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Sibling relationship (toddler and pre-schooler)

(4 Posts)
BrightenMyNorthernSky Tue 13-Nov-12 14:35:55

My 18 month old DS is really quite horrid to his 4.2 year old brother. DS1 adores DS2. He has been pretty good with him so far, taking his responsibility as a big brother very seriously, trying to share his toys (he has the odd moment, but on the whole he's been fine with this), giving him lots of cuddles, telling me immediately when he spots DS2 doing something unsafe or silly (putting his hands in the toilet bowl, climbing on the kitchen table, that sort of thing grin. He is always quick to comfort DS2 if he is upset.

In return, DS2 is increasingly being horrible to DS1. He takes his things, breaks up his lego models, pushes him away when DS1 tries to cuddle him, pulsl his hair, stamps on him if he is sitting on the floor, shouts in his face, physically will try to tear DS1 off me if I give him a cuddle or he sits on my knee for a story... you get the picture.

I'm not sure what to do about this. DS2 is generally a happy little soul, affectionate with DH and I and very independent and adventurous, but he just seems to trample all over DS1 (a much more gentle character), whose patience, understandably, is starting to wear thin. I feel that DS2 is still too young for any formal discipline, but also that DS1 needs to see a sanction for some of DS2's behaviour (as it is becoming difficult to reinforce the share / be kind / be gentle message with DS1 when he gets nothing in return).

DS1 is at pre-school 4 morning a week, so DS2 gets plenty of my attention (much more than DS1). They are better when there are no toys involved - e.g. playing in the garden - but we can't do that all day!

Any suggestions? I'd really like it if they could get along (and feel so sorry for DS1 who really does adore his brother).

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 21:51:43

My younger DD sometimes picks on her more placid older sister too....18 months is too young for discipline, you're DS2 getting to socialise with other toddlers enough?

My younger DDs behaviour improved no end when I got her together with kids her own age and also when DD1 has her friends around...DD2 realises that older siblings are interesting too.

I would simply say "No!" firmly...then remove DS2 from the area and return to DS1....give him LOADS of attention and commiserations and blank DS2 for a more.

Then tell him "Be kind to DS1....say sorry" if he has the words...and if he does not you should still try to teach him what an apology is....tell him DS1 is sad....then move on quickly.

Most toddlers HARE being ignored.

BrightenMyNorthernSky Tue 13-Nov-12 22:21:50

Thank you, that is helpful - DS2 does understand about apologising - he can't say sorry, but will give a quick cuddle if I ask him to "say sorry". I am not consistent about enforcing this though, so will start to be, and try the removing / ignoring technique.

You may have something re socialising. DS2 really doesn't get to see many children his own age. He sees the siblings of DS1's friends sometimes, but none are that close in age to him. I haven't really done the toddler group / class thing this time round - the mornings when I just have DS1 we are more likely to go to the supermarket or potter about doing housework blush. Have felt slightly guilty about this, think you may just have spurred me in to action.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 23:00:22

Ah I know... it's harder in one way with number're more relaxed about things...I was!

Maybe DS2 will be able to shove some kids his own age about grin That or he won't and he'll just get more sociable and learn about sharing etc in a less familiar environment...perhaps when he's away from his own "territory" he'll start to pick it up.

I wouldn't worry though. He's almost a baby still. Poor DD2 has now she is 8 caught on and knows how to defend herself from her feral little sister!

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