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HELP! Our oldest might be hurting his toddler brother

(2 Posts)
user1491577859 Fri 23-Nov-18 14:47:20

We have a son who is 6 yo. We also have a son who is 14mths. At first our oldest seemed to adore his new brother and shared his toys and gave lots of cuddles.

This morning as I went to fetch breakfast, my youngest suddenly screamed then cried and it was difficult to console him.

I discussed this with husband who has also noticed that his cries appear very sudden when the two of them are left alone. Eldest denies any wrongdoing as soon as we enter the room.

We are suspicious that he might be hurting our youngest, although we've never witnessed this him doing so and there are no marks.

It's really really really out of character for him.

Why could he be behaving like this? What could be going through his head?

Should we say something or wait?

Should I be ensuring complete supervision all the time, even though this is not always practical. We're reluctant to give the impression that he can’t be trusted.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Andro Fri 23-Nov-18 17:32:15

What could be going through his head:
Jealousy
Rivalry
Frustration

At 14 months the novelty has worn off, this other person is here to stay and is probably mobile enough to be getting into his things - all of which assumes he is hurting his sibling (and hair pulling is the one thing I can think of that wouldn't leave a mark but would certainly elicit a sharp yell)!

2 books often recommended here are 'How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk' and 'siblings without rivalry'. I think you need to get your eldest to talk to you; hurting his sibling isn't ok, but not liking being around him/finding him frustrating/feeling pushed out/resenting having to adapt to a toddler getting into his things are all valid feelings. What he may need is you/your DH to help him name what he's feeling, at 6 he could be struggling to understand some of it himself.

Starting with an accusation is probably going to put his back up and make him clam up - especially since you haven't seen him do anything. Helping him admit that he's not managing what he's feeling could be positive for everyone, but I would also increase supervision as well.

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