and a 6 year old and if my son refuses to share his toys with his brother then i tell him its not nice not to share then i will encourage the younger to play something really great adn the eldest then wants to join in and i say NO. You didnt want to share with your bother and now he doesnt want to share with you! Then i would ask how that makes him feel and tell him thats how he made his bother feel. On the pushing front. If you catch your son pushing his brother give him a warning and if he does it again he needs to go to the naughty step and be reminded why you are putting him there. Leave him for 2 minutes 30 seconds and then go back and remind him once more why you put him there (at his level) and then ask him to appologise to his bother. If he refuses he sits for a further 2 minutes etcetc till you get the desired responce. Hope this helps and good luck

Karli - posted on 05/29/2011

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Your hubby definitely needs to get on the same page. It won't work if your parenting styles are opposite of one another. It will only result in fighting with each other. He needs to find patience..tons of patience. Children develop slowly over time and nothing will ever happen quickly. I have been working on this for about a year and they are getting there but they do still have their moments..and they will have those forever!!

Shouting at them will never improve their behaviour, it will only make them afraid of you and teach them to lie to save themselves from the trouble they think they will get into. Teaching them reason and giving them choices goes a lot further for building a strong bond with them then yelling will.

Stephanie - posted on 05/29/2011

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Thanks Karli! I'll will definitely try that. Trying to get my other half on the same page will be difficult. He doesn't seem to get that these things e.g. time out, not shouting etc don't work after the first try, or the first day, sometimes it can take up to a week. Hopefully we'll work it out. Any other suggestions welcome!

Karli - posted on 05/29/2011

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Hello, your son is 2 like my daughter and sharing is not an option for them. Evan is very threatened by Oran's new mobility, it is very normal and nothing is wrong with either of your wonderful boys. What I do with my kids who are 4 and 2 when they don't share is. Whoever has the toy first gets to keep it and I will tell the other that he/she has to wait their turn and offer them something else to play with. I give them a choice from 2 or 3 other things. Explaining this to your one yr old is a little more difficult so I would say to offer him just one thing until it's his turn. Explain to Evan that sharing is rule of this house and when we don't follow the rules there are consequences( I will use time-outs in this case but I explain that they are in time-out for breaking the rules of sharing, when they come out of time out I explain that they have to share the toys and there is no other choice. If they actually fight over a toy, the toy gets put away for the day for fighting or if my son snatches the toy from his sister, he must apologize and give it back to her, he has 2 choices to make 1) give the toy back or he can have a time-out...pick one. I give them lots of choices like that...and it makes them responsible for their behaviour and they very rarely choose the time-out option but feel in control because they made the decision, not just me forcing them to do it. I hate to say it but it is a bit of a waiting game, but you don't have to wait much longer. As Oran develops, Evan will find him more fun to be with and play and share. If you stick by you guns and the rules of your house and remain calm when you enforce the rules they will learn together that not sharing or fighting is not an option it will get better a lot quicker. Try giving the choices and see if it helps calm the situations. Hope it helps.

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