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How to deal with aggressive behaviou from older toddler to baby?

(6 Posts)
firststeps Mon 25-Aug-08 09:52:00

DS1 is 2.9 and really aggressive with DS2 (9 months), he deliberately pushes him over, bites him and is generally not very nice towards him. I've tried telling him off but he just laughs and does it all the more, and it's the same if I ignore it.

He pushed him over when he was standing up at the settee yesterday and he banged his head really hard on the wooden floor - I got really upset but this didn't bother him either?

I know he doesn't mean to hurt him but it means that DS2 is spending a lot of time in a travel cot with his toys just so he can play safely whereas at this age DS1 had the run of the house to crawl and explore and I feel it isn't fair.

Any tips anyone - please it's driving me mad.

wb Mon 25-Aug-08 11:47:25

It's hard, isn't it?

We had similar w. ds1 (2.8 mo) and ds2 (6 mo) but have nipped it in the bud (I hope) by adopting a zero tolerance approach. Basically, ds1 is allowed to verbalise any feelings of jealousy and I will sympathise but HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO HURT THE BABY. End of. If he does, he is straight in the hall with the door closed for 5 minutes. I don't bother telling him off (apart from one snarling NO HITTING/PINCHING/PUSHING or whatever) - I too found it made no difference.

I find this approach very hard to do, esp. cause ds1 is normally very well behaved and I hardly ever have to tell him off about other things (and when I do he listens). But although I do understand that he is jealous, really its tough - ds2 is here to stay and has feelings too.

Luckily, it does seem to be working and after 3 periods in the hall we have had no further incidents for over 3 weeks (although I have had to distract ds1 a couple of times, or remove ds2 when I can see trouble brewing).

LolaLadybird Mon 25-Aug-08 22:51:45

We had this a few months ago with DD (3.1) and DS (9 mo). We too had a zero tolerance approach with the naughty spot - in hall by front door. Anything else and DD would get a warning ('if you do that again') before going on naughty spot but if she hurt DS, it was straight to naughty spot without warning. It did seem to work because we have very, very occasional incidents now. Afterwards I would also try and get DD to think about what she'd done by asking her how she'd feel if it happened to her etc although not sure how much of that went in.

Also, I just tried to make sure DD was getting plenty of attention when DS was napping etc.

It is hard though - I always felt really bad for DS as DD never had to worry about random physical assaults when she was a baby!

Nanoon Tue 26-Aug-08 13:06:59

my DS1 (3.11) has just started to be rough with DS2 (8 mo)and i'm sure its purely to get our attention - i can see it in his eyes. Up until the last couple of weeks there had never been any sign of jealousy or resentment.

I haven't really been sure how to deal with it but don't feel i can ignore for DS2 safety, but by telling DS1 off i feel i am giving him what he wants - attention. I am going to try the zero tolerance approach and just say no hitting/pushing etc once and out him on the stair.

None of this is helped by the fact that i go back to work PT in 3 weeks and feel abit clingy towards DS2 but try so hard not to let DS1 see or sence this bit maybe i'm not doing a good enough job of it. DS1 gets plenty of attention infact we have to give him set periods of time where he has to play by himself because if it was up to him we would play with him 23/7 (he has always been like this not just since arrical of DS2)

EmmaPr Wed 27-Aug-08 21:41:57

We've also had the same problem recently. DD1 (2yr10m) is aggressive towards DD2 (10m). It started out as pushing and kicking which we put her in the naughty area (her cot) for, but now it's progressed to biting. Obviously the naughty area didn't work, or maybe it's because we didn't enforce it every time so it lost its effectiveness. She bit DD2 4 times today. DD1 knows when she's done wrong because she covers her face with her hands when DD2 cries. It breaks my heart to see DD2 "attacked" for no reason. I think DD1 is jealous of her sister and wants to remain the head of the household and doesn't like DD2 playing with her things, but today several of the bites were for no apparent reason. Myself and DH have discussed a zero tolerance policy of naughty area for most things, and naughty area plus a smack on the bottom for biting. A friend insisted that this worked. We'll have to see. I don't like smacking but I'm at my wits end.

NewDKmum Fri 29-Aug-08 08:23:54

Hello. I have 2 dds - 11m and 2yr5m, and I too find that sometimes dd1 can be rough on dd2 and I wasn't sure how to handle it.

I read the book 'Unconditional Parenting' and it is fantastic! I won't be able to describe it properly here, but it makes you rethink your whole relationship with your children. Such as - long term what kind of person would you like your child to grow up to be.

When applied to this situation basically what I think is, that I do not want dd1 to be nice to dd2 because otherwise mummy gets cross and isolates her. I want her to be nice to dd2 because of the effect it has on their relationship. So what I do is when dd1 is hard on dd2 I say no and point out that dd2 is hurt or upset or sad or whichever is the case. And when she does something nice to her like bring her toys I don't praise her for being nice, but point out how happy she made her little sister and how she is smiling or whatever. It has made a massive difference! My thought is that they have to learn to be empathetic and we have to teach them.

Hope this makes sense, apologies for my rusty English.

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