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4yo DD snatching toys from 2 yo DS

(11 Posts)
DoctoraNova Tue 03-Nov-15 14:48:41

Oh wise ones, I need your help. I'm feeling very overwhelmed with my daughter.

Background: recent move of house and change of school in new city (coincided with start of new school year), generally happy and well-behaved. Discipline involves naughty step for acts of aggression and "talking" through other issues (like asking nicely for things, shouting etc). Last year loved school, appears to have settled in well this year, asks to go to school at the weekend but talks about a specific boy there who regularly hits her. Loves her new teacher. I'm pregnant with DC3, 33 weeks and pretty tired (moderate to severe anemia) and she is very excited about the baby but aware that the pregnancy isn't easy for me.

Right now I've noticed that on school mornings only she is very moody and grumpy, every little thing is a struggle - she rejects clothes I've chosen the night before, she fights over what she's having for breakfast, she refuses to wear her shoes, but most difficult of all is that she is very aggressivelt snatches toys off her 2 year old brother who then becomes inconsolable. Then I remove the toy she has snatched and have two inconsolable small children screaming at me early in the morning, and I must admit the last two mornings I've done the school run in tears.

So, I have resources to ell with most of the bad behaviour on a morning except the snatching - I don't know how to tackle that. It's relatively new for her.

Last week we had a week of holidays and she settled in beautifully to her grandparents house and played beautifully with her brother, even while I had them alone for three days, we all got on really well. I worked with her about asking her brother to share his toys and she did and he did and it was all angelic children and divinity. Hallelujah

This week, straight after starting at school she's gone back to grabbing and throwing his toys out of his reach! She says "I don't want him to have them" and "I want to hear him cry".

I find this very obnoxious and hard to deal with. I'd like to know if anyone has any insight into why she does it? And how I can help her to work through the snatching and he shitty morning behaviour. She looks utterly miserable on the mornings and I feel so and for her. I love her so much my heart is breaking with how much I hate her when she's like this. (V emotional at the mo!)

smearedinfood Tue 03-Nov-15 16:58:03

My thoughts are once you get your iron deficiency back on track, it will all be a bit easier. Hugs, though - been there.

DoctoraNova Wed 04-Nov-15 08:26:37

Thanks for the support. I guess it sounds pretty trivial but I'm finding t hard to see how to get trough to her right now and terrified of what she'll be like when the baby comes!

poocatcherchampion Wed 04-Nov-15 08:30:21

My 3.5 yo is always doing this to her 2yo sister (and I've just had the baby and still got the low iron)

I put it down to tiredness - do you think your daughter is worn out?

Its very draining and I don't really have many solutions. My only approach is to make sure little sister doesn't get hurt and ignore what I can of the playing up. Oh and we have reinstated naps when she is home.

GothicRainbow Wed 04-Nov-15 08:34:53

It sounds to me like she is finding school a massive effort behaviourally and emotionally at the moment.

I expect she's well behaved at school and needing to learn and follow lots of new rules plus try and make new friends - this will all be scary and strange for her.

When she is home with you and feels safe all the bottled up negative emotions will come out because she knows it's a safe place to express how she's feeling.

Not super practical in terms of help but I imagine once she settles more at her new school this negative behaviour will calm down.

I would consider making an enquiry with the school about the boy who she says is hitting her.

My other thought is how is she sleeping?? Is she restless at night? Bad sleep won't help with her morning behaviour.

DoctoraNova Thu 05-Nov-15 13:27:05

Thanks for the input. Very interesting.

She sleeps well at night, 11-12 hours but has dropped her nap (more or less in August, totally naturally). I wondered if she was overtired and tried putting her to bed an hour earlier and there was no improvement. (also how do you put a 4 yo to bed an hour before a 2 yo - that was tricky)

I do recognise she has gone through a lot of changes and it is most likely an expression of the stress it has been. I just don't know what to do about it.

Re the boy who hits, I spoke to her teacher who observed her for a few days and it seems to be resolved. My daughter has told me that he has stopped and the teacher said she has adjusted very well in school. But I agree GothicRainbow that they act up where they feel more secure and bad behaviour at home can be a manifestation of difficulties elsewhere.

Wish I knew what to do to help her. My heart is breaking for her because she's bormally such a happy little thing, upbeat, always singing to herself, positive outlook etc and now she's screechy, grabby and labile.

Will try to reinstate naps at the weekend and ignore as much as possible and hug and cuddle as much as possible and see what happens... Thanks!

Mamamoose1 Thu 05-Nov-15 22:26:51

Just wondered why you remove the toy from both your son and daughter, if your daughter is snatching from your son, it doesn't seem fair he loses the toy his sister was snatching, surely that's punishing your son? You could tell her how to ask for it appropriately? With the fighting over breakfast, how do you deal with that? I know it's hard with siblings, we had the same when my two children were younger. I imagine your low iron levels will makes things harder, I was slightly anaemic during my third pregnancy and it completely wiped me out.

Misty9 Fri 06-Nov-15 19:39:35

I'm in awe of you op, two under 5 and heavily pregnant?! I think my goal would be getting to the end of the day alive and fed! But I know how horrible it is having two children screaming too. If ds goes to snatch from dd (4 and 18 months) I'll usually tell him he has to get her something else first to replace it - but that's working less as she gets older! If she's attached to the toy then ds has to wait his turn and I often point out to him after his meltdown that she loses interest quickly anyway.

If your older dd is saying she wants to hear ds cry that's a bit more than snatching and might be her way of saying that's how she feels? Like crying. All you can do is let her know what's acceptable and not, and let her know you're there if she wants to talk to you. It does sound like she might be finding school tough. Sounds like you're doing all you can already and it will pass soon I'm sure.

Strawberrybubblegum Mon 09-Nov-15 07:16:17

Sorry if this is suggesting the obvious, but have you tried reflecting her emotions back to her? Eg 'you seem angry and sad. It's hard to leave mummy and go to school, even if you like it there.'

She might tell you what she's feeling. Or you might be able to offer a cuddle. And once she's calmed, you might be able to tell her that being angry is ok, but even when we're angry we don't snatch toys and try to make brother cry.

amarmai Mon 09-Nov-15 15:02:35

all of you adjusting to a LOT of changes and more to come. Is DD aware enuf that she is wondering about the changes with the 3rd baby and maybe taking out this worry on the 2nd? Def ask the teacher about the boy she has named as she is being targeted. Big up how she is going to be your helper with the 3rd baby- but no comparison with the 2nd - as he will prob want to 'help' too! Lots of books on topics of new babies and feelings and new schools and houses. I like role play and reverse role play e.g. i am pretending to be 1st child and you are 2nd child. I am taking your toy- how do you feel ? Now reverse roles and you can speak up as 2nd child.

stretch919 Tue 10-Nov-15 17:06:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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