Sunday, April 17, 2011

Daughters fighting

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 
10                       10                           10

Comment: Thank you so much for you quick and honest response. I feel bad that I never thought of my situation this way...on how this problem could lead to bullying in the future. Everyone just kept telling me it was normal and that they'll grow out of it. I feel like a bad mother for letting it go on for so long but now thanks to your advise I see the seriousness of it. I am going to Chapters today to buy the book that you recommended and am going to make this my number one priority and address this bad habit with compassion and fairness. I always felt bad for Emily but never realized the long term effects that it may have on her and as for Brooklyn I never thought that one of my kids would end up being a bully. I was bullied horribly when I was a child and now when I look deeply into our situation I am allowing it to happen to my own child and for that I thank you for opening my eyes and looking at the facts that I just didn't realize were possible in my house. Your response has been an awakening for me and I wish you the best in your life and career, you are very Wise and give people the truth without being too harsh. I will keep you updated with my progress. Thank you again so much, it means alot! Jenine, Sean, Emily and Brooklyn

Questioner: Jenine


Subject: Daughters fighting

Question: Hello,

I am a 24 year old stay at home mom of two girls age one and a half and four and a half. My oldest Emily is a very polite, shy and what some may call passive. My youngest Brooklyn is the exact opposite, very aggressive, loud and stubborn. My problem is Brooklyn (youngest) gets very physical with Emily, she hits, pulls hair and bites so hard she draws blood. I am stuck on how to solve this problem. I don't spank but I am a firm believer in time outs and loss of privileges, but how do you help a one year old understand consequence. I never had this problem with my first and would appreciate any advise.

Thanks in advance,

Jenine

Answer: Dear Jenine:

Wow! Typically this type of violent behavior is done first to the child and then they act it out. Is she exposed to any other children or caregivers who allow the children to act out like this?

She needs a very strong message that physically hurting anyone including herself is unacceptable. I have a couple of suggestions.

First, watch her closely. You should be able to see signs and symptoms if you watch her very closely to determine when she will attack. Catch her and then tell her hands are not for hitting, teeth are not for biting. Be very firm! (There is a book for tots which tells them teeth are for biting apples, not biting....etc. Pick it up and READ it over and over.)

Next, catch her when she is doing something right and using her skills and praise her behavior.

Lastly, help her develop her verbal skills to express her emotions. There are all sorts of feeling charts and games out now. You can find them in bookstores and by doing an Internet search.

Your oldest daughter is very dependent upon you to protect her from this sibling abuse. It will make her a target for others in life if this is not stopped. Just because she is older does not mean she doesn't need you to empower her just as much. Teach her too to help you with identifying feelings and expressing how much pain she has endured.

Sibling abuse is something we do not address in this society and probably contributes to bullying in schools and myriad of other societal problems. It is just as painful and probably more so because it comes from those who are our family, those who are suppose to love us the most.

Luckily you are their mom and are putting a stop to it now! Good for you!

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

You are so very welcome. You made my day with your kind words. This is what I strive for to make a difference in the life of one child at a time. You will be the best mom to her for making this change. She will always remember her mother saw her pain and did what needed to be done. Give yourself the credit for opening your heart to her!

May you and your family be blessed!

M Kay Keller