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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
Wayward Wombat
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Everyone gave Stains such great advice

including me, if I do say so myself. Click here to enlarge
So, can I have some, too? This will be longish, so skip to the bolded stuff if you are in a hurry. Click here to enlarge

Linus is almost 3 (his birthday is in July). Deirdre is 16 months. They are only about 5 pounds different, but he is much taller. Lately he pushes her down all the time. Mostly out of what seems like random neutral impulses, but sometimes out of anger and meanness (like when they're fighting over a toy) and sometimes she's just a scapegoat: he's pissed off about something else entirely and charges her. Most of the time he pushes her from the front (shoves her chest/belly) or the side (shoves a shoulder); sometimes, though, he charges after her from behind, catches her around the neck or shoulders, and pulls her down.

This is several times a day, all day, every day. They also play together (toddler parallel play and lately a good bit of cooperative play), and hug and kiss and cuddle each other, and she follows him around a lot. And whatever precipitates the shoving, even anger, is really fleeting, since he's a toddler with the emotional attention span of a cabbage moth. So keeping them separate is neither attractive nor necessary, and as I'm home alone with them most of the time, it's also not really logistically likely.


I've been giving him 2 minute time-outs. They are having zero effect on Linus. And, because he won't comply if we don't sit sentry, Deirdre is making a weird connection: sometimes Linus pushes her and her reaction is to laugh delightedly and run to the corner. She thinks Keep Linus in the Corner is a game. Click here to enlarge Sometimes, her reaction is no reaction. At 16 months, she still falls down randomly a lot anyway, so she doesn't even notice, really. Other times, of course, she cries because he hurts her or scares her or makes her sad. But that's definitely the minority of the time.


SO. Here's where I need advice . I think he's too young to really get the connection of time-out with this particular behavior, since it's so impulsive. I don't think he can weigh the possibility of a punishment in the quarter of a second it takes him to decide to do it. I ALWAYS address it when he does it, and explain why/how it's wrong on a case by case basis (you need to use words/share/touch gently) and the immediate consequence (she is sad/you could hurt her/you did hurt her/she is scared). But I'm thinking I might skip the time-out except in the case of intentional meanness--like when he's pissed off at his Legos and goes and shoves her because he's frustrated and she's a handy target. And re-categorize the rest of the more benign stuff as normal toddler pecking order stuff. Especially when she doesn't care otherwise.

Is that wise experienced parenting, or is it just stupid? Do I need to be consistent, and call all pushing the baby same? Mandatory sentencing, or judicial prerogative?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:30 AM
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Judicial prerogative.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:33 AM
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I agree with Funkytown.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:35 AM
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Hmmm.... I also sort of turn a blind eye when I see the boys just kind of pushing each other because of what you termed "pecking order". Mine are older than yours, but the same age difference. I would go with only getting involved when it's intentionally mean.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Click here to enlarge Thank you. Click here to enlarge

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:07 AM
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I would hammer drop on all pushing just because it might be confusing to him why he gets in trouble for pushing her sometimes and not others.
But I'll be honest, mine are 7 and 10 and they have been driving me crazy for the last month because they can't keep their hands off each other. I have HAD it. So help me. Click here to enlarge
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:14 AM
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we don't do timeouts at all Click here to enlarge (although sawyer is a different sort, so we'll re-eval when she's older Click here to enlarge)

but for aidan, any aggression comes from sawyer taunting her. so we do "freezes". where basically i take her away from sawyer, sit down with her, and we talk about how to handle it. and then she goes back to whatever.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:23 AM
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If the time outs are having no effect on Linus, I'd say you need to find a different punishment. What is something he will really notice and not be happy about?

I would do judicial prerogative though.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDSOXMAMA View Post
I would hammer drop on all pushing just because it might be confusing to him why he gets in trouble for pushing her sometimes and not others.
l
Right, this is why I'm torn. I think consistency is important. But in this situation, specific to Linus at this specific age, I don't think it's working. My thinking is that I need to respond to the intention and not the act, because to him the pushing might be a totally different thing in different contexts--and so, in his head, not consistent.

And then I think I overthink things. Like, everything. Click here to enlarge

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If the time outs are having no effect on Linus, I'd say you need to find a different punishment. What is something he will really notice and not be happy about?

I would do judicial prerogative though.
Click here to enlarge I have no idea what, though. He does hate standing in the corner, but it's not making a connection in his head. DH is all "Maybe this is why people spank. Spanking might work, maybe we should reconsider blah blah blah" Click here to enlarge That's not happening, don't worry. All I have to say when he starts that bullshit is "Okay. Linus [just pretending! I don't actually say this to Linus] come here, Daddy's going to hit you and I'm going to watch him because I like that idea." It's totally stupid and dh knows it. I also tell him he's just a lazy quitter when he mentions spanking. Click here to enlarge

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:38 AM
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Im not into punishment bc Im lazy, it doesnt make sense to me, and it never seems to work anyway so what's the point again?

I'd just say hey let's not push and pick her up and give her the attention.

Im a big fan of reward the positive and ignore the rest in theory. I can never make my real world match my theoretical knowledge which is a continuing disappointment.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:56 AM
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Judicial perogative. Ignore the benign toddler sibling stuff and let them work it out, unless there is screaming and blood. Redirect when necessary. Save time outs for flat out aggression.

Hammer dropping on a toddler is pretty much an exercise in futility.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaC View Post
Im not into punishment bc Im lazy, it doesnt make sense to me, and it never seems to work anyway so what's the point again?

I'd just say hey let's not push and pick her up and give her the attention.

Im a big fan of reward the positive and ignore the rest in theory. I can never make my real world match my theoretical knowledge which is a continuing disappointment.
this is way better than what i was trying to say Click here to enlarge

i say to A and S 100x a day "wow, you are being the best sister!" blah blah blah

i dont make either one say they are sorry. i dont make them give hugs or whatever. i just pick up the other one, comfort them if need be, and chat it over (with aidan. sawyer wouldnt understand).
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 10:27 AM
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How verbal is he? That can make a huge difference for the aggressive stuff. I would do a combination of giving lots of attention to D as the victim, and when necessary working on helping L express his emotions verbally if he can.

Teaching him to say stop and put a hand up if she is bothering him.
Empathizing with him "I know you are angry when .... but hands are not for pushing"
Finding separate activities if it is play that is getting too rough
Giving him something specific to do to keep him busy and focused, helping you _____, coloring at the table, etc.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 03:35 AM
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I guess I'm inconsitent with my time-outs too. Ds sometimes bites and pinches when he's pissed off and sometimes he bites/pinches just because he's excited. I react to the latter with less fervour than the former.

Consitency is important, but ds doesn't get trouble if he accidentally knocks over his milk, but does get trouble if he throws his sippy across the room. The consitency is my understanding of his intentions.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 03:40 AM
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And no one can tell me that a two year old doesn't understand when they're being "bad". Sometimes that kid gives me such a look with a gleam in his eye. He's totally weighing the consequences of said sippy cup tossing. Who hasn't played the "please sit on your bum" game? He crouches down to within a millimetre of the seat but won't actually sit, just to see how far I'm willing to go.

It's all I can do not to laugh when he starts up with those shenanigans.
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