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Old 08-15-2007, 09:54 AM   #1
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Need some help with my 2 year old.

So I will make this as short as possible. My 2 year old almost 3 year old is being horrible to the baby. And I dont know what to do about it. I have tried everything and nothing seems to be working. She gets plenty of attention from both DH and I and she has her own time with us every day.

However, she is just rotten to her sister. Today I was in the kitchen doing dishes and Amber(baby) was sitting in her boppy chair just sitting there. And for no reason Ashley(2 year old) grabs a pillow and I saw her walking towards her so I said, "Ashley NO!, Stop now" and as I am running over there she puts the pillow over her sisters face and pushes really hard. Last night they were taking a bath and I was washing Ambers back and Ashley grabbed a cup of water and dumped it on Amber so while I am trying to get Amber to stop choking on water, she does it again. The other day Amber was sitting on the floor shes just learned to sit and Ashley threw a pillow at her face and knocked her straight back. Again a few days earlier Amber was sitting in her boppy chair and Ashley for some unknown reason jumps up and pushes on Ambers belly really hard and I could hear the air be forced out of Ambers lungs.

It breaks my heart that she does this stuff because Amber is such a happy baby and just loves her sister, and if you could see the look on Ambers face when her sister is mean it just breaks my heart. I feel like crying anytime she hurts her sister.

Thats just a few examples of what she has done the past few days. And its really getting to me. I have tried to talk to her, ask her why she does these things, or find out what is going on and she just says Okay mommy. I just am at a complete loss as to what to do. It seems like a jealousy issue but I dont know what else I can do with her, I am a SAHM so they both get my attention all day long. And sometimes its not spread evenly for both of them some days Amber may get more some days Ashley gets more. But Ashley always gets one on one attention from both DH and I everyday. So I dont know what more I can do.

How do I handle this what type of punishment should I give out for something like this?

TIA.

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Old 08-15-2007, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

Hmmm...I haven't been in this situation since I only have one right now, but I don't think I would use punishment. Since it's obviously a jelousy issue, and maybe more, punishment is probably going to make the situation worse since you are technically witholding positive love and attention, which is what she probably needs. I would try taking to her some more, but maybe not right after these events happen. Maybe take her out just the two of you, and try to get to the bottom of it. I would also get my hands on a good book about sibling behavior.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

I have never dealt with anything this serious but all of mine are 2 years apart and I have dealt with seeming random acts of violence at several times. My dh and I just make a point of really praising the older siblings when they are good with theirs sisters. We talk about how important a job they have and how much their sisters love them. When they were two we told them no, you should never hurt a baby and would remove the baby or them from the situation. Once 3 and older though they do go into time out for hurting each other. I hope that you find something that works. It does sound like you and dh are on the right track with letting her no she is loved. Just don't let her see your frustration so much if you kwim. My 3 year old loves to do anything that gets a huge reaction out of me, so even if she does something horrible, I try (notice the word try) to calmly tell her no, why not and go to the corner. If I freak out she'll do it again and again.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

These are a few suggestions... might or might not be what you are looking for. Your daughter gets enough time with you and dh alone you said, which is an awesome first step. However, does she feel that she is getting to be the big sister or just another baby? Are you letting her get diapers for you (or pick out what sis will wear today either clothes or diaper wise) - give 2-3 choices on an outfit that you feel is appropriate for the day and ask her to help you. Then ask her to help her sister with something, making her feel BIG and needed is very important to her at that age with or without a little sister making her life complicated (in her eyes) Ask her to read a book to her sister (looking at the pictures together of a board book so that neither one can hurt tear the pages, but they both enjoy their time together) let her know that the little one is looking at her for how to do things, and let her know that baby will soon be doing these things. So if she is pushing, baby is going to push her too when she gets enough balance to do it. Sort of show her that what she does for sis is what she will get in return. But definitely make her feel BIG and helpful. even if its with small things- napkins at the table for dinner, anything, they want to be needed and have big people jobs at 3 and 4. (((HUGS))) Hopefully these are some things you have overlooked (at least one of them?) My first two were about 2.5 years apart, a bit more, but boy did the older one really get after the baby for a while until i realized he just wanted to be a big person and after he started doing "big jobs" and baby couldn't do them, he was the happiest little man.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

