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to tell DC they were partly to blame for their sibling hitting them?

(68 Posts)
Clemmythyme Mon 13-Feb-17 18:07:35

We were at soft play today and my 4 year old kept holding onto my 2 year old so she couldn't run like she wanted to and putting her face in hers making a loud noise. Her sister clearly didn't like it and was struggling to get away but she can't talk to ask DD4 to stop. I asked DD4 to let her go and stop shouting in her face twice. DD2 then took matters into her own hands and shoved DD4 in the face, causing total hysteria from DD4.

I reprimanded DD2 for hitting but when DD4 calmed down I explained that it isn't nice to keep doing something to someone that they don't like and that DD2 can't talk to ask her to stop so it's understandable she'd show her annoyance physically. This has happened at least three times this week but still DD4 persists then feels extremely sorry for herself when DD2 lashes out.

My friend that was with us heard our chat and said she thought I was wrong to tell DD4 off. She said it's like victim blaming (!) and what if DH doesn't like the way I cuddle him in bed, does that give him the right to punch me?! I don't condone violence but I feel for DD2 as she can't express herself and waits a good minute or two before lashing out to get DD4 away. What do you think, WIBU to tell DD4 it was partly her fault DD2 hurt her?

LindyHemming Mon 13-Feb-17 18:09:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

luckylucky24 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:09:41

I would have said the same. You can't keep poking a tiger and expecting it not to pounce!

ChuckSnowballs Mon 13-Feb-17 18:12:01

Surely the daughter who is being held back and shouted at is the victim?

wettunwindee Mon 13-Feb-17 18:13:49

I had a similar-ish conversation last week when the older one hit the younger. DS2 (3) was old enough to know he was winding the other (5) up.

I don't think "it was partly her fault DD2 hurt her?" is quite right but explaining that she could have behaved differently and it may not have happened is perfectly reasonable.

celtiethree Mon 13-Feb-17 18:14:56

DD4 is not the victim here but the perpetrator 100% her fault not partially. I'd be have stronger words with her.

AllTheWittyNamesAreGone Mon 13-Feb-17 18:15:17

Nah yanbu its siblings natural justice

VestalVirgin Mon 13-Feb-17 18:16:17

Uh, DD4 initiated the physical "violence" if one can call it that. Of course she is to blame. And not only partly - what the fuck can a 2 year old do?

Perhaps ask your friend if she doesn't like the way a male stranger grabs her breast, does she have the right to punch him?
(This happens a lot more than women cuddling their husbands in unpleasant ways; I should assume, so really no idea how she came up with the example)

lozzylizzy Mon 13-Feb-17 18:16:34

I always reprimand my 4 yr old for hitting his elder brother but then also point out to the 8 yr old (away from 4 yr old) that he was bloody winding him up! It is also important to show consequences to bullying!!!!

Wallywobbles Mon 13-Feb-17 18:18:02

Had the same. Dd1would just keep pushing DD2 until she'd find herself looking at the ceiling. DD2 is a southpaw and she never saw it coming. DD1 had the same issue with dogs and cats and has been bitten and scratched as a result. A very slow learner.

NapQueen Mon 13-Feb-17 18:19:25

It shouldnt have even got to hitting. Your youngest cant talk and you clearly saw he eldest repeatedly treat her the way she did and you didnt steo in and be her voice?

Telling the eldest not to do something only works if she stops. She didnt. You should have taken eldest aside and let youngest get on and play. When the eldest was ready to aplogise and play nice then she could get down.

barinatxe Mon 13-Feb-17 18:20:01

Seems fair enough. The 4-year-old was treating the younger child in a way that they didn't want to be treated and was warned by you. The 2-year-old was wrong to lash out but it's not "victim-blaming" - the older child was the aggressor. The example about your husband is not relevant - a better example would be you getting him into a corner, repeatedly hitting him with a frying pan (for no other reason than you thought it was funny), him asking you to stop, you continuing to assault him, and him pushing you away so he could get away from the situation.

Graphista Mon 13-Feb-17 18:20:47

Why didn't you remove the 4 yr old from the 2 ur old as soon as you saw she was winding the 2 year old up?

