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AIBU sending DD to bedroom for the rest of the day for hurting DS

(54 Posts)
Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 22:41:12

Every time my DD hits my DS I banish her to the naughty step, explain the reasons why, get an apology, to myself and DS, she promises not to do it again...... The next time she does it, we go through the whole routine again. Today was the limit. DD pushed DS over on some concrete steps in the garden, DS got scratches on his poor little legs, he's only 2 and a half. So I sent DD, who's 5, to her bedroom for the rest of the day. I did explain why, and she knows she has done wrong, but will this banishing treatment work? If it fails, how can I get her to stop hurting her brother?? I am a single parent and I really need DD to work with me rather than against me. I don't like doing things like this, does it even work? or am I storing trouble up for myself later on? I already get 'you don't love me' if I tell her off!! HELP! sad

Kayano Sun 14-Aug-11 22:46:26

I suppose a backhander is out of the question?

I kid.

Could she be doing it on purpose because she wants your attention? Do you tend to deal with her a lot when she does this, ie/ taking attention away from her brother?

Sounds like it could maybe be a jealousy issue?

Maryz Sun 14-Aug-11 22:46:38

I don't think you are being unreasonable punishing her, and if the consequence for her hurting him is banishment to the naughty step, then that must be the consequence every time (but I wouldn't drag out the explanation, I would make is short and sharp).

But, and this is a big but, it might be worth looking at why she is doing it. Does she want to hurt him? Is it over-boisterous play? Or is it simply attention seeking.

As you are a single parent, with quite young children, you will have your hands full. Maybe you ignore all the times she plays with him nicely, and only get involved when she causes a ruckus hmm. Maybe he is taking her toys/interfering with her time with you (in her opinion) or something else.

Try to take notice when they play nicely.

neolara Sun 14-Aug-11 22:48:01

Sending her to her room for more than about 5 mins is probably a waste of time at age 5. She'll probably have completely forgotten why you sent her there in the first place after about 20 mins. Also, you give her no opportunity for her to have another go at doing better. It's also unrealistic to think that she will never hit your DS again. Sorry.

Why does she hit your DS? Is she cross with him? Does he spoil her games? Is she jealous? Is it a way of getting your attention? What's the "pay off"? Once you've worked this out, you'll have a much better chance of identifying a way of dealing with the problem.

rhondajean Sun 14-Aug-11 22:48:51

Dont worry abotu the "you dont love me", she knows you do, but they do try to push buttons - and they find our weak spots fast.

I dont know how useful this is to you but....

In a previous life I used to deliver a well known internationally used parenting course which advocated using time outs and sticking to it. They focued very much on positive behaviour - you would never use the phrase "naughty step" as it accents the child being "bad" and you didnt ask for an apology - the point of the time out was to remove them from the situation and give them time to calm themselves and gain control over their emotions. You then brought them back into the game/room/meal after they had sat calmly for their time out (so if they didnt sit to start with, you did the whole no talking just put them back yet).

The reason to bring them back in was to give them an opportunity to behave appropriately which meant that you could then praise them for doing good, the focus is moved from their bad behaviour to when they did well, everyone feels better and their good behaviour is reinforced because they got attention and praise for it.

I should say I dont always manage this in real life. There are times when its me that needs the space then they get sent away for longer until I calm myself down!!

Oh and we were told never to do time out in their own room - its full of their toys and distractions and fun. Much better a kitchen/dining room/bathroom or somewhere equally boring.

Hope that might help a wee bit - it shows the psychology behind the technique, and it was developed by child psychologists from a leading Aussie uni, so was well researched.

MrsRhettButler Sun 14-Aug-11 22:50:38

Did this happen in the evening shortly before bed or has she been in her room for 9 hours?

mummytotwoboys Sun 14-Aug-11 22:51:06

YANBU i did the same to my DS1 when he was 3, (although not for the whole day but for a few hours) - this was because he had been warned and did it again and poor DS2 (2) ended up bruised and bleeding just because DS1 had been silly. I was so angry for DS2 that it seemed the best idea at the time else I would have roared at him. I think time out for everyone is a brilliant thing and DS1 felt so bad for DS2 that he hasnt touched him (roughly) since and seems to be hugging him a lot more. I find it very difficult as I dont want to interfere in their relationship too much but I think you are doing the right thing with time out - just persevere. I dont know how you will stop her hurting him , maybe try some empathy, ask her what she thinks it feels like to be hurt and would she like it if someone hurt her then try and explain how it feels to DS - tricky with little ones sad

one thing which did work (and i dont really advocate revenge but this made me giggle a bit << bad mum) DS1 once bit DS2 and DS2 turned round and bit DS1 so hard in return that he left teeth marks and drew blood!! DS1 has NEVER bitten anyone again - so it works lol!

YoungishBag Sun 14-Aug-11 22:51:45

It's too long and you're trapped in a cycle of punishing her - I'm sure your ds is annoying to her too.

You need special mummy and dd time. Try and find a way to do this.

And short punishments only, a whole day in her room is really, really wrong and sends a message that you prefer ds, you don't want her around.

Jajas Sun 14-Aug-11 22:51:47

Sounds like very good advice from rhondajean, I would say that a day is far too long - you have no-where left to go punishment wise if you do it all in one fell swoop.

