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When the Older Child Makes the First Hit

From "Mummies of Many Series"

· parenting tips,managing siblings,parenting a toddler,motherhood,parenting siblings

There is a Chinese idiom that says, "the front and back of your hand are both your flesh". This is exactly true with reference to your own children. You bore them in your womb for nine months and endured labor pains to bring them forth to the world. You nursed them, changed them, and did everything to care for them. Each of your children holds a portion of your heart. So what happens when the children fight? What happens when your toddler takes a hit at his baby sibling?

Our instinct would definitely be to stop our older child from hurting the baby. We would be calling for him to stop, pulling him away, forcefully taking away the item in his hand that was used to hurt the baby, or carrying the baby away. We might then discipline the toddler, scold him, get him to stand in the naughty corner to reflect, or even exert physical punishment. We may be shocked at the action of our child depending on how severe the situation was. The child may also be shocked by how big our reaction is to him hitting the baby.

I am definitely guilty of yelling at my son before, only to regret it barely seconds after. I believe it doesn't take much to hurt the vulnerable emotions of our toddler.

Most of the time, our toddlers really don't mean any harm. They are not vindictive or evil. They are simply looking for a parent's love. @mumpreneur264

It definitely pains us to see any of our children get hurt; worse if it's caused by the action of his sibling. As much as our instinct is to protect the 'victim', we need to be intentional in caring for the older child's emotions as well. Needless to say, we need to be firm in telling our toddler it is wrong to hit the baby sibling. Yet if our ways of disciplining him are harsh, it may also cause the toddler to feel even more isolated, reinforcing his idea of his parents loving his baby sibling more than him.

I would like to gently advise you to be prepared for instances where your older child may exhibit violence towards the younger sibling. It will never be pleasant to witness it happen no matter how mentally prepared you are, for such a scenario. But hopefully, by being mentally prepared, you will respond to your toddler's emotions rather than react to his action.

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