cassionmama asks:

How can I get my two year old to stop being a bully?

I have two daughters, one two and one 11 months. The two year old has always had a problem with hitting and yelling, but I dont know where she got it from. For the past couple of weeks it has gotten totally out of hand. Her baby sister flinches when she walks by. I dont know what to do.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Jan 26, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Have there been any changes in your family dynamics or circumstances lately?  Stress may bring on behavioral issue in toddlers.  Whatever the reason though, it is not an excuse to hit and/or yell.  Therefore, you must let your daughter know that her outbursts are unacceptable.  

When she hits or yell, get to her level and look her sternly in the eyes.  With a strong voice say "No!" and immediately administer time out.  At age 2 years, children can start time out at 1 minute per year of life.  If she tries to escape, have her sit in your lap until the timer goes off.  If she thrushes around, give her a bear hug to restrict her movements and prevent injury to her or you. Also, tell her that no matter what, she will sit in your lap until the timer goes off.  

Be consistent and with time you'll notice improvement in you child's behavior.

Suggested readings:

Practicing healthy discipline

Where do temper tantrums come from?

The concept of "no"

Best regards.
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Additional Answers (2)

Karenmom writes:
Could it be that the 2 year old is jealous of the 11 month old?  Sometimes older siblings have trouble adjusting to the younger child receiving more attention, or just attention at all.  The oldest may be acting out just to get your attention, good or bad, it doesn't matter to them-it worked and now they are the center of your attention.

She is only 2, I don't think she falls into the category of a bully.  Be certain that nothing or nobody has harmed her in anyway causing this behavior, but otherwise, I think that a little love will go a long way, offer assurance that she is loved and make her feel special that she is the oldest and that she can be mommy's helper with the baby or daddy's helper.  This will make her feel proud and as though she is to protect her younger sister.  

There are several books written to encourage older siblings to be loving toward their baby siblings, they may help-I've included a link to introduce you to some, check your local library for copies.  Best wishes!

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EdieRaether , Teacher writes:
She is angry and needs to know better ways to express it.  
May be jealous of the 11 month old sibling so make sure she is getting as much if not MORE attention than before but not when she is acting out.  
Get underneath the surface.  You be surprised how much kids will tell you how they feel.  Have her draw pictures of how she feels.

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