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Am I wrong for finally taking all of my 4 year old sons toys away for constintly hurting his sister for touching his toys?

he hoards all his things and attacks her if she so much as looks at something of his. time out hasn't worked, walking her away from him hasn't worked, taking just the toy involved in the incident doesn't work he will just be obsessive about another toy...

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Asked by taz777 at 11:13 AM on Jan. 19, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • I think that is a fair punishment, just make sure he gets why you are taking them away. Give them back a few at a time and take them away again if he resumes the behavior.

    Answer by Dalimonster at 11:14 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • no, that's the perfect thing to do in such a situation. my 4 and 2 year old constantly argue over toys, and instead of giving it back to the one who's being less clingy over the toy, i take it away and explain if they want to share it they can have it back. good way of teaching them to share and what happens if they don't.

    Answer by tnm786 at 11:16 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • That was exactly what you had to do. He will figure it out when he has nothing to play with. How did he respond? does he understand why you took them away?

    Answer by choco_mom at 11:16 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • That was my plan. I just feel like he shouldn't need to share his things with his sister all the time but its the violence thats the worst part. Thanks for taking some time to help

    Comment by taz777 (original poster) at 11:16 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • I think your doing okay with what your doing. I do the same thing when all three of my girls fight over something. Then they get it back later after they have earned it back by doing something good.

    Answer by momindiana at 11:17 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Unfortunately I think that could create more anxiety and hoarding behavior of the this case. Instead, of taking away, I would add. So everytime he offers (with encouragement and reminders) a toy to sister, maybe he gets a new toy, something really small like a matchbox car for example. Or a cheap action figure...reward the good behavior and find ways for him to practice it.

    Next, I would set some boundaries so that the sister isn't intentionally pushing buttons or creating more anxiety. Toys in this box, in YOUR bedroom can not be touched by the other sibling as long as they stay in your room, for example. But it has to go both ways. Once they bring a toy out of the bedroom, it is fair game and make it clear.

    Third, set up a chart. For every 8 times he shares without having a fit, he gets a trip to mcdonald play land with an ice cream cone...or he can spend a few tokens at chuckie cheese...whatever floats his boat

    Answer by spottedpony at 11:18 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • choco mom, he cried for about 5 minutes and then went back to everything being just fine which made me wonder if he even cares that his toys are gone

    Comment by taz777 (original poster) at 11:19 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • if he has a FAVORITE toy then I've heard that they need to have some control over that - but otherwise, if it is just whatever toy she is trying to play with in general and he is being that way then yeah- take it away...or set a timer -he gets it for 5 min then she gets it for 5 min or whatever. He will lose interest most likely and move on to something else

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:19 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • There is no such thing as a 'fair' punishment. It is meant to hurt, which is intentionally cruel.

    Yes, you're wrong, but not for the reasons you think. First, it's not going to work. As you have very aptly demonstrated: the problem behaviour escalates as the boy feels more and more out of control of who is allowed to do what with HIS things.

    They're not really his, are they? They're yours to control --clearly. You decide when he is allowed to use them, where they are stored, who else is allowed to use them, et cetera.

    Children do not struggle for ownership of things they have complete control over... they struggle for ownership over things that they've been told are theirs, but they don't get to control, because they don't understand it. Because it doesn't make sense.

    Only people who firmly know 'this is mine, no matter what' can freely share. Generosity springs from security, not rules or punishment or force.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:20 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • He wants his things to be his things. Taking them away because someone is bothering his possessions doesn't seem right. Perhaps if he raises a fuss about his sister touching one of his toys, then let him play with one of her toys, or pick out one of her toys. If you insist that he share by punishing him, this just makes him resentful of his sister, and makes him ask why are her wishes getting filled- to take my toys- and my wishes being ignored- to keep my toys for myself. If he gets to touch or take one of her toys when she does it to his toys, then maybe both children would be satisfied.

    Answer by Bmat at 11:23 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

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