Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hitting, Kicking, Pushing...Punching????

Things have been interesting lately with our little Mr. Man Seth. Like I said in his post, he is doing amazing in school and really is a big help. What we are having problems with at home is how he is with his little sister.

Lately, he has been pushing, hitting, and kicking Skylar. He will antagonize her to the point of getting her upset by hoarding toys, pushing her around, not allowing her to go where she wants to go just because and then uses her getting upset as an excuse to unleash on her. In fact, the other day, he straight turned around and punched her in the stomach. I saw the whole thing and he didn't think I was there. He tried saying that she hit him, but she hadn't touched him. It broke my heart. I don't understand where the violence is coming from.

In our home, we typically don't spank. With Swae, all it took was her having to look at the wall or a sticker and that was all the tuning she needed. With Seth, looking at the wall doesn't work. He has gotten a spanking a handful of times and that doesn't phase him either. We've tried talking, we've tried raising our voices...nothing seems to be working. He continues to be abusive and it is starting to break my heart. I hate seeing our sweet little boy act like this. I hate seeing Skylar's face when she is the brunt of his aggression. And I hate that now Skylar is learning that hitting is an acceptable behavior since that is what she sees and gets from her brother. He doesn't just act out on Skylar. He will with Swae too, but doesn't do it as much because Swae has a voice and can tell us what happened. Skylar can't.

Is this just a "boys will be boys" thing? I don't know. What I do know is that I worry that Skylar is going to end up hurt. And I hate that she thinks that it is ok to hit or kick or push when things aren't going her way. I am also at a loss at how to correct Seth's behavior. I told him from now on he will get back whatever he dishes out. And the fact that Daddy is on board is great. Seth listens to his Daddy because he idolizes him. I am hoping that we can get this nipped in the ass and with a quickness. I just wish we knew that these same values were being reinforced when they aren't with us. That would really be a big help.


Jen said...

Oh man, I totally relate to this. Not only is Cole violent in the same way as Seth- but he does NOT listen and there isn't a punishment on the planet that I have thought of that will work on him. I am really just hoping it is a phase.

The weird thing is that I don't even know where he got it. He doesn't have older siblings- and we have never been violent with him- my best guess is... Spongebob?

If you think of anything innovative that works please pass it on!


He & Me + 3 said...

I never had that problem with my kids but they talk so mean to each other and that breaks my heart. It is so hard when nothing is working. Maybe take away privileges. Be consistant...that is the key

Anonymous said...

Praise him when he behaves well, and be consistent in removing privileges when he is not behaving well. Consistency is the key; if not consistent if taking away privileges when state you will, he will know you may not do so. Spanking really does not help; if trying to teach not to hit or kick, makes no sense to use that type of punishment. Just serves to send mixed signals.
He is likely going through some growing pains of his own and at that age, it's difficult to use words rather than fists if frustrated. Patience and consistency is key. Good luck!

Lynsey said...

Seth is young and still learning to completely understand. So with him being young, they tend to go through "phases" of needing more attention. Unfortionately they don't really know how to just ask for it. Someone told me when my oldest son was struggling with attention to just tell him what he did was not ok and not allowed and that if he needed attention he needed to ask for it. It didn't always work because well kids will be kids but he got better at saying he wanted some attention. But do expect it to happen A LOT until he learns to share the attention again.

Lynsey said...

I meant expect him to ask for attention A lot. Not to hit a lot. :)

MarvelousMOM said...

Spongebob maybe... Seth watches a ton of TV at his mom's house. Seems that is all that they do there. They have seen every episode of everything. I try not to have them watch TV with us. If they do it is the last half hour before they go to bed.

We are definitely being consistent. Please know we are not hitting him, kicking him, or pushing him...although we have mentioned it. Like you said, it doesn't teach them anything if we do it to him. Right now we are on the track of taking toys away, having him sit out of playing while his sisters play. We are working on it and hopefully it will get better.

I too have thought that it might be an attention thing, but he isn't acting out when his sisters are getting attention. He does it when he thinks that we aren't watching or paying attention. I have told him that if he needs attention or needs some love to just tell me. So we are working on that as well. I am very hopeful that things get better and soon. :)