I'd have removed her from play and sat her with me, let the 2 year old (prior to the hitting) play as she wanted to and not let the 4 year old go back to playing till she understood that.

If the 4 year old did it again - remove her again.

Fackorf Mon 13-Feb-17 18:21:26


Also, I wonder if it could be an expression of sibling rivalry, if your older dd is doing this to try to get more attention from you.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 13-Feb-17 18:22:52

Of course yanbu

Yes punish the hitter but also punish the one winding the other up til it got to that point

(Elder sibling whose sister would wind me up and push my buttons til I lashed out)

meganorks Mon 13-Feb-17 18:27:12

I do the same. Surely it is as important for them to learn that it isn't OK to do mean things to people. Hitting isn't OK. But pushing someone to their limits then acting hard done by when they lash out also isn't good either.
If I have seen what's gone on, both get told off for their role in the upset

I wonder your friends plan?!

Joolsy Mon 13-Feb-17 18:29:07

I don't think it's your place to keep stepping in if your DD is winding up your other DD. You already asked her to stop twice. It didn't work so she got a push in the face. It's all part of the learning process that she needs to learn for herself

Clemmythyme Mon 13-Feb-17 18:29:36

I knew someone would say that Nap Queen. DD4 wasn't actually doing it maliciously, it was a misguided attempt at playing. Sometimes DD2 would giggle and struggle to get away, today she didn't like it. DD4 can't seem to tell the difference between the two, hence her shock at violence. Wading in and pulling her off her immediately would be heavy handed of me; I explained she didn't like it and asked her to stop to give her the chance to do the right thing. Because her shouting was so loud I had to say it twice, by which point DD2 shoved her. Besides, she needs to learn when to stop - if I'm in the shower or the other room I can't be there immediately to separate them every time.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 18:29:47

Your friend sounds like a total idiot with the DH/punch comparison confused

But you need to protect your 2 year old by coming down hard on your 4 year old.

She's old enough to know that what she is doing is horrible and she wouldn't like it done to her by someone twice her age.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 18:38:13

You say your DD4 doesn't understand the difference between her younger sister enjoying it and not enjoying it.

But you said I asked DD4 to let her go and stop shouting in her face twice.

So she didn't need to 'understand' it did she? She just needed to do as she was told.

Tbh, I think you were out of order to reprimand a non verbal 2 year old for shoving anyone, who was deliberately trying to stop them running and shouting in their face.

Especially when they'd been told twice not to do it.

DizzyFizzyLizzy Mon 13-Feb-17 18:42:53 it ok to shower and leave a 2 and 4 year old unattended?

Serious question, not trying to be goady. I wouldn't.

Graphista Mon 13-Feb-17 18:43:01

Heavy handed?! Which is worse? You removing her from pestering her sister in a non violent but firm clear manner, or her sister hitting her? AND the younger sister (who is far too young to understand/act moderately) getting blamed for hitting?

You need to step up and actually parent. Yes you can't be there every time but you dc will notice how you act when you are. Your way they see you being ineffectual, older dd sees no reason to stop, younger dd has no choice but to defend herself!!

Graphista Mon 13-Feb-17 18:44:38

Dizzy have to say I agree especially with the current dynamic I wouldn't be leaving them alone for any length of time.

stella23 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:49:17

Tbh, I think you were out of order to reprimand a non verbal 2 year old for shoving anyone, who was deliberately trying to stop them running and shouting in their face.

This, what she meant to do, just stand there and be dragged around. She had no choice but to hit back! She can't talk her self out of the situation, and she can't physically get out the situation.

Your friend is miss informed dd2 was the victim. Dd1 needs to learn that if you are physical with someone they often retaliate, particularly if it's negative

FrancisCrawford Mon 13-Feb-17 18:50:14

This is so familiar, it could be a replay from my own childhood.

Older sibling behaved like this for years, goading and taunting, holding on so I couldn't get away, just like your older child. And when I retaliated, I was always the one who got the row for "hurting my sister". Even though she was six years older and twice my size. The worst incident left me with a dislocated shoulder.

You need to be your younger child's advocate. She is being tormented and you need to protect her by dealing firmly with your child and letting her know her behaviour is not acceptable.

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