FreudianSlipper Sun 14-Aug-11 22:56:35

well i she keeps doing it adn you are sending her to the naught step then it is not working (not a fan of ns myself)

sending her to her room for the rest of the day is too long, you need to understand why she is hurting him not shut her away from you and ds especially you. she may be feeling threatened by him and you shuting her out will only make her feel worse. i am not a fan of time out either but at times it is needed to calm a situation down but not to punish a child.

next time calm your ds down, and cuddle them both and ask why does she do whatever she has done when it hurts her brother, explain it make him, you and her sad.

have you and your ex recently split up, this coudl be cause for anxiety for her, a feat that her father is gone, this other person is taking away attention it might all be very confusing for her and this is the way she is expressing her fears (i coudl be totally wrong)

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 22:57:42

how about reversing it and rewarding her for every 15 minutes she's nice to him? how regularly is she horrid to him? try to make the reward just short of that time gap, if possible

I'd give her stickers / free rewards - 10 minutes undivided attention, trip out, feed the ducks - whatever...

Every 15 minutes seems like a lot, but she needs to see a rapid gain for her behaviour to be impacted, otherwise what is the point?

It's hard, but give it a go...

Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 23:00:48

DD was sent to her room at 3pm and had her dinner in there as well! I asked her why she keeps hurting DS and her reason is, he keeps taking her toys. BUT, it was his toy she was playing on, and she always wants what he is playing with. I removed the toy, a ridealong, but one of them always manages to get it back, there is nowhere I can lock it away! I don't think she even knows why she is horrible to her little brother. One thing she doesn't like though, is to be out of earshot, and out of 'what's going on', that's why I thought the only thing to do was send her to her room. They play so nicely when they are apart! I give them equal attention, but it's like she just has to be in control of everything...

Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 23:05:41

No father from the beginning unfortunately. She wouldn't remember him. I like the idea of the 15 minute reward system though, I'll try that tomorrow. I don't want her to feel like she is being shut out, that is the last thing I want, and the idea that that is how she may feel is crushing, I never thought of that. I was at wits end! I feel dreadful now, but just didn't know what else to do.

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 23:07:15

It's over now - she'll have forgotten by tomorrow and if not, by the end of tomorrow with the focus being on the good stuff, rather than the cycle you're all used to.

Guilt is pointless; it only hurts you, so pack it in, ok? <stern>

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 23:08:58

and, if she can't go 15 minutes between being mean to him, lower it - make is so that she can succeed. If it means every 5 minutes to begin with, then so be it.

what is she in to atm? Is there any way you could knock up a chart to put her stickers on so that she can collect say, 10 before she gets her reward of a trip to the park or whatever?

rhondajean Sun 14-Aug-11 23:09:14

Dont feel dreadful!!

Its tough being a mum.

The rewards thing is a great idea too. There was a lot more in the programme we did than the time outs - but it was all about trying to focus on the good things they do (cos you want to encourage more of them, and even if its negative attention they get for being "bad" they will keep doing it if it does get attention).

And siblings always fight - and he will soon be big enough to hold his own with her!!

MrsRhettButler Sun 14-Aug-11 23:10:13

I agree with youngishbag I think it's too long and I'm by no means soft with my own 5 yo dd

I think loads of good advice on this thread atch so I've nothing to add but it must be difficult when they are constantly arguing, I think one tone time with your dd would probably help the most smile

Oh and not feel too bad it's so hard to ge it 'right'

FreudianSlipper Sun 14-Aug-11 23:10:45

we have all done things that we regret not one parent hasn't (and if they say that haven't they are lying) she may not have felt that at all but if she is she will play up more

i think more praise will work. i do not think it is unusual for a child to be a little mean to a younger sibling, they have had their mums attention then they have to share it and then they have to share their toys too not all are so keen on sharing but they all learn in the end

MrsRhettButler Sun 14-Aug-11 23:11:43

That should be 'one to one time' and 'don't feel too bad' blush

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 23:12:21

if you can't get stickers, you could use pasta / beads / anything lying around ... 10 bits of pasta = reward

just thinking of ways to help so you can get on to it when she wakes up, rather than having to faff about getting "stuff" for it to work

Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 23:17:08

Thanks LewisFan, I will try that tomorrow. I'm debating whether to throw this ride along toy to the nearest charity shop, it causes so many problems, and I can't really afford another one! Some days DD can't go 5 minutes without giving her brother grief, it seems I can't have any SHARE toys out, pens cause almighty trouble too. I always thought getting them to share was a 'tool' for school and so on. Should I get double of everything and give up on the 'sharing' principle? this might mean I could leave them to play by themselves for 10 minutes on their own at least, while I'm hoovering, or cooking, or the necessary house stuf....

Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 23:20:00

You know I was sitting here stressing about how to get a chart together before tomorrow morning!! and stickers, have been temporarily banned, because they get stuck everywhere! even on the dog! pasta, I like that....

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 23:22:02

no, persevere - honestly, they will learn.

go OTT on the good stuff - the second dd shares(and I mean the SECOND - don't wait for it to be a few minutes worth or you may miss it), reward her verbally; "Oh dd, that is such good sharing - well done!" or even if she doesn't snatch a pen "DD you are waiting so calmly ... how great!" etc (same for ds, although he probably won't understand straight away cos of his age)

she will drink it up - hopefully in the mean time, increasing the times she's good in order to get the praise.

If they kick off - do time out, 5 mins, make sure she's calm for 2 mins before she comes back - but don't put the toys away. Bring her back to the table - praise the SECOND she waits / shares / says something kind - whatever it may be.

Nottooshabby Sun 14-Aug-11 23:24:01

And thank you everyone who's replied, I see now that 4 hours was too long to send her to her room, GOD it's so hard being a parent confused

Alambil Sun 14-Aug-11 23:25:39

it really is... don't guilt trip though - she wasn't hurt, she wasn't neglected... nothing "bad" happened apart from a few hours on her own. It's over. Don't dwell!

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