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Nearly 4yr old suddenly being rough with baby

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#1 lilmissmars

Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:38 AM

I have three children, DS 7, DD1 3 (4 in jan) and DD2 who is 9.5 months.

The last week has seen DD1 being very rough especially towards DD2. She has thrown things at her (a 375ml full bottle of bubble mixture being an example which hit DD2 in the head) and this morning I have had it. The kids were sitting on the couch (DS holding DD2) and DD1 kicked her sister in the head.
Please don't judge me on this but I actually smacked her on the bottom for it and sent her to her room. Nothing else has worked. Not the kind of person who smacks their kids but I just don't know how to get the message through that what she did was incredibly dangerous!

I'm scared to turn my back for even a minute if she and baby are in the same room.

I really need some advice. What do I do? I have both girls at home full time till DD1 starts kinder next year and I have no idea how to deal with this kind of behaviour.

#2 caitiri

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:01 AM

Is it just random or is there a lead up that you can identify, ie she starts to yell ect.  My DS is the same age and only just starting to actually tell us when he is getting frustrated or angry.

Talk to her about how babies are small and they get hurt easily,  give her lots and lots of praise when she does the right thing and try and involve her as much as possible.

If she likes stories then go to library and try and find some that specifically cover babies and older siblings.

Use puppets (or soft toys) to act out situations and get her to say what each of the character should do.

#3 Spa Gonk

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

I also would not leave your 3 yo with the baby.  He is showing you he can't be trusted not to harm her, so keep her safe.

I have a boy and baby a similar age.  He is pretty good now at not being deliberately rough, but now more into rolling him, trying to pick him up or wanting to jump over him. We have been using natural consequences - if you are not being gentle with the baby, you can't have xxx as you might break it.  The xxxx that has worked for us is a go on mum's iPad.  He has lost goes on it for weeks at a time and also had some games deleted, and knows he needs to show gentle behaviour to the baby for games to be put back on.  Plus we do all the positive reinforcement stuff, give him some time with us in his own.

#4 Spa Gonk

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:31 PM


Edited by chatem, 17 December 2012 - 08:34 PM.

#5 kuggle

Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

No real suggestions except to watch them closely and compliment DD1 if or when she treats DD2 nicely.  

My DD1 is the same age as your DD 1 and she adores her little sister (9 mo) but will every so often suddenly grab something from her if she believes DD2 is unjustifiedmin havin t
something. Luckily she will tell DD2 off loudly so I can know when to intervene.

Little kids just do not understand how helpless babies are and by 9 months bubs can be moving around and less baby like.  I also find that my DD1 can have trouble understanding why there  are different rules for baby such as grabbing and banging and being loud.

I suspect it is jealously but your DD2's behaviour has to stop because it could cause harm.

I am part of the anti smacking brigade but in your case you were defending a more helpless child  so I think your  mothering instincts took over so don't be too harsh on yourself.

Good luck.

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