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Aargh! DD keeps strangling her baby ds. Feel like the world's most useless mother

(4 Posts)
nowirehangers Tue 02-Sep-08 11:45:52

My 3.6 yo has never really taken to her 15 month old ds. There is a lot of hitting, punching, kicking and - worst of all - whenever she can she puts her hands round her neck and squeezes tight sad.
Obviously this is unacceptable but I feel clueless at how to deal with it. We try taking something away when she does it or giving her a cross on a chart. Sometimes we put her out of the room and make a lot of fuss of her sister but nothing works. I'm aware it's better to reward good behaviour than punish bad behaviour but I can't exactly ignore bad behaviour like this and the good behaviour round her sister is rare. I'm worried I'm bringing up a psycho. Any wise words from more experienced mums than me greatly appreciated grin.

icklemum Tue 02-Sep-08 11:56:48

Hi there. Hang in there, I remember going through this with my son, although all negative behaviour was directed at me, rather than our youngest. There were months of blood drawn on my face from my little darling scratching me. The health visitors were fantastic, and their advise, praising good and ignoring bad totally worked. They suggested drawingwrite up a chart with 2 columns - one for praising and one for everytime your eldest attacks your youngest - this is a chart for you and not your child, it shows you that your efforts are working..... As the days go on, you hopefully (well, in our house this worked!) you will notice the notches on the attacking column will diminish, and that praising column has many more ticks on it, also the praising becomes easier. I have to say mine are now 7 and 5, and the arguements/physical fights are sometimes horrendous, but I do try now not to intervene. We about to have our 3rd son, so no doubt I will be back to square one, and asking for your advise before too long!!

nowirehangers Tue 02-Sep-08 13:00:12

thanks, ickle, am so distracted by this I've posted the problem twice. Good luck with no 3

Frangipani74 Tue 02-Sep-08 13:30:57

Sounds like you don't have it easy at the minute. Of course you're aware that your eldest child is probably acting out of jealously, it's hard for a child to accept a new sibbling into the family when it means that they stop being number one.

I think it's worth taking some time trying to put yourself into your daughters shoes, try to work out how she feels, what tiggers her aggression, how does she feel about the way that you respond to her behaviour. Does she understand that her behaviour upsets you and hurts the baby? She's probably trying to communicate something to you but at her age she's not capable of putting it across with words, so does it with her behaviour.

Does your eldest get much time with her mum, without her baby sister being there. Could she be involved in helping with the baby. If it is a cry for attention then giving her the attention she needs may reduce or stop the agression.

I hope you're able to get to the bottom of things and restore some peace and harmony in your home.

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