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My daughter (3 1/2 yrs) tries to hurt my son (9 mos).

My daughter has been doing things to my son when she thinks no one is looking, like pinching him, or twisting his arm, and makes him cry, so obviously she knows it hurts him. I have reprimanded her and put her in time out when I catch her, but just today, she held open the baby gate at the top of the stairs, and watched as he crawled out. I (THANK GOODNESS) walked up just as he was reaching the top of the stairs, and stopped anything awful from happening. It seems so malicious of her, what can I do to stop her acting out like this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:20 PM on Jan. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (3)
  • Wow! That's horrible!!! Is she jealous? I wonder if some more undivided attention from mommy would help? Is she getting ideas from somewhere, like TV? Cartoons show so much violence without anyone getting really hurt, sometimes kids don't understand danger.... Just a thought, I've never been through this, so I don't know! Good luck!

    Answer by Adelicious at 5:31 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • She may be jealous and liking the negative attention she gets when she does these things. Does she get to help out with the baby and play the big sister role? I ask because we have a 3 1/2 year old and an 8 month old. Our 3 1 /2 month old loves to help by bringing me diapers and wipes, helping me pick out her clothes, and set up her bath. (She gets the toys lol) Kids at that age love to help and feel useful. If she isn't doing things like this, I suggest giving it a shot. Let her know how important her role in the family is. When she does help, make sure to make a huge deal out of it and say thank you. Praise her when you see her doing good things as well. I think it's a jealousy/attention issue. Good luck and I hope this gets resolved. I'm afraid for your baby.

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 5:42 PM on Jan. 25, 2010

  • Don't leave the baby alone with her! I had this issue with my oldest - he was almost 4 when his youngest sister was born, but he has autism, so I handled it differently than you should.

    Answer by missanc at 10:24 AM on Jan. 26, 2010

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