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How to discipline a 2 yr old who is always crying and flighting with 5 yr old

(17 Posts)
Olbersparadox Mon 26-Dec-16 19:28:18

My older DD is really lovely to her little sister. They are both full of energy and are constantly running around, however the younger one cries about 50 times a day.

Generally it's because she's not getting what she wants. She doesn't want to share at times, and if her sister picks something up, then she must have it or its tears. I prefer not to let her have her way but I'm not sure how to make her aware that she cannot behave like that and has to be fair to her sister.

Yesterday we spoke to my brother whose kids are of the same age. Both girls were angels for the duration of the Skype call. My 2 yr old cried about 4 times because she couldn't sit were she wanted (which is where DD1 was sitting) and other times because she wanted to hold the toys to show their cousins.
At times she hits her sister - I'm not sure if that's from nursery as we don't do that at home. I always tell her No.

They fight a lot - usually because the younger one wants to have her way. She understands language and speaks a little. Is it too soon to do naughty step or timeout? I feel like it might me a bit cruel but then again I am worried about leaving this for a bit longer in case it becomes difficult to deal with later.

We want to have more kids soon but this is putting me off. I do use the naughty corner with my 5 year old so it's not an entirely alien concept but DD2 cries if you tell her NO or even if DD1 tells her "no don't touch . . ." - the sound of No has her screaming. I'm not sure if it's too early to do the naughty step. Does anyone relate or have any advice please.

Frollyhollyday Mon 26-Dec-16 19:34:56

Personally, I would Let her cry and scream. Do the naughty step but don't pacify her anger. Just let her know that she doesn't rule the roost as it were.

also, don't compare her to your brothers kids-they may have been a nightmare before getting on the skype call.

LadyMarmyLard Mon 26-Dec-16 19:46:34

We've started naughty step/timeout with DD, she's not even 18mo yet. I don't think it's cruel because they are at that age where they push boundaries to see what they can get away with. (On the other hand I'm not sure it's actually working, DD seems to quite enjoy the timeout.)

nuttyknitter Mon 26-Dec-16 19:59:34

Naughty step is totally pointless - children if this age don't have the emotional maturity to reflect on their actions. Talk to her each time - a quiet conversation is the only thing which will work in the long term.

Misty9 Mon 26-Dec-16 20:19:15

I'm afraid a two year old will have little or no concept of sharing for at least another couple of years. Mine are the same age and I think it's easy to forget how young they are and to apply the same standards as the older one.

We use the idea of taking turns, but are also incredibly lucky that they play together brilliantly and rarely squabble... <runs away> which is nothing to do with our parenting and all to do with their personalities I think.

Personally I wouldnt use the naughty step at two as they don't really understand it so it's pointless. Believe me I've been tempted with my 2yo though! Also, as yours isn't talking much then a lot of it is likely to be frustration at not being able to communicate.

With the saying no thing, it sounds crazy but try to avoid using the word - but still imply the same meaning. E.g. snatching siblings toys - it's not kind to snatch dd, (taking toy and handing back) let's go and do this other fun activity...

Oh, and lots of outdoor time helps too smile

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Dec-16 20:19:31

They are both very young to have the self-awareness to be selfless and let someone else "win". Even 5 will be young to get this, so she will still be in the "I want to have it first" zone too.

Turn taking activities can help. In particular very quick turns. For example throw and catch making the point of who's turn it is now, who's turn next. Throw to one then the other.

But to be honest I would mostly be tackling this with the 5 year old, rather than the toddler, since she will be more self-aware than the toddler. So whisper "let your sister have this now and I'll get you something extra special in a bit". Make it a fun, grown-up conspiracy because DD2 is still a "baby" and she is a "Much bigger girl"

I'm not saying all the time. But in a 'pick your battles' way. Don't forget your DD5 has far more language skills than DD2, so that adds extra frustration and "unfairness" for the toddler.

missyB1 Mon 26-Dec-16 20:28:25

I can only go on my own experience. We started "Time outs" at age 2, our ds understood perfectly. He was given a clear warning and if he carried on he was put in the time out for 2 minutes. It worked really well for him and helped him understand the concept of consequences for actions. After a short while the warning started to suffice.

Obviously all children are different and have different levels of understanding at that age.

Olbersparadox Mon 26-Dec-16 20:33:21

We do the taking turns thing quite a lot and the younger even knows how to say "my turn now". I have tried at times to tell DD1 I will get her ABC if she lets her sister have it but I see how upset she is and she wants to cry sometimes. At times she agrees. She is really lovely with her sister but I feel like DD2 is starting to be a bit of a handful.

