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How do I get my 2 1/2 year old son to stop hurting his sister?

We have a 2 1/2 year old son and a 6 month old daughter. Ever since she was born, our son has tried to hurt his little sister. First it started with scratching her head. Then it turned into him headbutting her. Now it's progressed to him getting in her crib to sit on her head or yanking her arm/leg through the slats of her crib. I turn my back for 2 seconds and he's there hurting her. My husband and I have tried explaining why his behavior is naughty, time outs, spankings and taking away privileges. None of it is working, and I'm starting to fear for my daughter's safety. PLEASE HELP!!!

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:38 AM on Nov. 12, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (5)
  • Well personally I would spank the crap outta the kid. But maybe you're not giving him enough attention. He is old enough to know better than to sit on her head and crawl into her crib and such... He still needs to be dicaplined.. Id dicapline him then later explain why and then try spending time by yourself with him if possible

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:45 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • My 2 1/2 yr old acts up a lot more with her younger brother (10 mo) when she hasn't been getting enough 1-on-1 attention. Try giving him some time with just Mommy and just Daddy - even 15/20 minutes - during baby's naptime or after baby goes to bed but before he does. Next, give him an "important" job to do for his little sister that only he can do - DD is responsible for making sure that DS always has a blankie and at least 1 toy/book - she brings them from room to room when we move around the house, makes sure that they get into the car with us when we go somewhere, and tucks them into the stroller with him on walks. We had to remind her to do her job for about 2 days, now she reminds us. Finally, give him a "big boy" job that he can do, that a baby can't. - DS helps us with the dishes by sorting the silverware, emptying the dishwasher(handing dishes to us to put away), and washing tupperware in the sink.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 1:59 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • What we do when she does still get pushy with DS (pushing him out her way is what usually happens with us) is to move him away, remind her that we don't push, give her the words we would like her to use "No thank you baby - Mommy help please!", and take away whatever toy she was playing with. She knows now that when she doesn't want to share a toy that pushing will make the toy go away and has begun using her words a lot better. It sounds your problems aren't revolving around toys in quite the same way, but maybe removing your son from the situation and giving him words for the next time could help. It does take a lot of repetition, but those words can help a lot!

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 2:04 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • So you are telling your son that physical violent behavior isn't acceptable, but you are spanking him? The negative consequences for a toddler of 2 isn't going to work as well. I totally understand your fears and frustration. I was going to suggest 1-on-1 time but actually spending time with supervised attention with both children at the same time may be the solution. He may be a bit jealous and sees that you are protecting the baby and he's being pushed away. (through his eyes) Can you take walks together, read books together, sit them together at the table during family meals, bath time, anything you can do together do it. Include him. Catch him doing as many good things as possible. Tons of praise. TELL him when you see him acting appropriately for everything. He is trying to figure out where he fits in. They are so smart and even though he is struggling right now, he wants to do it right.

    Answer by Lifes-A-Dance at 11:12 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • so... we tried a new time out policy. It seems to be working wonders. Also, we have been including him in EVERYTHING we do with "sissy" including throwing away her diapers and getting fresh ones. So far so good. Thanks ladies for the POSITIVE feedback. ;)

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:37 AM on Nov. 22, 2009

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