February 5, 2010 at 5:36 am #251332Rebecca80Member
I’m a bit desperate atm! My 4yo and 18mo are constantly fighting. No matter what they always want what the other has (yep even when there are two things the same). The 4yo has started being way too rough with the toddler and hurts him (hitting/dragging him around/wrestling him) and #2 has started hitting out and pulling hair (mostly but not always in retaliation). At times they can play together beautifully so they both have the ability but the constant shrieking and crying is getting me down not to mention that I’m worried one of them will be hurt.
Neither of them are this way with any other kids from what I have seen – just each other.
I have tried helping them to sort things out/nice reminders to share/time out/making them apologise and shake hands/separating them but am not getting anywhere and I feel that things will probably get worse the older they get with more potential for damage.
I’m not worried about verbal arguments but I can’t cope with the physical stuff – it upsets me very much. DH says all brothers fight this way and to leave them to work it out…
What can I do/what do you think? HELP!!
ETA – just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem both of them have had bruises and today the toddler had a bloody nose after a wrestle over a toy went wrong
ETA 2 – Had the 4yo at a behaviour management program but they stopped us after 2 sessions as they feel that he is normal and that my ‘skills’ are fine.February 5, 2010 at 5:54 am #452631Lady BeeKeymaster
Rebecca, I can’t offer any first hand help, but I suggest you seek some professional help – this sounds way over the top for littlies.
Hope you get them sorted soon, before they get old enough to do lasting damage.February 5, 2010 at 6:00 am #452632Rebecca80Member
Hi Lady B,
Thanks for the quick reply. I have tried to get help with them without a lot of success. We went to a behaviour program in the next town but they thought that my 4yo was just fine and that my strategies are good so they asked us not to come anymore! My minister’s wife has spent some time with him (she’s experienced with children) and again thinks they are fine and they are …. but not with each other.
right now 30mins after bloody nose and they are both out of their time outs and playing beautifully like nothing ever happened and I’m shell shocked.
RebeccaFebruary 5, 2010 at 6:35 am #452633edensgateMember
If you think about how short our human history is, in terms of evolution, and how siblings, until recently, have always had to compete for limited family resources, it becomes possible to see sibling rivalry as a form of survival mechanism that is borne in our genes. They truly don’t know why they do it, their instincts simply tell them to.
Because there is such a large age gap between your boys (my kids are all roughly 2 years apart) and the potential for the older one to injure the younger one, it’s important to keep a close eye, but perhaps let them push their limits and yeah, maybe get the odd bloody nose, without your redirecting the conflict. Of course, everyone has their limits. I’m just sharing mine and don’t expect that you’ll feel the same way I do.
On a parenting forum that I frequent, there was a recent suggestion to enforce ‘hug punishment’ on sibling bickering. That is, as punishment for their argument, they MUST hug each other. I gave it a try and was amazed how quickly the mood changed. Worth a go.
Also, having less together time might ensure their limited time together results in more productive play together as the conflict often escalates after they’ve spent their threshold of time together. Perhaps Master 4 is off to preschool next year? I would bet money that this issue will settle down considerably after that time. Well, at least until the school holidays.
It’s normal. It’s ugly, and stressful, but completely and utterly normal. It’s programmed into all of us and expressed in some unique form or another.
Hope you have a quiet place to retreat to for sanity’s sake. Or a bit of time away from them to recharge your batteries. Remember to take good care of yourself so you can keep a cool head while you umpire the boxing.February 5, 2010 at 7:05 am #452634weaverMember
Mine are 15 (boy) and 13 (girl) and used to be fantastic together but over the past couple of years have been horrendous (not physically, just at each other all the time) This morning I threatened boarding school. I have just informed them that from now on they will be doing hug therapy :clap::clap::hug::hug:February 5, 2010 at 7:49 am #452635baringaparkMember
I give myself time out when this happens…lock them out of my room; they haven’t killed each other yet :confused:February 5, 2010 at 7:56 am #452636mumof6Member
I have 6 kids and fights are common here, my DS at the age of 4 pushed his sister 1 of the top of the slide cause she was in his way and broke her sholder a day before we had to drive 9 hrs to sydney for a wedding where they were in the wedding, 9 years on there still fighting but less physical but all my boys 6,7,13 get into punch ons daily even at school :tdown: but my hubbys seems to think its fine as he and his brothers would throw knives at each other as teens :jawdrop:
So what do we do :shrug: lots of time outs and on ya bed NOW!!!