Today when they got up the first thing she said to her sister was "Hi ..... are you going to be nice to me today". I feel really awful as a parent.

Misty9 Mon 26-Dec-16 20:36:19

In which case I would.lean heavily on redirection and distraction for the younger one, so your eldest can have some uninterrupted playing time. But time consuming for you and not always possible, I realise.

Fartleks Mon 26-Dec-16 22:01:47

It sounds like you've got into quite a cycle. Can you spend 1 to 1 time with both kids and give them your undivided attention?

Fartleks Mon 26-Dec-16 22:04:54

Instead of no try telling her when she can have something. So 'yes you can have a sweet tomorrow' or 'yes you can have the toy after DD1 has finished playing with it' or 'yes you can go to the park after tea'

Fartleks Mon 26-Dec-16 22:06:34

Also be consistent with what you say. Make a decision and stick with it. If she knows crying or nagging gets what she wants and you cave, she will continue.

Olbersparadox Mon 26-Dec-16 22:22:36

Thank you for the tips. I can't believe how challenging it is - I just thought having had 1, it should be straight forward.

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Dec-16 23:04:49

I have found dealing with sibling rivalry to be the single most difficult aspect of parenting. You're right it's not straight forward.

I prefer not to let her [younger daughter] have her way but I'm not sure how to make her aware that she cannot behave like that and has to be fair to her [older] sister.

Just re-read this in your op.

What you need to remember is that when DD5 was 2 years old, she didn't need to share her toys. Well certainly not all day, every day in her own home. Aged 2 she didn't have to battle who sat in which seat while on skype and she didn't have to consider someone else holding a toy she wanted. She got it all her way when she was 2, because she was an only child then.

Now older daughter is 5 and you are expecting her to be sharing and turn taking and sometimes not "winning" whatever battle she is fighting. As would be expected at aged 5.

But you are also expecting the same from your 2 year old. You think it unfair on your 5 year old having to give in so often. But consider the comparative "unfairness" of your 2yo compared to when 5yo was the same age - she never had to give in to her brother or sister when she was 2yo.

You'll never reach the ideal perfect fairness between siblings. We all do our best but it's so complex and difficult to balance everything out exactly. It is not just a case of "it was your turn last time, now it's your sisters turn". It's not that simple or black and white.

SilverLinings2014 Wed 28-Dec-16 09:16:24

My 2 year old understands taking turns but struggles to actually apply the concept. It's so hard at that age as theybsee all the toys of an extension of themselves so, as far as your dd's concerned they are her and giving something up/ not being able to play with it when she wants is devastating. Her tears and distress are real and she can't share at this age, so not a lesson I think you can enforce with naughty step or time out.

I do think there are some strategies you can use to help manage the behaviour though. If there are a few things she is particularly attached to can you talk to your 5 yo ablout letting her have them exclusively? I would tell 2yo they are her toys and it's her 'choice' if she shares/ allows 5yo to play with them. For anything else I would say whoever has it/ picked it up first can play with it until they lose interest and then the other child can have it. It does require you to be around to observe so you can repeat the boundary and acknowledge any upset either child feels. I would try not to intervene in any disagreements, just verbally repeat the rule (unless either is at risk of getting hurt of course). If you are consistent with the rule every time they will both understand it after a few days and begin to apply it themselves without you needing to enforce it and will hopefully play together much more nicely.

Crumbs1 Wed 28-Dec-16 09:18:35

Naughty step. Whilst they may not have emotional maturity to reflect they are perfectly capable of understanding rules and consequences. Don't pacify tantrum.

SatsukiKusakabe Wed 28-Dec-16 09:55:03

I have two the same age and I if they're squabbling I try to address both with consequences for both - i.e. I will take that away if you can't play with it nicely, we will have to stop this game if we can't work it out nicely. This usually results in the younger one calming down a bit and the older one choosing to be kind without feeling like he's given ground. They collude against me!

With the Skype tantrum I would take the younger child away and say quietly but firmly do you want to talk to grandma? Then you must sit nicely. Are you going to? Then go back.

I suppose I do a kind of timeout, but I go with her smile

Very clear "this is why you've had to come away" followed by "thus is what you need to do to come back". Then at some point, if she has come back nicely, I would work it so she gets her turn at what she wanted, but after the tantrum over it has gone away.

Agree one on one time important.

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