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DD1 badly bit DD2 - did I overeact?

(20 Posts)
artichokes Fri 18-Sep-09 20:19:25

DD1 (just three) bit DD2 (9 months) on her skull earlier. DD1 is usually a very mature and sensible girl for her age. She has surprised me with the interest & kindness she shows her sister.

Today, out if the blue, she bit her sister's head so hard it bruised. She then lied & insisted her sister bit herself. She refused to tell the truth or apologize. I put her in another room and told her not to come out until she was ready to tell the truth and say sorry (she was screaming and crying at the accusation). She cried and clawed at the door for 45 mins. DH wanted me to back down but I didn't. When she finally relented I explained why it was wrong and made her promise never to do it again, then I dropped it until bedtime when I reminded her what she had done & how she must never do it again.

Just now DH has said he thought I was a bit cruel as she is so young and normally so good. Is he right?

overmydeadbody Fri 18-Sep-09 20:22:06

I think you did the right thing. You told her she could come out when she was ready to appologise, so presumably it was her choice to stay there for 45 minutes screaming and crying?

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Fri 18-Sep-09 20:22:51

i'd say maybe yes, were it not for the fact that she'd lied as well. was it a sneaky lie or a scared lie? i just think 45 mins is a long time to let anyone cry, i guess.

but you're only human as well, and it's awful when they hurt each other.

lou031205 Fri 18-Sep-09 20:23:13

I do think that is a bit of an overreaction, to be honest. Your DD is 3 and if she was clawing at the door, that means it was shut? 45 minutes is a terribly long time.

Children of this age rarely 'lie', they just wish the truth was different. Also, a bite to the skull will bruise much easier than that of a fleshy part.

Having said that, be kind to yourself now, and make sure you give her lots of love & attention tomorrow. smile

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Fri 18-Sep-09 20:23:45

yes, but omdb at that age their heads start to fizz and it's just frightening for them after a while imo.

Flyonthewindscreen Fri 18-Sep-09 20:23:55

No I don't think you overreacted. It would have been different if she had been sorry and admitted the bite straight away but what else were you supposed to do when she was lying about it?

cookielove Fri 18-Sep-09 20:23:56

did she admit she did it? 45 minutes seems like a to long a period to be left in a room by herself, i think you may have over reacted

crokky Fri 18-Sep-09 20:24:53

I have a 3.6yo and a 1.6yo. Anyway, I think that 45 minutes was way too long for her to be screaming. Although I don't all the answers myself grin. I would have shouted quite sharply at my 3yo and told him that it was naughty behaviour and that I was cross about it. (I know some people don't like shouting, but I find it actually stops my DS in his tracks and makes him realise that something is totally unacceptable). I would have then told him to apologise to his sister.

I also would not have reminded the 3yo at bedtime - at this age, once apologised I think that should be the end of it, unless a relevant situation comes up. Reminding them of a traumatic situation at bedtime is not the way to good sleep IMO.

FranSanDisco Fri 18-Sep-09 20:25:08

I think 45 mins in her room is far too long for her age and resulted in her getting distressed and as a result it is unlikely she can reconcile this 'lock in' with biting her sister.

nigglewiggle Fri 18-Sep-09 20:27:37

You did what you thought was right. I know how upsetting it is.

DD1 did this a couple of times to DD2 at a similar age and with a similar age-gap. I would have put DD out of the room if she refused to apologise or accept responsibility, but 45 mins is a long time for a 3 year old. She probably forgot why she was in there!

What worked with DD was letting her see how upset DD2 was and also how upset I was and exclusion for 2-3 mins if necessary.

Tell DH to deal with it next time!

I am now dealing with DD2 who has just started biting back - literally!

nappyaddict Fri 18-Sep-09 20:28:27

If she was clawing at the door presumably she couldn't just open the door and come out when she was ready to apologise?

artichokes Fri 18-Sep-09 20:28:55

I did keep opening the door and reminding her that if she would tell the truth and say sorry she could come out. I did that every few minutes. I guess I got myself into a position where I felt I could not back down without rewarding the tantrum and playing down the crime.

I just can't believe she did it when she is normally so kind and we were having a lovely day. I was totally shocked. I still don't get it at all, they did get a new nanny this week and I returned to work so maybe it's a reaction to that.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Fri 18-Sep-09 20:29:05

but artichokes, it doesn't matter what we think really, you reacted to a horrible situation, you know what she's like, and it's not like you've scarred her for life or anything. it's HARD to get control of the mummy tiger thing when it's your two pups who are fighting. get a glass of wine, go and stroke your dd's forehead and tell her how much you love her and then forget about it. tomorrow is another day and all that.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Fri 18-Sep-09 20:33:52

arti, when dd1 goes ballistic she backs herself into a corner. so there we both are in our stupid corners, utterly miserable. grin
i tend to go to her and say 'oh darling it's all getting too much, have you got a noisy head, are you okay? etc' and this just gives her the out to be comforted by me and then to acknowledge that she'd been naughty and was sorry etc. one of you has to crack, ime, and it's just a bit mean to expect it to be the one who's only three years old. wink

artichokes Fri 18-Sep-09 20:34:27

Thanks Aitch. I do feel v bad now I have made the connection about the nanny and work (how could I not have thought of that???). I already have the wine and have checked on her four times, maybe I need to drink faster.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Fri 18-Sep-09 20:37:14

<pours faster to keep up> grin

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 20:37:33

enjoy the wine, tomorrow is another day

but agree with Aitch that sometimes it's a good idea to give them a get-out clause

and tbh I wouldn't moralise too much about a frightened 3yo telling a lie; it's what they do, both mine did and I found the more I insisted on them recanting and telling the truth the more I painted us into a corner where they couldn't confess because we were all too emotional

Theochris Fri 18-Sep-09 20:41:35

Really good post Aitch. My mum often remarks that we are human too when I describe my latest bit of less than brilliant mothering.

FWIW I also find that my bigest mistakes have happened when I can't/wont back down . I think I fear that to show weakness means they will think that I'm always a pushover.In reality I think that it's prob an average, backing down once or twice prob won't matter for either of us.

Could be the change of circs have triggered this today?

AitchTwoToTangOh Fri 18-Sep-09 22:11:57

<curtseys> thank you. artichokes will be DRUNK by now, of course. wink grin (if she's any sense)

nappyaddict Sat 19-Sep-09 01:47:13

artichokes for future reference i think it would have been better to have shut the door to but left it open iyswim. to keep going back in and reminding her that if she told the truth then she could come out was probably only confusing her further, making her angry and antagonising the situation.

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