Please tell me it will get better, at wits end with 2yo behaviour towards 5yo

(3 Posts)
u2rmysunshine Wed 04-Jun-14 09:45:23

Hi, my ds is 2 in a couple of days and for around a year he has been hitting/scratching ds1 who is 5. We have tried everything I think..... Gentle reminders, step, getting ds1 to pinch back (awful, last resort).... , We have also tried to ignore but obviously ds1 cant reqlly do that ! The last couple of weeks it has been getting much worse, in that virtually every interaction is ds2 scratching or hitting ds1 and I am finding it very upsetting. Ds1 has always been very gentle with ds 2 and is now scared every time ds2 comes near him. He has scratch marks all over his face and hands. I am not sure if anyone can help?? I know there will probably always be issues but this is so intense, and ds2 has been hitting or scratching other children recently in parks etc, which is another nightmare! Apart from this, ds 2 is actually a lovely bubbly boy, has plenty of language for his age, eats well, sleeps well, even knows how to take turns and wait a little bit for things. Other usual toddler behaviour ..... Anyone have any reassuring stories please??

Swanhildapirouetting Thu 05-Jun-14 10:11:05

Do you think ds2 might just like the sensation? Rather like the way babies like grabbing your hair and poking your eyes out, not in malice, just because they want to FEEL the sensation of touching something.

It could be that you could distract him by giving him something else interesting to get the same sensory feedback. Like very squishy playdough or water tray or climbing through a pop up tunnel or pummelling something. Or playign with different textured materials, or chewing a chewy necklace. Or a cuddly blanket with shiny and scratchy bits, hard knobbly bits to chew.

Just an idea, my kids didn't actually do much scratching or hitting at that age but one does show signs of sensory needs (google sensory processing) whilst having no other SNs, which meant she started to be quite demanding from 2.5 years. If I had recognised her sensory profile (!)I think I would have been able to help her behave better. She slept and ate well and was very sociable and cheerful, and clever, and still is smile

Read Out of Sync Child perhaps for further information on the subject, in case it is that is causing the scratching and hitting.

The other explanation is that he just wants more personal space and or attention, and sees hitting and scratching as a way to instantly get your attention and focus. Which is what some challenging behaviour is; he wants something from you, but not quite sure what is, so he will use the other children as a tool to express his needs, TO YOU.

I think hitting is really quite common at that age as a means of expressing your feelings. We don't really get it as it seems so violent and unreasonable, but for them it is much much easier that trying to put needs into words. It might not be angry needs or cross needs, just anything really. So you could focus on trying to find out what it is he WANTS, rather than just telling him not to hit. You try and make it unnecessary for him to communicate by hitting.

u2rmysunshine Fri 06-Jun-14 22:03:59

Thank you so much for the reply, I feel so much better having read your ideas. Since I read it I have had a much more sympathetic approach to him and although its early days I think it might be better. I will look up the things you mentioned, never heard of it before. Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed reply.

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