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Sibling rivalry....advice needed!

(11 Posts)
Highlandbird Fri 21-Feb-14 13:17:42

DS1 is driving me nuts, there are 25 months between him and DS2, they are now 2.11 and 10 months.
DS1 loved his brother until he started moving at six months, and touching his things. Since then he has just got more and more annoyed with him, and is forever pushing him, hitting him, just generally not being very nice. I've tried and tried being patient and explaining and it's just not going in. We have a naughty corner and do the three strikes and into the naughty corner. He listens and does as he's told, says sorry and cuddles straight away but he then just goes and does the same thing straight away, it's driving me nuts, and it must admit I've lost my temper and shouted at him a few times when I've seen him deliberately hurt his baby brother hmm I'm not proud of this, but it's so hard and I feel like I'm having to tell him off ALL the time.
Sometimes I can see his point, when he's spent hours building a train track and DS2 comes along and pulls it to bits in seconds, but I still don't want him to push him over and hurt him even if he is annoyed.
Any advice please......and when will it get better??

Highlandbird Fri 21-Feb-14 16:43:59


Notify Fri 21-Feb-14 17:00:59

It is hard and it doesn't get a lot easier as they got older!

I always told mine I will deal with it but as soon as they hurt someone they are automatically the one in the wrong.

I tried very hard to support both children (there is a tendency sometimes to always come down in the side of the baby?) and would "punish" DS2 for destroying the train set, maybe by removing him from the room for a while. It doesn't change the fact that the track needs re-building but it does help DS1 see that justice has been done. However if DS1 takes justice into his own hands and hurts his brother I wouldn't bother with 3 strikes, it would be big punishment 1st time every time.

They're 11 & 13 now and still have their moments but are really good mates most of the time. TBH they always have been but when they were little those "moments" sometimes felt like "always". It helps to remember that they're not really. I bet they're good together more often than they're not.

Can you give DS1 some time when he can set up his things in the knowledge that DS2 won't spoil them? By giving him something to do in his highchair maybe, or closing the door on DS1.

Highlandbird Fri 21-Feb-14 17:12:52

Hi Notify, thanks, yes in suppose I do always side with the baby. I think the trouble is that DS1 is too young to want to shut himself away and DS2 is very mobile and active at a young age, he HATES being strapped into anything and won't nap in his cot (that's another issue entirely). So maybe my main problem is that both of them want to be in the same room with me all the time.
I think I maybe need to 'manage' DS2 a bit better so that DS1 gets his own space a bit. And discipline more effectively?
I'm glad to hear your two get on well most of the time, I'm assuming they can sort it out between themselves a bit more as they get older?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 21-Feb-14 17:17:40

try reading Siblings without Rivalry. I did, at the same age as your two with the same problem, and it really helped.

What I can remember is constant praise when the older one interacts well. Focus on the one who is injured, just say to the one who has done they hurt "Other people are NOT for hurting", pick up the baby and make an enormous fuss of them. Acknowledge the negative feelings the older brother may have about his little brother.

But I also agree that if you can make DS1's space a bit more secure from his baby brother that would really help.

Notify Fri 21-Feb-14 17:19:33

My best line for several years now has been "sort it out between yourselves or I'm having it"

Is there a table DS2 can put his things on? Our dining table is pretty much ruined from being used for toy cars etc but it did mean he could put things up out of reach for a bit.

Highlandbird Fri 21-Feb-14 17:47:45

I've ordered the book, thanks for the recommendation. I'm trying the lots of praise for good behaviour thing, and lots of demonstrating being gentle.....I really don't want to turn into shouty mum sad
Maybe I need to think about working on DS2 napping as well, DS1 is always wanting me to help him with puzzles, tracks, games etc but it's really hard as the baby always wants to get involved and has little mini meltdowns when I take things off him. Would be nice to have some time just me and the toddler, he can be lovely with his brother sometimes, I've snuck up on them and found him being really sweet, he doesn't seem to understand that he hurts him when pushing etc.

Notify Fri 21-Feb-14 18:06:02

I know the experts say praise is the way to go but i really didnt find it helpful.

If I walked into a room and said "oh it's lovely to see you playing nicely" that would be the end of that. Far better to keep quiet and enjoy it while it lasts IME!

HumphreyCobbler Fri 21-Feb-14 18:17:22

I found punishment completely non productive on such young child. Just goes to show they are all different!

Highlandbird Fri 21-Feb-14 19:00:53

They are all different, I agree. I want praise to work, but it doesn't seem to be having much effect short term anyway. But then, punishment isn't really working either, earlier he snatched a toy whilst pushing his brother over then immediately said sorry and took himself to the naughty corner, argh! Will see how I get on with the book, thank you both for your advice.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 21-Feb-14 19:04:27

I hope that the book helps, it is a really good one.

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