Help! My Toddler is brutalizing my 8 month old!

Erin - posted on 03/03/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 2 year old has been walking up to her younger sister and slapping her on the top of the head.. completely unprovoked with a smile on her face. When told to stop she does it more. Tried time outs, explaining how to use our hands, saying sorry, nothing stops it, on top of this she has taken to walking up to her sister when she is crawling and pushing her face into the floor. Doesn't SEEM to be done for any other reason than something to do... Suggestions???????

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Louise - posted on 03/04/2011

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I think Christine is right she is jealous and the quickest way to get your attention is to hit her sister. Try and minimise the time she has access to her sister alone to stop the hitting. Never leave them alone together and always be on hand to grab a hand that is going for the slap.

Concerntrate on keeping the two year old busy and making her feel special, let her help you with the baby like fetching nappies and toys and such. Make a big thing about how good she is helping you and make time for her without her sister being around. Then teach her how to stroke her sisters face and shake her hand gently. If she is loving give her lots of praise, if she is a bit rough then say
"no gently" and try again. Praise the positive behaviour and try a different approach if she does lash out. Pick up the baby and comfort her and totally ignore the toddler. Do not tell her off ,do not give her eye contact and completely blank her. Toddlers hate being ignored and if she thinks that her sister is going to get all the attention she will stop this. Do not spank her as even this is attention and hitting provokes hitting!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/07/2011

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Well I know the problem. I was 5 years old when my parents had another baby ..which I wanted and asked for too. I was INCREDIBLY jealous ...I hated her..I can remember getting up at night and sneaking into my parents room and hitting her in her bassinet..I was aweful.
That's in addition to pinching her when they werent looking and doing other nasty things.. I love my sister now ..both of them and my brother ..but I was aweful.

She is dying for attention and she is willing to get it no matter if it is good attention or bad. The baby doesn't understand attention the way your older one does. If you want this to stop..you NEED to give her some sense of ownership in this baby..maybe ownership is the wrong word...more like pride of knowing this is her little sister and she has to help take care of "OUR" baby..not your baby.."our baby"

Have her help get diapers and praise her when she helps..praise her for things she does nicely or correctly.

Things only improved for my parents when they had their 3rd child..it completely changed everything. It is worth mentioning though..we never had jealousy issues with our 2 daughters who are 2 1/2 years apart...we used the techniques I told you about above
We also developed code between my husband and I "big J" meaning the older one needs attention NOW! stop what you are doing and hug her kiss her ..say something nice to her ..whatever but attention on her now.

Christine - posted on 03/03/2011

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It sounds like she may be jealous or just bored. Does she stay very busy during the day? Some children do this type of thing because they know they will get a reaction or attention from their parents. Maybe you could try giving your oldest special attention without her sister being around. Kids need that one on one time with their parents so they know they are special and feel they are getting attention. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. My boys are 20 months and 7 months and my older son has never laid a hand on his little brother. I can't even imagine what I would do if I were going through that. Best of luck to you.

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Delani - posted on 03/04/2011

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I agree with Louise, over emphasize on how she can help you and boost her up with what a big Girl she is becoming...

Brianna - posted on 03/03/2011

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if my daugher was hurting my other daughter like that she would get a spanking for sure then be put into a time out then made to say sorry.

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