A Facebook Fan asked: My son who will turn 5 this month, has been hitting his younger sister (2 yrs) when he thinks we don’t see him and lie about it when confronted. He has never been aggressive or turbulent, on the contrary. However, he has always been a tease, loving to bug playfully his friends and camarades at school, his teachers last year and this year have complained about him not respecting his school comrades personal space. He is the youngest in his classroom and is smaller and lighter than his peers. But lately, he’s been taking it on his sister, and not so lightly. I was wondering if it’s a jealousy phase, but it is not a behavior exclusive towards his sister. We’ve tried to reason, to understand, to question, to explain, we have sent him to his room, confiscated his favorite toys to no avail.
Any suggestions on how to deal with this?
Jealousy aside (which is normal), this is typical scapegoat behavior… and must be stopped in its tracks. I’m very happy to hear you’re sending him to his room (and confiscated his favorite toy) and keep that going (extending the stays if needed). Do this for as long as it takes. If he escalates, walk off and wait – and then put him in his room. Meanwhile, when you catch him being kind or nice or cooperative while in the company of his sister – jump all over that. Swoop him up in your arms and hug him and tell him he’s the best! That goes a long way in rewarding the better side of him… the sweet boy you know is in him, who is frustrated right now because he can’t be the center of things as he once was.
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