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Second week babysitting 2 boys, I need advice, the younger child is mean to my 22 month old, Tobey.What can I do?

I have two boys today that I'm babysitting. One is 5, the other is 28-29 months. The older one I have no problem with, but the toddler hits- A LOT. Last week I put him in time out 3 times for hitting and pushing Tobey. He just seems to do it for no particular reason although the time he pushed, it was because Tobey had a toy he wanted. And I found out this morning that he bites, too.

So far they've been here for 2 hours and he's hit Tobey or pushed him 4 times. Each time I explained to him why he shouldn't do that. He actually kicked Tobey and knocked him off the couch into the coffee table during Yo Gabba Gabba for no reason I could see. If I hadn't been sitting right there that could have been really bad, but I mostly caught him. (You have no idea how hard it is to discipline one toddler while consoling another lol). AND when I was fixing breakfast Tobey came screaming into the kitchen with a bite-mark on his finger!

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Asked by benjamink at 10:29 AM on Apr. 21, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 10 (378 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I never dealt with this with my older two so I'm not sure how to proceed. They would have little occasional squabbles but this is almost constant. I'm 95% positive that this child does not understand the concept of time out. He doesn't know why I have him sitting on the stairs for 2 minutes, he does not connect that with his behavior at all. But this is how his mom disciplines at home.

    Ideas? Please?

    Answer by benjamink at 10:30 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • ask the mom of the other toddler what disipline you may use.if it were me id do the timeouts like you said, however if it were me id not babysit a child that was biting/kicking my child. good luck to you!

    Answer by mywonderyears at 10:31 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • honestly? I thin, you need to sit with his mom and address this. I would not keep watching a child that hurt mine on a reg basis. But I understand too its your income, so its a bad situation. talk to his mom, get onboard together with a plan to help change this childs behavior. If she wont work with you,t hen anything you do may be for nothing as he goes home and there is no follow thru. the most important thing tho is not to leave him alone with your lo, thats too bad hon. good luck.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 10:33 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Redirection, redirection, redirection! When the child starts to hit, stop him and explain to him that hitting hurts, and that we need to use our words instead. Then redirect him to a different activity/toy. Have you talked with the mom to see how she handles discipline problems? She may not do time out, but rather another type of discipline. Ask her how she wants you to handle the situation if her son bites or hits. And as far as this- "(You have no idea how hard it is to discipline one toddler while consoling another)", console the injured child first, then discipline the other child.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:36 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I have twins, so I do know how hard it is to console one while disciplining the other. I think you should stop explaining and start putting him in timeout EVERY time he crosses the line. If he is doing this a lot and you only put him in timeout 3 times, then he got away with it more often than he got caught. I would do timeout every time even if no one else is hurt. If you haven't already I would also talk to his mom to let her know what is going on and see what discipline techniques she approves.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Do you think at that age that he understands why he is in time out?

    Answer by benjamink at 10:43 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • godh I had to come back to this, I feel so bad for you. If the time outs are not working, lets brainstorm,....ok google "help with bad behavior(age here)" look online for different types of discipline, or advice on dealing with a child who is this violent. there may be something underlying that needs to be addressed. and again as he is not your child your hands are tied.
    but seriously if he is hurting your son-and you cant solve this-stop watching him. this will be too traumatizing to your own son.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 10:43 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I had this problem myself with the 21 month old I nanny, She would hit and bite my daughter for no reason. Time outs really helped.

    Answer by hornz102485 at 10:45 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • I actually did talk to his mom about discipline before agreeing to babysit, she does time outs and wants me too as well.

    Answer by benjamink at 10:46 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Yes. He will understand why he is in timeout, but you have to be consistent; it has to happen every time. I started using them with my kids around 18 months and they did understand that whatever they did was what landed them in timeout. A swift consequence will say a lot more to him than explanations.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:50 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

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