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AP types, please come advise me

(11 Posts)
smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 22-Feb-13 21:56:08

I am being unkind to DD (DC1, 3yo)
have a new baby, at first she was gentle with him, but now that she's more used to him she's a bit rougher like grabs his head and tries to twist it round to kiss it really roughly. She used to be very cautious around him, now she tries to jump on the bed if he's on it or dance around his head if he's on the floor

What I need is a quick sharp statement that stops DD in her tracks before she does any damage, but that isn't so negative as screaming "no" or "don't be so rough" etc. My instincts are to yank DD away from the baby to prevent any physical harm - e.g. today I was feeding the baby on the sofa and he suddenly pulled away and cried, I looked around and saw that DD was doing something rough with his feet, so shouted at DD and made her get off the sofa away from us. I didn't deal with it well but my instincts were to prevent her hurting the baby and then to sooth the baby, but I then had a sobbing DD on the floor

DD also wakes him up on purpose because she finds him boring when he's asleep

please help me deal with this gently and properly - I'm turning into a shouty fishwife sad

DD is a good girl really and most of the time is very sweet with the baby

mummy2benji Fri 22-Feb-13 22:15:21

Ah that's hard. I have had a much milder version of your situation as ds is 4yo and dd is now 4 months - because ds is a year older than your dd I think that has made it easier and he understands me better when I tell him to be careful with her. Young children can be so rough when they are just trying to be affectionate. Can you try to get her a little more involved in ds's care? If she helps change his nappy and passes you things so you can bath him, she might see how gentle you are with him and how delicate he is. I am also wondering if there are any good books for small children on having a newborn baby in the house, which explain that babies are fragile and you have to be careful with them. I can't recommend any I'm afraid, but perhaps someone else on here could?

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 22-Feb-13 22:21:52

I let her "wash his hair" in the bath (doesn't have hair so it's just rubbing his head really) and has little jobs like passing me wipes...

but I have ZERO patients and get very cross very quickly, like when washing his hair once it went a bit wrong and I went all tigress about it because mum of new baby instincts took over.. but thing is DD is my baby too sad and I wish I would deal with these things in a calmer fashion!

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 22-Feb-13 22:22:46

"patience"! I don't have any patients either but that's okay because I'm not a doctor or a dentist!

Skiffle Fri 22-Feb-13 22:23:19

How is she with distraction? A short-term solution, albeit one that won't help her learn to be more gentle, could be if you see her about to go and hurt the baby, to suddenly say "DD, clap your hands/sing a song/do the hokey cokey". It might be enough to divert her attention and at least save you from yelling a bit. I'm not surprised you're shouting though, I would do the same, and then probably post here asking for advice!

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 22-Feb-13 23:06:31

It happens too fast, she's being nice, stroking gently, then in a split second she pokes his eye or yanks his head around and my heart is in my mouth and I shout and say negative things to DD and yank her away from him.

I can't stop the instant tigress reaction to shout to make it stop instantly before DS gets a broken neck (or more likely something much less dramatic, like woken from his nap), but I think if I had something less negative to shout/bark at her it might be a bit better? I don't like telling DD that she isn't nice/gently 2 or 3 times a day, there must be a better statement, a way of stopping her, telling her it's not okay, without telling her that she's bad IYKWIM

crazy88 Fri 22-Feb-13 23:10:45

How about "stop" or "wait"?

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 22-Feb-13 23:14:07

okay, "wait/stop", and what next?

"that wasn't very nice" or "you aren't being gentle enough" are quite negative

is "you need to be more gentle" ok? I've been saying that but I've been saying it SOOO crossly that it's still a bit of a parenting fail I think

belindarose Sat 23-Feb-13 09:35:32

DD was almost 3 when DS was born. Now he's 7 months and she's 3.6, it's much easier. He's more robust, obviously, more interesting, and my tiger instincts aren't so strong. He also absolutely and utterly adores her, which helps!

Like you, I was cross with myself for the way I was having to speak to DD. I knew why she was behaving like that and felt particularly awful being harsh to her while cuddling or feeding the baby. I read '1,2,3 magic'. It doesn't sound very AP, but it's working for us. I explained it to her and now usually just have to say 'one' or hold up a finger. It stops me getting all emotional about it, going long winded and pointless explanations. Basically, DD knows she's diing wrong, so doesn't need telling.

We very rarely get to '3'. Less than once a week, certainly. If we do, she has to leave the room. This invariably means a short screaming tantrum from her, then she's happy to be cuddled and be kind. I don't do 'naughty step' type things like making her apologise. It's just to remove her temporarily from the situation.

belindarose Sat 23-Feb-13 09:37:19

Of course, lots of playing together, letting her know how helpful she us, talking positively about her to the baby, in her earshot, and lots if other nice bonding things have helped too.

Oopla Sat 23-Feb-13 12:09:45

We tried to remind ds often about how babies needed gentle treatment. Will never forget the day he picked his newborn brother up off the changing mat when I'd nipped in the kitchen for hot water confused then dropped him when I walked back in the room !

It passes quite quickly. I tried to do fun things with our toddler while the baby slept as an incentive to keep him from being woken.

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