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how would you deal with a 3.8 year old kicking their sibling?

(7 Posts)
Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 27-Jun-11 09:18:58

Just feel at a loss with this, DS is 3.8, DD is 8 months and after blissful beginnings he has started to hit or kick out of nowhere, he will go up to her when she us nowhere near him. How do other people deal with this?

SenoritaViva Mon 27-Jun-11 09:24:07

What have you tried so far? I'd probably remove a treat/toy which he'd have to earn back. (e.g. remove tv time or trampoline time or not allow to play at friend's house etc.)

I'd also try to talk to him about he's feeling. Is it jealousy. Does he feel he doesn't get that quality time with you? Is there anything he'd like to do with you without his little sister that would make him feel valued (and he would only get if he wasn't being mean to little sister). Would this be possible for you to do (e.g. take him swimming at weekend?)

SenoritaViva Mon 27-Jun-11 09:24:34

By the way, quite common I believe so don't despair.

Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 27-Jun-11 09:52:45

Thanks SenoritaViva.

So far it has happened right before bed time - DP got DS out the bath and into his pajamas - then got DD out and was drying her off when DS kicked her in the face. I might sound naive but honestly I was really stunned. DS normally gets a story, and then I sit with him until he is asleep - so I told him because of kicking DD he would not have a story, and he would go to bed on his own.

Then this morning, just as DP (taken the day off) was saying 'shall we go to the park' he bloody did it again. I told him to sit in his bedroom and after a few minutes went in and tried to talk to him. Trouble is, he has a speech delay/disorder, so it can be difficult, though his understanding is not delayed at all - I asked why he kicked and he just said I don't know. I asked what would happen if he kicked someone at preschool, what would his teachers think, and he said Mrs XXX (favourite) would be cross. I said I was very cross, he said are you sad? I said yes. Then he wanted to say sorry.

I just don't know where the line is on too harsh or too soft with something like this. I don't like to lean heavily on punishment or reward but find it inevitable sometimes. I am not sure how bothered he would be if I took away a particular toy...

I think DS gets a lot of time with me, and with DP, and we have tried very hard not to make DD the centre of things IYSWIM - so I am not constantly going 'shh the baby is asleep' at nap times etc, though I must admit I say it more now she is getting older and more likely to wake from noise, when she was under about 4 months she would sleep through anything <wistful> but when she is asleep I make sure he has my attention, read to him, play games, whereas when DD is up I feel more like I'm pottering and hovering IYSWIM? He always has time out of the house at the weekend with one or both of us, DP will take him to the cinema or park or get him involved in the garden etc - look I don't think we are parents of the year but I think DS has it okay really.

ragged Mon 27-Jun-11 10:29:23

Yes do try to talk about feelings, but most 3yos aren't going to be a lot of help in that respect. See if you can find any pattern to what triggers the kicks (other than usual poor impulse control typical of this age).

An immediate short sharp punishment; I think something like the "naughty step" is very good for this.
And made to apologise, and then it's over and done with.

Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 27-Jun-11 13:36:08

Thanks ragged. I suppose it is easy to forget that although he knows kicking isn't nice, he probably isn't thinking about that when doing it - it's impulsive but not malicious (?) - he seemed pretty upset when I tried to explain (but totally get your point about 3 year olds!) But he is also at the age where he is realising he can manipulate and act a little so again, hard to tell. We have to make sure we don't turn it into something bigger than it is.

Octaviapink Mon 27-Jun-11 13:42:54

Very common with toddlers. DD 2.1 - normally a very sweet and considerate little girl - will kick, pinch, bite, hit and poke DS 7m if we're not keeping an eye on things. She's always made to apologise (mostly does it on her own) and kiss it better but we don't have a solution. Just keep on saying 'no biting' etc.

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