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How do I keep my 2.5 year old from being rough to my 1 year old?

He is jumping on her (out of love), squeezes her when he hugs, is boxing her, pushes his head/body into her, kicks with his legs. He is not jealous and I can tell he is not doing anything to purposefully hurt her, he just loves her soooo much and can't control his excitement.
I am always like a warden, standing by ready to intervene and I'm getting tired of it. Sometimes they play separately for a while and it's quiet, but then suddenly he remembers about her and jumps up. In that moment I have to drop everything and run to rescue her.
Talking to him about it doesn't work, he can't understand yet that he is hurting her.

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cristinaberger

Asked by cristinaberger at 1:04 AM on Jun. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 3 (20 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Let me know what you find out because I've got a 3 year old and twin 18 month old kiddos and the same thing happens to them! DD just goes crazy on them...lol
    CAGirl4

    Answer by CAGirl4 at 1:06 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • 2.5 is plenty old enough to understand that he's hurting her. Tough love. Discipline.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:06 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • 2.5 is plenty old enough to understand that he's hurting her

    Well, maybe he does, who know, but he sure doesn't care. because anything we tried didn't change the situation.
    cristinaberger

    Answer by cristinaberger at 1:08 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • If he squeezes her, go over and squeeze him (a bit hard). If he pushes a her walk over and push him, not hard just enough to annoy him. He will soon get the picture!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:11 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • what i would do is sit with them while they are playing and if he behaves like that I would say, no that hurts, and then show him what to do instead. It could be a combination of excitement and frustration as well. If he continues after you said no than you should remove him from what you were doing.
    Precious333

    Answer by Precious333 at 1:13 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • Shoot, I tried all that already. Nothing I do or say phases him. I guess I will have to wait for the time to pass and she will be able to defend herself and he will understand more. Or maybe not... When I was 5 and my bro was 2 we wrestled a lot.
    cristinaberger

    Answer by cristinaberger at 1:15 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • Spank his little rear end, and he will soon stop hurting her. Children have to be trained not to do whatever they feel like doing, whenever they feel like doing it. Even if you think he is doing it out of love, it is hurting your other child, and he has to be taught that is unacceptable behavior. He also has to be taught that what Mom says is law, and when you tell him to stop, he must stop immediately or if you tell him not to do it, he cannot do it. Nothing works quicker nor better than a good old-fashioned spanking on bare legs. He is plenty old enough to understand what you are saying to him, so explain that his behavior will no longer be tolerated and what is going to take place when he disobeys you. Then follow through. It won't take long to retrain him.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:54 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • Our three year old niece is like that with DD, she wants to play with her and pulls on her or pushes her etc. We just constantly tell her that because DD is smaller than her, she needs to be careful, and if she isn't she doesn't get to play with her at all. That works pretty well, but I do keep a close eye on them when I'm around because our niece has to be reminded every single time she comes over.
    preacherskid

    Answer by preacherskid at 8:53 AM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • First, I'm not defending the little headbutter, but here's the thing... a one year old isn't a delicate little creature. So some of the rough-and-tumble she can handle. Intervening in every single contact will only make it worse... What you need to start working on, and IMO it's NOT too soon to start, is getting your son to start actually paying attention to your daughter's responses. If she looks hurt or uncomfortable, don't yell or scold him, but point out her visible reaction.. "look, you can tell Suzie doesn't like those kinds of hugs because she screams!" or "does Suzie look happy right now?" You can also start encouraging her to voice her feelings as she gets more verbal -- "No" will do to begin with, but very quickly she'll learn to defend herself with words and other strategies. Of course you need to protect the little one when it gets bad, but really try to focus on strategies that will help them resolve them...
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:14 PM on Jun. 5, 2010

  • ... on their own in the long term. I may get laughed at for this, but it's what we're doing with our girls (currently 20 months and 3 years) and we've come such a long way. I think at 2.5 they're still a little oblivious to others' plights, but that's already starting to change... and he's getting old enough to know the difference between a sister and a teddy bear... but he needs help. I don't see what spanking has to do with it, especially if he's still learning to recognize the consequences of his actions and how to gauge other peoples' reactions to his actions... Good luck, it should get better soon!
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:17 PM on Jun. 5, 2010

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