often i will have seperate play areas for calm plays when things are heating up this often happens when tired.
sorry not to offer help but I guess its just a sibling thing :awch:
PS I gave by little brother a blood nose when he was 2 and the smack I got from that still lives in my mind.February 5, 2010 at 8:12 am #452637goldstoneMember
Hi Rebecca, I am wondering if you have tried a preschool for your older child? Please don’t blame yourself, children take you to the edge and make you look over! Its their job!! :hug::hug::hug:February 5, 2010 at 9:33 am #452638starkravenmadMember
i have 5 kids and this is pretty normal behaviour specially with boys.few bruises and tears now wait till they get older and really go for it lolFebruary 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm #452639daviesgangMember
My 8 year old son broke 4 of my 16 year old sons fingers when he was 4 years old and his brother was 12 when he decided to crash tackle him when he wasn’t getting his own way.:jawdrop: We seem to have regular punch ups between the kids as with four boys aged from 8 through to 16 it can get pretty physical between them:|. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t agree with their behaviour but after trying unsuccessfully to put a stop to the violence we ended up buying two pairs of boxing gloves and now if the kids start to hit each other they are told to don the gloves and take it out the back:awch:. Either hubby or myself supervise and they spar. Since we have been doing that we haven’t had a single injury and it always ends in laughter rather than tears as somehow it diffuses the situation. The only thing we can think of is the time it takes them to go out the back and put on the gloves gives them a cooling off period and the reason for the anger is no longer such an issue so they end up play boxing instead:shrug:.
The two older boys at 15 and 16 have had one fight in this manner and while they started off pretty serious with some pretty hard knocks going in both directions, my 11 year old manged to bring a end to that one when one of the boys realised he had grabbed one of the older boys mobiles and was filming the fight. the two older boys were then trying to play up for the camera and the fight went out the window. They then went inside and spent the afternoon watching the fight on my computer and picking apart their fighting styles:shrug:. Nothing wrong with my kids *cough cough*:shrug: The way I see it….one day my boys will become fathers to boys and I will get at least one heartfelt apology from each of them once they realise what they have put me through:lol:February 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm #452640kerriebMember
They sound normal although it is frustrating. I have two 4 and 7 that drive me nuts sometimes. I found at the sort of age that your kids are at it was important to have some time spent alone with each of them particularly the older one. If I did something with her that the littlie wasn’t capable of every now and then it seemed to help with her gerneral behaviour.
Preschool may help also if you are comfortable with it more regular playdates for the older with a friend. I find the fights settle down with bored kids if there is another kid around or even better:D they go somewhere else for a play.
For your sanity can you leave them with DH for a while regularly while you do something you enjoy to give you a break. If you are with them 24/7 it does wear you down.
There is light at the end of the tunnel in many cases. Lots of my friends awful 4yo kids improved out of sight with the consistant boundaries once they got to school age.February 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm #452641fairyflossMember
have a look at the 123 magic system. You should be able to get it from your local library. I prefer the DVD if you can get it. It works a treat.February 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm #452642AnjaMember
My son, who is now 11, used to very physically take out his fristrations on his younger sublings. We taught him to stamp his feet, punch the pillow, run around the yard – anything physical but touch his sublings. It took a little while but it worked. He is now a very calm, sensible and popular 11 yo boy.
I had forgotten all that so thank you for bringing this topic up! My 6 yo son pinches when he doesn’t get his way so maybe I’ll try this method with him now!February 5, 2010 at 9:32 pm #452643GiannaMember
Sell them to the next band of wandering gypsies. 😆
The little one is just a baby and is learning from his brother. I would concentrate on the 4 year old at this stage. Is he going to school next year or the year after?February 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm #452644NexMember
I want a little boy!
I’ll take the 18m off you hands for nothing. You won’t have to pay me a thing!
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