Whenever SD feels that DD is doing something wrong, she snaps at her, takes things away, and in a few instances.. Spanks her. It has happened 4 times in the last 8?months.
With the exception of her spanking DD, we react pretty calmly and remind her that she is a big sister.. Not a mommy or daddy. We have explained to her what things big sisters can help with and what things they can't. We have told her that we are glad she wants to help but Daddy and I get onto DD. We also told her what type of things she needs to tell on DD for and what things she needs to ignore. There have been many, many talks.
Part of what has caused this is that (a) she's 4. Seems normal for a 4 year old to attempt to take charge. (b) it's her personality. She's a little bossy. (c) BM has encouraged and allowed her to be discipline and be responsible for her little brother (turning 2 this month)
We're not mad at SD. We don't think she's a bad child. (before anyone throws those out there) But we do want the behavior to stop.
When it happened last week it was because I had left the room to gather laundry, and in my absence DD sat on the coffee table. When I was headed back into the living room I heard DD screaming and smacks like skin to skin contact. I rounded the corner to see SD jerk DD off the table and yell at her that she wasn't supposed to be up there and that's why she got spanked.
DH tried to talk to SD but she just kept screaming and crying and saying she didn't know. So DH sent her to her room for time out and repeated the same stuff listed above. She apologized to DD.
We do spank. But not for every little thing. For dangerous or outrageous behavior. Example. DD thought it would be funny to try to run off in a parking lot. I had to grab the back of her shirt to stop her. She kept laughing and I popped her leg once to get her attention. I don't want her getting hit or causing someone an accident.
But day to day.. We don't spank. Timeout is way more effective for our kids. They can't stand not getting any attention (we send them to their room) or we have consequences like.. No TV. Or its now quiet time, we're going to lay down for a little while and calm down, or taking away a toy they're not sharing well.
So.. I hope I have expressed myself well enough to get some good advice because I don't think this was the last time this will happen. DH doesn't know what else to try. I don't agree with spanking on this issue because I think it sends a confusing message (to clarify.. I would not spank her. That would be DH if it were necessary.)