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How 'heavy handed' can you allow a 3 year old to be with 5 month old sibling?

(14 Posts)
mumofeve Fri 04-Sep-09 10:26:48

My DD (just turned 3) is OBSESSED with 'cuddling' her 5mo brother, and has been since he was born. She leans on him heavily when he's in his bouncy chair, she hugs him VERY tightly, she seriously invades his personal space during every waking hour they are together. When she talks to him, she puts her face about 2cms away from his and then shouts really loud. Now he has started playing with toys, she takes them off him all the time to 'show him how to use them' and forces his limbs into contortions so he can be in the right position to play with them (according to her!).
I constantly tell her to leave him alone, pull her off him, explain to her that he doesn't want to be shouted at, or yanked around etc etc. The phrase 'please be gentle' has been used so often that it fails to even register now! However, recently my friend and my SIL have both said that I should leave her to it unless she seems to be really hurting him. It is true that he very rarely makes a peep, even when she appears to be crushing him, but what would you do?

crokky Fri 04-Sep-09 10:33:10

I wouldn't leave her to it. I have a 3.5yo DS and a 1.5yo DD. My DS loves my DD and plays with her, but he can be way too rough. A 3yo has no idea what consequences their actions could have. I repeatedly tell my DS that my DD is very little and he must be very careful with her.

mumofeve Fri 04-Sep-09 10:38:53

That's what I thought crokky, but I've kind of been made to feel like I was being over-protective, and almost stifling their relationship! My SIL seems to think DC2's become tougher as a result shock!

nannynz Fri 04-Sep-09 11:18:50

With one of my over zealous ex charges I would put words in the babies mouth. For the most part that would mean waiting until the baby made an emotional noise or face etc.

eg: baby in chair, older one came up and yelled. so I'd say baby doesn't like when you yell in his face, but he love you to read a book with him.

I never let the older sister take toys off baby. She could ask to share and often I'd make her wait a minute or two before "baby" gave toy to her.

I would try more side tracking in relation to her behaviour towards.

The older sibling I worked with was a biter and could do damage quite quickly to the baby so I was much more wary on having her get close. We would have 'heavily watched' hugging times but I would try to get them playing alongside each other instead of older one treating baby like a toy. Hope that helps.

PinkTulips Fri 04-Sep-09 11:26:37

i tell dd (4.5) quite sternly that 'Be gentle, that's too rough and DS2 doesn't like it'

She's quite good in general but can be a bit too stenuous with cuddles and i'm very quick to tell her/shout/pull her off.... it hasn't affected her feelings towards ds2 one bit, she still loves him and wants to play with him and cuddle him constantly but she's learning to be more gentle.

Funnily enough my 3 year old is as gentle as a lamb with ds2, he just strokes him gently and hands him all his favorite toys.... and he was the sibling we were worried about!

oneopinionatedmother Fri 04-Sep-09 11:50:14

i tell mineoff if she is too rough, and encourage positive play ([poncey way of saying things like 'stroke baby, toddler, goooood girl, kiss baby goodnight...)

oneopinionatedmother Fri 04-Sep-09 17:12:34

i might add that this seems to be one of the problems that is not easily fixed - especially as baby hurts her by mistake. on monday she bit him (he had kicked her) the little varmits....yes i find myself not wanting to over-supervise, but on the other hand she isn't always nice. I don't want them to end up like my DH and his bro (big brother got away with beating him up all the time) but nor do i want them to be strangers...

mumofeve Fri 04-Sep-09 20:02:15

Thanks for the advice. Just as you say PinkTulips, however upset I might get at DD when she is really rough with DS, it never seems to affect her feelings towards him. It is lovely that she quite often says that he is her best friend and she loves him best smile! I guess I just want to be sure that I get a balance between protecting DS and yet ensuring that DD and DS can 'interact' a bit. I also don't want to OVERreact about things.

deaconblue Fri 04-Sep-09 20:13:36

I think dd believes ds' name is "Gently" I say it so often. I just figure she'll grow up tough. I do, however, watch like a hawk and he does combine the rough stuff with some really kind behaviour towards her.

Rosebud05 Fri 04-Sep-09 22:19:18

Lol about ds's name being 'Gently' - I've thought that too! My dd (2.5) also hugs, cuddles, squeezes, kisses etc her younger brother (3 months) somewhat over-enthusiastically! I try to be verbally directive as much as possible, but do spend a fair bit of time dragging her off him. I find that distraction, company of others and being out of the house lessens the intensity of it all. Bit worried about the winter months!

hackedoffandcross Fri 04-Sep-09 22:29:11

My DD is 2.5 and DS is 8mo, she loves him to bits but also tries to drag him about/push him, and puts inappropriate things in his mouth, like cardboard/crayons/pencils/icecream/browniesblush

Now he is a bit bigger he is starting to get his revenge, as he is 'average' size but she is very dainty and only weighs about 6lb more. He climbs on top of her while I change her nappy, pulls her hair, and crawls round at speed following her. I have told her off a couple of times for lying on top of him, but when I peeled her off he was laughing his socks offhmm

IMO all you can do is keep an eye on them, I try to only intervene when I think someone will get hurt, and if I am out of sight, ie washing up/doing food, make sure they are both making happy noises. Too quiet is more worrying than whinging I findsmile

Dragonhart Fri 04-Sep-09 23:26:43

I have the same problem with my dd2 (2.5) and dd3 (12month) and have done since dd3 was born. She just cant leave her alone for one second. They seem to be alot more relaxed when one of them is not there but I have to say that is is very hard to tell dd2 off for lying on dd3, trying to drop her into the dolls pram, running a car on her head (etc...) when she is laughing her head off!

Mind you I have noticed that dd3 is getting her revenge more and more. I hear alot of 'No Boo Boo! Hurt me!' (she refuses to call her by her real name only Boo Boo or Rabbit hmm) and have caught dd3 trying to bite dd2 a few times.

Now dd3 is 1 I do leave them to it a bit more and only intervien when someone will get hurt. I cant help feeling I spend half my day dragging her off her sister though. At 5 months I was still v protective of dd3 with dd2. I had alot of comments like you from family members. Same ones who said that crying was the only exercise babies got when I picked dcs up when they were hungry! Do what you think is right IMO. x

katiepotatie Sat 05-Sep-09 01:05:19

I have exactly the same problem DD 2.5 yr and DS 4 mths. She is constantly shouting, lying, squashing, sitting ect on him. If he wasn't such a big baby i'm sure he would have been really hurt by now. I feel like a referee most of the time. I suppose that is only going to get worse the bigger he gets and can hit her back grin

busybutterfly Sat 05-Sep-09 23:01:57

DS1 (age 7) wonderful with DD (1yr). DS2 does exactly what OP's does - am saying "Gently, she's not a doll!" CONSTANTLY!!! It's a wonder her limbs are intact, it really is...

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