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    Default How to encourage toddler to play gently with baby sibling?

    Toddler is 2.5yrs and baby is nearly 9 months. Sometimes they can play nicely but sometimes...

    It's like she (the baby) is a squeaky toy and he (the toddler) wants to make her squeak. Because a squeaky toy that squeaks is much more fun and stimulating than one that doesn't. And it also makes mummy stop what she's doing and pay attention.

    So I understand *why* he does it but I'm looking for ways to encourage him to play gently, nicely, and suggestions as to what to do when he doesn't.

    If he hits/kicks her and whacks her on the head with a book (like he has JUST DONE!!), I can't do it back to demonstrate that it hurts and it is not nice, because he laughs. He's bigger and it doesn't affect him like it does her.

    I've tried talking to him saying - look, she's crying, what you did hurt her, it made her sad. I've tried pointing out the times her makes her laugh and smile. I also sometimes just send him to his bed for a bit saying that he must be cranky and cranky babies go to bed. We don't have space where we live for a separate time-out place.

    Anyway, I'm just wondering what people with two or more do to have kids play gently with baby siblings. Thanks for any advice.
    Last edited by debsch; 27-04-2015 at 09:47.

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    One strategy that I've seen if it's attention seeking behaviour is, if he hurts her, to totally ignore him and focus all your attention on cuddling and soothing your daughter. He will learn pretty quickly that he will have to try something different to get his mumma's attention...

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    debsch  (28-04-2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by harvs View Post
    One strategy that I've seen if it's attention seeking behaviour is, if he hurts her, to totally ignore him and focus all your attention on cuddling and soothing your daughter. He will learn pretty quickly that he will have to try something different to get his mumma's attention...
    I did exactly that. Ignore the behaviour and give bub lots of cuddles. My ds mr 3 learnt pretty quick. He is so good with ds now.

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    debsch  (28-04-2015)

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    I've used a two pronged approach for my same age toddler but younger baby. Any hurting is straight to time out. No talking, just pick her up and deposit her on a chair in her room. Close the door and back out in 2 mins or so (1 minute per year of age). I don't discuss why time out but did the first couple of times.

    My second strategy, which has proved the most effective is a reward for "soft, gentle hands". I use a mini M&M because they are tiny but she thinks it's amazing. I started by telling her she would get one for soft gentle hands and then gave her one the first time I saw soft gentle hands. I then gradually stretched it out so that the reward was for a longer period but still several opportunities a day to earn it. Two months on and I no longer use the reward but she still tells me if she had been soft and gentle.

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    debsch  (28-04-2015),HappyBovinexx  (27-04-2015),Nasim2  (27-04-2015)


 

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