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Old 06-15-2007, 12:35 AM   #14
GCM_Sticky
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Default Re: Collected Posts about "You Hit, You Sit" and General Posts about Hitting

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Title: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: lavender mom on July 20, 2005, 07:31:31 PM
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Well- this is my first post on these boards. I'm planning to go and introduce myself and visit some of the other forums too, but I am absolutely desperate for help with my 3 y.o. so here I am. Though I'm newer to GBD, it falls pretty much in line with how I've been handling things so far. Spanking is never an option, but I have been using a form of time out. I would love to move away from time outs- I just need some alternatives.

DS (3 y.o.) has figured out that the number one way to get a rise out of mommy is to hurt his little sister. So, occasionally when I redirect him, he gets mad at me and starts to shove and shake DD. It usually happens when he's tired and it's completely obvious to me that he's doing it to get a reaction from me. And I do give him a nice big reaction, despite my best intentions. At the very least, I jump up and pull him off of his sister and carry him to his room. I often use a stern, loud voice (I've probably yelled...) to tell him how upset I am. He loves the whole thing. I am because I don't know the appropriate way to react and honestly, it just makes me so angry! I'd be angry if someone tried to hurt him too. It's just the mama bear in me I guess.

After it happened for the 3rd day in a row (it almost always happens at the end of the day or just before nap time, so I think a lot of it stems from the fact that he is tired) DH and I spent a lot of the rest of the day telling DS how sad and worried we were that he hurt his sister. That actually seems to have made an impact and at the end of the day when he and Daddy were saying prayers at bedtime he asked to pray about hurting his sister. Still I'm not convinced we're over this hurdle, and I'm still at a loss as to how to handle it if it should happen again.

How can I convince him that this is not a good thing without giving him a reaction that he loves, and still keep my cool?

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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 20, 2005, 08:12:40 PM
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I'm curious why you think he loves the reaction I have more to say but I wanted to ask that first

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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: lavender mom on July 20, 2005, 08:44:09 PM
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He sort of smiles and looks at me with awe. It a sort of "wow, this is really interesting to see mommy all fired up like this. I want to see if I can make it happen again." kind of look. Does that make sense? He really does get a reaction that's different from the norm and I think he finds it interesting. I think he's appreciating the fact that his action can get such a dramatic reaction.


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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 20, 2005, 08:53:47 PM
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That's what I thought you'd say The reason that I asked is I've found from talking with my older/verbal children that when they seem to smile inappropriately they are usually afraid I would get terribly angry at ds1 until I figured this out It's like when adults laugh at a funeral--just a very inappropriate emotional reaction.

I would suggest that he's having big feelings of frustration and is taking them out on the only person in the house he's more powerful than. I'd work hard to teach him appropriate ways to express himself. Baby signs, angry dances, etc. And when you suspect your answer or redirection will upset him I'd absolutely keep him away from his sister!

I hth


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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: lavender mom on July 20, 2005, 09:03:46 PM
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oooh. You know, that makes all sorts of sense. Thanks.

So we have been working on other ways to express his anger- we've talked about using his words and practiced saying, "I'm really mad!" And I like the idea of moving him away from her before he can lash out at her. But if I don't make it in time and he does hurt her again, how would you suggest that I respond? Should I pick him up and take him to his room? Should I say anything? I feel like if I could just have a plan of specific things to say or do I might react better. I honestly hate the reaction that I'm currently having.

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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 21, 2005, 12:40:05 PM
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I would pick her up and comfort her and then, when she's calm, go and remind him about better ways to express his frustration and have him practice as well as start teaching him to make amends--I'd have him give gentle touches (after his frustration it out because the gentle touches aren't to replace the frustration--they're a separate thing ) where he hurt. He might also color his sister a picture or do something else kind for her

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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: Mama Calidad on July 21, 2005, 01:29:12 PM
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Whenever the kids get hurt, DH or I always kiss their boo-boo. Somehow the kiss makes the boo-boo "all better". I don't understand the science of it, but unless it's something major they stop crying and we'll go with it.

Well, stemming from that, when one of my kids hurts the other, whether intentionally or accidentally, I pick up the injured child and comfort them. I put my other arm around the other child and tell him/her, "When you x, it hurt your brother/sister." I explain the behavior that needs to be changed (i.e. "You may not hit your sister." or being more careful or whatnot). Then, I ask, "Do you want to give him/her a kiss and tell him/her that you're sorry?"

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Title: Re: Help! 3 y.o. hurting 9 month old
Post by: lavender mom on July 21, 2005, 02:45:47 PM
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Thanks Crystal & Laura. We kiss owies here too, so I could easily work that into things. Today's been a better day. I think it's helped to make sure Claire is out of his way when I need to redirect him. Hopefully things will continue to improve.
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