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Originally Posted by GrahamBaby4 View Post
These are a few suggestions... might or might not be what you are looking for. Your daughter gets enough time with you and dh alone you said, which is an awesome first step. However, does she feel that she is getting to be the big sister or just another baby? Are you letting her get diapers for you (or pick out what sis will wear today either clothes or diaper wise) - give 2-3 choices on an outfit that you feel is appropriate for the day and ask her to help you. Then ask her to help her sister with something, making her feel BIG and needed is very important to her at that age with or without a little sister making her life complicated (in her eyes) Ask her to read a book to her sister (looking at the pictures together of a board book so that neither one can hurt tear the pages, but they both enjoy their time together) let her know that the little one is looking at her for how to do things, and let her know that baby will soon be doing these things. So if she is pushing, baby is going to push her too when she gets enough balance to do it. Sort of show her that what she does for sis is what she will get in return. But definitely make her feel BIG and helpful. even if its with small things- napkins at the table for dinner, anything, they want to be needed and have big people jobs at 3 and 4. (((HUGS))) Hopefully these are some things you have overlooked (at least one of them?) My first two were about 2.5 years apart, a bit more, but boy did the older one really get after the baby for a while until i realized he just wanted to be a big person and after he started doing "big jobs" and baby couldn't do them, he was the happiest little man.
Great advice there!! I totally agree with this mama. Mine are 2.5 yrs apart and we haven't had any issues "yet". I hope this gets better for u.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:45 AM   #6
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.


I'm having the same issues, Mama.
My daughter's favorite game is to play WWE with her little brother. She'll run at him full speed and knock him down to the ground. 90% of the time it ends in laughter. The other 10% in tears..and I'm terrified she's going to really hurt him someday.
I agree with the other mama....give her big girl jobs. Faith gets diapers for me and helps me change him.
I know part of her problem is that she's looking for one on one attention from me, so I try and do that as much as possible. I know it's difficult to find that time though..maybe even if it's 10 minutes of your DH taking your little one in the other room while you read your DD a book...?
I just can't wait til they're teenagers and it escalates to screaming and slamming doors.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

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I just can't wait til they're teenagers and it escalates to screaming and slamming doors.
Oh, It happens WELL before they are teenagers!! I have threatened to take doors off the hinges already if One more gets slammed.... And I have blocked them open with HUGE boxes!!!

At least teenagers are smart enough (for the most part anyway) to not get their fingers caught in the door when it slams.

I think discipline is the hardest part of parenting honestly, and its sooo frustrating when you see them hurting eachother over NOTHING!
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

My DD also went through a phase similar to this. She still sometimes does mean things to her brother, but it's not constantly like it was for awhile. Anyways, whenever DD did things that were mean to her brother I would pick her up and put her on a chair for a time-out. I would then tell her that I was going to go and play with baby since she had hurt him and that when she was ready to be nice she could come and join us. Then I'd sit and read DS a book or play peek a boo with him or something like that. When DD had sat on the chair for 2 min. (based on her age) then I would pick her up and tell her that she can come and play with us again, but if she can't be nice that she will have to sit back on the chair again which took her away from the toys and me. She really wanted to play with me, which made the time-out the perfect punishment. At first she had many time-outs and then if it didn't get better then she was put in her room for a nap, and I would tell her that if she can't be nice that she can take her nap and that I hoped that she would be nicer to her brother when she woke up.

It does get better though. DD now loves playing with her brother, so she is nice to him, since when he cries I just take him away from the play area for a bit to comfort him, which means she has to play alone. LOL!
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Old 08-16-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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Re: Need some help with my 2 year old.

I heard that between 2 and 3 they just do things, anything, just to see what happens. That's why they call it the terrible two's, right? Our jobs are to be consistent, specially with discipline. They have to know that every time they do something you don't want them to they will get the same reaction. Then they begin to know when they choose the action they choose the punishment. We also have to be consistent when they do good things too and make sure we acknowledge good behavior, because no matter how much you punish them they will keep acting up if that's how they get a reaction out of you! Those are totally not my own words, BTW! Just summarized things I keep reading.

I disagree with not punishing her for hurting her sister. Even if it is out of jealousy it is still not acceptable, right? If you believe the punishment fits the crime then you need to consider what would happen as an adult if she hit someone... people would stop going around her... she might go to jail! So if it was me, I'd definitely say time outs fit this situation and the next step might be time outs in her room. And then spend the next few days noticing every little tiny nice thing she does to/for her sister and make a huge deal out of them! Even if it is something you initiate! I might also suggest, since it's been suggested to me by a number of people (I asked everyone I knew who had more than one kid what they did and how it worked as far as sibling rivalry went) that you should refer to the baby as "our" baby. And I think it's an excellent idea to get her to help with every little thing she possibly can help with. The task might take longer and it might actually not make things easier for you, but it will help her have a place in the "new" family! And it sounds like she might just be feeling a little out of place!

Good luck!!
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