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Toddler hurting 8 month old -end of my tether

(4 Posts)
mumtotwo77 Tue 11-Oct-11 21:28:43

the behaviour of my DS (age 2 1/2) has got worse and worse as my baby has got older. I am at the end of my tether and don't know what to do. He hits, kicks, bites, falls on him, pushes him- I try to remove the baby as soon as I think something might happen but it's hard as he's crawling now so needs some freedom to explore and develop.

My older son is normally the most sweet good natured boy- anyone who knows him says he is polite, happy and friendly, but for some reason his younger brother brings out the worst in him. I know it's jealousy but we try and reassure him with cuddles and tell him we love him. I've tried being stern and putting him on the naughty step, bribery, offering rewards for good behaviour and being 'gentle', taking away priviledges due to bad behaviour.

I've tried reading books on 'the baby' and how feelings of jealousy are normal, talked to him about why he feels angry. Nothing seems to stop him lashing out. I can't live in a constant state of stress like this, standing between them. The oldest likes playing with him and crawling, so sometimes he plays nicely, but there are incidents at least 2-3 times a day.

I am so upset and distraught, it breaks my heart. Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated.

downpipe Tue 11-Oct-11 22:46:26

I don't have any advice specifically but I do have sympathy as I'm going through the same thing..my 2 are 25 months and 7 months.The jealousy started as scratching and hitting the minute the baby was home and all my DS2 baby photos have scratches on the nose and cheeks sad It has slowly got better and DS1 now affectionate and kisses his brother a lot and makes him laugh, but when he is tired or bored he will pull his socks off, bite his toes, hit him etc etc.We do "naughty corner" which gets the message across for 5 minutes and sometimes I can make DS1 cry by telling him off in a certain tone of voice, but it hasn't stopped and it is very upsetting to see the older one hurt the defenceless younger one.I have been told jealousy is worse in boys and older mums have reassured me they grow out of it so I can only hope that eventually it will improve.I try to spend time one to one with my 2 year old and take him out on my own when my husband is around, but basically the way I deal with it is to never leave them playing alone at the moment and to make sure the older one always has something to do in the side-by-side pushchair where it often happens.It is very sad to see it but I am just reassured by the stories that they do grow out of it and become friends eventually, I hope yours will too

yellowsubmarine41 Wed 12-Oct-11 06:56:41

My dd was just over 2 when her little brother arrived and found it very difficult. In addition to the suggestions above ie not leaving them alone together, having 1 to 1 time with the older one, I found the suggestions in Penelope Leach's 'Baby and Child' book very helpful.

Firstly, don't worry about trying to get the older one to like the baby, but focus your energies on convincing the older one that the baby loves them so lots of 'you're his favourite', 'he saves his best smiles for you', 'oh look, he's copying you' etc.

Also, if the older one does hurt the younger one, completely ignore the older one, pick up the younger one with lots of 'poor ds2, ds1 knows how to be gentle and kind and he forgets sometimes'. My dd learnt very quickly to control most of her impulses when I did this, as it achieved was my giving extra attention to the baby.

Sorry if this is really obvious and you're doing it already, but these were the things that helped me.

Bubbaluv Wed 12-Oct-11 07:39:35

Welcome to my world! Sounds soooo familiar!
DS1 is now 4 and DS2 is 2.5 and it turns out that just when I thought I was at the end of my tether there was a knot and I've been clinging to the end of said tether ever since...everyone keeps telling me it's normal and will get better soon. Waiting, waiting, waiting...
My advice is nursery for the eldest and karate for the youngest. Oh and wine for you.
Thankfully my DS2 is now the same size as his older brother, so the fight is now more evenly matched, but I do feel more like a referee than a mum.

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