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How do I stop dd1 3.7 lashing out at dd2, unconditional parenting??

(9 Posts)
JudyBlume1019 Sat 13-Jun-09 16:52:59

She is doing it a lot at the moment, we have a 10 week old baby and perhaps that's the re4ason, but it's getting out of hand.
When it started, I stopped reading her a book before bed, but had a scan of an unconditional parenting thread a couple of days ago and quite like the ethos. However I feel a little impotent as I'm not really sure hopw to handle her scratching her sister 2.5. I've been discussing the consequences of her hurting dd2 "you don't want to hurt dd2 do you?!" etc etc
Sometimes she is apologetic, and seems very remorseful, other times she only seems to apologise because she's worried that she may not get a book before bed or something.
She does have a quick temper especially when she#'s tired, and I'm trying to teach her strategies for dealing with that, but in the mean time dd2 is looking like an abused child.

Be very grateful for any help.

smallorange Sat 13-Jun-09 17:11:47

Can you direct her into more positive play with DD2? Looking after their own babies etc? lots of praise for being a good big sister and looking after DD2?

Personally I have a zero tolerance approach to hurting younger siblings and my DD1 (4)is told off and put in her room if she hurts DD2 (2.5) (scratching, pinching,pushing off chairs etc)

For trivial things (pushing, snatching etc) I try to direct her into more positive interaction with lots of confidence building about how well they are playing.

It ain't easy with a baby too, though. Am sure things will get better when eveyone settles back down.

Sorry probably not much help. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and geth through these 'phases.' smile

lljkk Sat 13-Jun-09 17:26:25

I hate UP but I think this is consistent with it.
Best thing, imho, is to hover any time the DD1 is near the DD2, and intercept DD1's arms/legs the moment she is about to hit the little one.
Then you talk about why she wanted to hurt her sis, and what you two together can do to help her deal with the real problem (DD1 frustrated, tired, wants more attention, etc.). You may have to guess a bit about what she's really upset about. This approach may help her to deal by herself with her own emotions, in the long run.

It is important that you be willing to hear whatever she has to say, even if it's as bad as "I hate having sisters", etc.

I know all that's difficult, I have 4 myself and I can't be everywhere all the time, either. But it's the approach I would try if possible.

JudyBlume1019 Sat 13-Jun-09 23:16:51

Thanks, yes, I really do want to be zero tolerance if she hurts either of the other dc, but I'm not sure how to do it. I guess sending her to her room is good. How long would you expect her to stay there? Won't she just play with things and forget why she's there? We do have a naughty/time-out step, but I've gone off it. It worked well for dd1 when she was younger but doesn't work at all for dd2, so I've stopped using it, and never really liked it anyway if I'm honest.

We've been talking about her controlling her temper, and I said to her that she could do an 'incredible hulk' style scream, or do angry scribbling, but she's by no means abl;e to implement these strategies whn she's actually at the peak of her anger, but she can do afterwards iykwim.

I feel like I'm at the next stage of parenting whereby I need kind of lead by example, so there is huge pressure for me to remain controlled and hopefully with strategies in place for dealing with events before they happen, so I don't just get angry when they do happen. Sorry, waffling, but feel like I've got my 'L' plates back on at the moment!

JudyBlume1019 Sat 13-Jun-09 23:22:33

lljkk, why do you hate UP? I don't knopw enough about it really, but really like the idea of teaching them appropriate behaviours through natural consequences (your sister will be hurt and you don't want that do you?) rather than imposed consequences (if you hurt your sister you can't have a story). One reason I am so keen on this is perhaps because my Mum ALWAYS used bribes and withdrawal as her only method of parenting, and it was deeply frustrating, made for a very destructive relationship between her and me, and frankly didn't work. Every time I had something nice to do,its withdrawal would ALWAYS be threatened as a way of manipulating complicit good behaviour.
I guess that there are situations where withdrawal of privelidges is appropriate????

lljkk Sun 14-Jun-09 07:35:49

I don't think UP is about natural consequences. Alfie Kohn very clearly dismisses that approach as just another expression of conditional love (that's how I read it, anyway).

Truth is I can't figure out what UP is. It seems to critique every common parenting technique, and offer nothing tangible as an alternative. I guess there are guiding principles but never an obvious way forward. It's so fuzzy and impractical. Many times children DON'T respond to reason. Often you don't have time to explain or try to explain, you just have to get on with things. And by the time you've had a chance to think thru the explanation, the children aren't interested in hearing it, anyway.

UP doesn't address children fighting over tooth and nail over trivialities (things they will forget about 20 minutes later but their fighting NOW is driving you insane or preventing you from getting important things done).

I'll stop there.

I usually ignore UP threads but MN is suddenly quiet this week and I thought my idea might help. Good luck, whatever you try. Zero Tolerance sounds very un-UP to me, btw.

growingup Sun 14-Jun-09 08:01:15

Message withdrawn

saintmaybe Sun 14-Jun-09 08:22:14

I do like UP, and i don't think it and 'zero tolerance' of hurting each other are contradictory.

I have had exactly this problem, btw. She's very little. You are the parent and it's completely ok to physically stop her from hurting her sister. But do it in a , 'I can't let you do that, we don't hurt each other' with love, not pulling her away, or shutting her somewhere else.

Hovering is good, keeping communication open with her is good.

When does it arise? Any triggers?

Agree with lljkk about making time to hear her pov without judgement. Just hear her, ask her what would help. If she says 'send the baby back' as ds1 did, how about a HTTSKWL thing like, 'you wish she wasn't always here. Would you like us to have more time just you and me to do nice things together' and then when the baby's asleep DO IT, rather than catching up on housework etc.

Something that found massively helpful, esp when i was finding myself feeling v angry with ds1 was really remembering hard when he was a newborn, that giant overwhelming love I felt for him when he couldn't 'give anything back'. We had a small age gap, that 1st year was v hard for me, and this really helped, almost as a meditation, to get me back to loving him a lot. Also talking to him about what a lovely wonderful baby he was, funny pfb stories that made him feel really special.

The Sib Rivalry book by the HTTSKWL people is really good, have you seen it?

JudyBlume1019 Mon 15-Jun-09 20:13:18

Thanks for the replies. Perhaps I don't really understand about UP at all.

I have the how to talk book, but haven't read it, am reading the Elizabeth Pantly no tears discipline book atm, well, I am when I get 3 minutes to myself and the How to talk will be next on the list. Also like the sound of the sibling rivalry one, I think it will really help. I feel so sorry for dd2 atm, she's become quite clingy with me, and she ADORES her older sister, but dd1 can sometimes be quite dismisive of her, and this lashing out is just dreadful.
I guess a new baby just throws a huge spanner in the works for everyone, and because the baby is so adorable, everyone just takes it out on eachother instead of him.
saintmaybe, thanks. It arises when she's tired. Quite simple really. Especially on nursery afternoons. If I let her crash out and have a sleep when she gets home, then it's impossible to get her to bed at a sensible time. DDs share a room so it's important that they go to bed at the same time, and also for my own sake I really want them in bed by 7 so I can unwind. Ds (10 weeks) starts going to sleep at 6:15 but takes a while to settle, so it would be hard to get them in bed any earlier than 7. Also, the earlier they go to bed the earlier they get up in the morning!

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