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What to do about 3 year old pinching 16 month old?

I got an e-mail from my friend today. She told me she is concerned that my three year old was behaving maliciously toward my toddler. My 3 yo was pinching her sister's face because she was angry at being put back in the stroller after running away from me. My friend said she saw my daughter's face when she pinched her sister and that it was not normal for her to want to hurt her like that. She did leave a scratch. We have been dealing with this sort of thing for a while and it has gotten better lately, but today when we saw the friend, it wasn't good. Of course, I tell her no and that it is not okay to hurt her sister. I say " You don't want to make her sad, do you?". Generally she backs down and then kisses her sister on her own. My friend says I need to seek help before my child is cmpletely out of control. And I should join their church and start reading doing bible study with her as they do with their two year old.

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Asked by Hazelnutkin at 1:14 AM on Oct. 20, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 18 (6,126 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I don't know what kind of world your friend lives in but i think it's perfectly normal that your older daughter is "wanting" to hurt her sister like that. ...That doesn't make it an acceptable behavior. But i do think it's normal.
    She needs discipline. It sounds to me like she thinks that if she just says "oh i'm sorry. i love my sister" then that means she can keep doing it and get away with it. From now on you need to have a discipline set in line. I would do timeout. but maybe you'd rather take away a privledge (no more TV time today ...or some favorite activity. keep it for the same day! otherwise you might forget. but SHE wont!) either way, there needs to be a consequence for her negative behavior.
    Also, try to teach her coping skills. If it looks like she's getting angry tell her "wow. it looks like what sister did made you angry! ...ya know, sometimes i take big DEEP breaths when i'm angry and it makes me feel better"

    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:20 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • I agree with outstandingLove... Timeouts work great... Even if you have to do this all day long. She has to understand that pinching hurts... One mintue for the age of child...

    Answer by goldielock37 at 11:01 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • I agree that it is normal behavior with an older sib to act out when there is a new sib. It is kind of a jealousy thing. Keep telling her that pinching hurt the baby and is going to make the baby cry. Do NOT spank her or pinch her back, that will backfire. Remove your daughter from the situation, let her know that if she can't use gentle touches with the baby, then she doesn't get to be by the baby. Your older one won't get more out of control, she will get better. It also could be that she is so excited she is being over zealous. I would also think twice about joining your friends church, I just get a weird feeling there. It might not be a bad idea to not see this friend as often, maybe your daughter is acting out because of the friend.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 3:40 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • Your friend is overreacting as far as seeking help. Your daughter is racting by istinct..... you just have to teach her how to control that. When she is gettting upset, its time to step in and help redirect her before teh pinching starts. Its okay to be angry, but its not okay to hurt. Let her know that. If she is getting angry, pull her aside and gently hold her hands and talk her down... but if she does pinch, she needs to have some form of discipline. She needs to understand that there are consiquences for her actions. AS far as seeking help, ... the only help she needs is consitantcy and guidance. CHurch may help, reading the bible may help too... but even the bible is going to tell you that discipline and consitancy is the key to this issue.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 4:54 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

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