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To expect a 4 yr old to stop hitting her sibling?

(14 Posts)
EllaRees Mon 06-Nov-17 20:07:54

I’m at my wits’ end with my DD, who is 4. She has been hitting, scratching and biting DS who is now 7 for the last 2 years. I’ve tried and tried to stop it (time out, big attention to DS, shouting, taking toys away, reward charts etc, obviously not at the same time) but she just keeps lashing out. She’s bright, articulate and can be very caring, they play together well and enjoy each other’s company, but if she’s annoyed she hits. She doesn’t do it to anyone else, and her nursery teacher was astonished to hear she does it, and that she has big screaming fits about being asked to put on a coat or whatever trivial reason she’s decided to take issue with. DS never retaliates, and she’s never been smacked etc. I hate it and it’s ruining our family life. What next?

Fekko Mon 06-Nov-17 20:11:15

My big sister used to bash me about (sneakily) until I really went ballistic and clobbered her.

Does she say why she hits? Definitely no goading or teasing?

EllaRees Mon 06-Nov-17 20:22:46

Sometimes he is a bit annoying but nothing mean or properly teasing, and even so she knows she should talk to me rather than hit. She can negotiate/share toys etc if she wants to, it’s just that Sometimes she chooses not to and gets physical

Justbookedasummmerholiday Mon 06-Nov-17 20:26:07

Well in our house it's nearly time for Santa to be watching to decide who goes on the naughty list.
Bet she would be sad to think ds was getting more presents.
Sometimes anything is worth a try!!

EllaRees Mon 06-Nov-17 21:24:31

Could work! I worry that if it doesn’t, and she’d call our bluff...I can’t face a ruined Christmas on top of everything else

dontlikebeards Mon 06-Nov-17 21:57:04

You could be describing my DD who is also 4, she as an angel at school, bright, articulate and funny but can be awful to her 2 older siblings and she also hits and kicks me in temper. I have tried the same things as you and have had no joy. I hope someone can offer some wise words.

Chocolateteabag Mon 06-Nov-17 22:13:31

You have just described DS2 (nearly 4) - he is always lashing out at DS1 (7). However DS1 does at times hit him back angry

Chocolateteabag Mon 06-Nov-17 22:16:45

Damn pressed post too soon

Anyway Ds1 has/does hit him back at times which doesn’t help.

I am dong naughty step and time out for both, Santa threats for ds1 but DS2 still doesn’t really “get” that so he gets his toys removed from his room which is much more immediate a punishment and I find works much better
But no golden bullet I’m afraid!

Justbookedasummmerholiday Mon 06-Nov-17 22:28:33

I actually think being an awful sibling becomes a bad habit!!
(dm of many many dc and lots of experience of this!!)
A short sharp shock of Santa watching could be enough to break it!!

dontlikebeards Mon 06-Nov-17 22:55:18

The santa idea will definitely be used in this house, thanks for the advice.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 06-Nov-17 23:00:16

Could she be doing it for attention/jealousy of DS? What about every time she hits DS you/Dad take DS into another room, completely ignore her and make a fuss of him. Or send her out of the room and make a fuss of him/get a fun game out/do something she would want to do and the. When she complains that she wants to join in you tell her that she can join in when she is ready to be respectful and then tell her what that means “speaking nicely, using gentle hands, sharing, taking turns etc” and also she must apologise to DS and ask him if he is okay.

Mittens1969 Mon 06-Nov-17 23:04:25

Here DD1 is the one that lashes out at DD2, she’s always been very jealous of her. They love each other but this jealousy flares up every now and again and she hits, kicks or pinches DD2. She used to bite, but thankfully that’s stopped finally at the age of 8. (Her sister is 5.)

I might start employing the ‘Santa’s watching’ line, I’ve used it in previous years with a lot of success.

Ttbb Mon 06-Nov-17 23:06:33

We always exclude and ignore when badbehaviour occurs. Works a charm.

EllaRees Tue 07-Nov-17 20:17:46

Thanks everyone. The making a fuss of DS, who is on the receiving end, does work up to a point but he now really plays the victim and reports every slight tap as having been hit (though sometimes he is genuinely hurt).

DD seems to rather enjoy the ritual of apologising to the extent that I’ve stopped her doing it as it’s so meaningless and she thinks it’s a get out of jail free pass.

I now just use the making a big fuss of DS when DD is screaming about something as it works pretty well for that, just not the hitting.

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