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Try to encourage your adult visitors to focus their attention on your toddler first, before looking at the new born.
Ask the toddler to show you the baby, it will show that nothing has changed for the worse.
My daughter is 25 months old and has a new brother (3 months) but my daughter is constantly hitting other children.Usually the same age or younger.
I feel very frustrated with her aggressive behaviour. I have been leaving outings now when she hits kids. I am so lost - I feel like I should just keep her at home and not go anywhere. We were in music class yesterday and she kept her hands to herself during the craft but then when it was free time to play, she would dominate toys and hit kids that wanted the toys around her. UGHHHH
So we left - then at the store she grabbed a doll from a little girl and the little girl screamed so she grabbed the girls hair - twice this happened.
This happens all the time - at the park, at home play dates, grocery store, etc - she is just unpredictable. Yet she is so gentle to her new baby brother.
I am feeling very sad and angry all in one. I feel like a bad mom.
Question in toddler and new baby advice section.
The first thing that strikes me is what a good mum you are – even with a newborn you are taking your eldest out to music classes etc and doing all the right things behaviour wise. It must be exhausting, and you are definitely under strain with a toddler and new baby, trying to meet 2 children’s very different needs – when we feel stretched in this way, our self-esteem is often affected, especially when we have tried everything. So you wrongly blame yourself.
This sort of behaviour is a very normal reaction to a new sibling. Lots of toddlers attack other kids, the new baby and their parents. I went through what you are to a much lesser extent with my 3 yr old after the birth of my second child.
My son has been on the giving and receiving end of aggression and I am certain that it doesn't have a lasting effect on toddlers - nothing like older kids bullying.
It sounds like she is desperate for your attention and very unsure of herself, with her place as number one in your affections in doubt in her mind. She loves her brother and so takes it out on other kids -she hasn’t got the language to express this . I know how upsetting it is when my son is aggressive. It seems extreme to us but I think in her mind she has no other way to shout ‘Help! Do you still love me? I'm going to test how much’
For toddler and new baby advice. First of all, leaving play dates when time out doesn't work is exactly the right thing to do. I would go a step further and stop all or some of these social activities for a week or 2 because it sounds like she cannot cope with them. Maybe this behaviour is her saying she doesn’t want to share you with other people on play dates, music class etc?
I think it would help you to see the situation differently. Instead of seeing withdrawing her as a punishment, why not look at it this way: she cant cope with sharing you with others on play dates etc so by not attending you are helping her - You prevent problems arising by removing the opportunity. Sounds like she is great with just you and the baby – so this would give you a chance to stop ‘being on her’ as you say for a few days.
When you do go back to social activities id start off by making it just one child and doing a structured activity. For a toddler and new baby, free play is too tempting for hitting etc I think.
If possible can you spend some time with your toddler, and leave the baby with someone else? Even an hour is good. Even if another adult came round and looked after the baby while you made cakes with her or whatever. Or give her an outing with another adult. I found that when my son started having time with me /his Dad/his Gran away from the baby, that helped. Less competition in his eyes. It doesn’t matter who its with for him.
Depending on her understanding/language I would set up a reward system for good behaviour once you return to social activities. – buy a load of cheap toys from a thrift store etc put them in a bag. – or sweets, your preference. I would identify problem times like music class. Introduce the idea of the reward system by choosing a time when she has been good just the 2 of you – give her a toy so she understands. The next day directly before leaving for class, explain she can have a toy if she is gentle with other children in that activity. Be careful not to say “don’t hit” as toddlers don’t really understand these negatives – in that sentence she might only remember the word ‘hit’ and link it to getting the toy.
If there is any way possible for you to get a break, take it. Can you get out on your own just for an hour or so a couple of times a week? Go and read a magazine in a café or something. You are overstretched and its hard to be patient with your child when you are a new mother.
The other thing is time out is ineffective if you lose your temper doing it, as it gives the child some attention. You can use tapping to give yourself the instant calm down which makes time out work better.
I must stress that I am NOT saying you are not doing time out right - I just hear the strain in your email and its a possibility. plus there are times when nothing works. not even time out is fool proof
On a positive note, my friends who have had nightmares with toddler jealousy of this type say that after 3 months things calm down as the child accepts the new arrival.
Thank you for reading toddler and new baby advice.
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