And he just kept pinching

The kids sits side by side at the dinner table. Caroline doesn't have to sit next to him, but she really likes to. They typically get along well at the table and actually enjoy their close proximity. Sometimes though we enter a dangerous place where acting out and curls go hand in hand, literally.

For no reason at all Connor will grab a fistful of her hair and not let go. Her reaction is to freeze and scream. While I appreciate that she does not get involved in a scuffle with him, obeying the "keep your hands to yourself" rule, I sometimes worry that she isn
T defending herself at all. That boy will not let go until a grown up forcibly removes his hands from her curls. He get a little slap on the offending hand and off he goes to his room to sit in his crib for a few minutes. He cries, she smiles telling us he is in timeout, and when he is released he returns to give her a hug and say sorry.

Last night Steve and I were putting together the plates for our dinner while the kids were starting on their own dinners. We both watched him grip onto her arm and pinch the skin around her elbow. We asked him to stop. We yelled at him to stop and he released her arm only to pinch her again and harder. Only when Steve removed him from his seat did he let go. The protests from his room were awful, as was his injured and sad sister who went from physically hurt to emotional victim. We talk a lot to her about telling us when he takes something, if he bites her, puts his hands on her... Tell a grown up we say, and she is getting better about it, but not always.

This kind of thing is happening more and more often. He will not relent. He always says he is sorry, but I wonder if we are not sending the message correctly? He won't sit still on a step for timeout yet. My gut says this is just one of the many blips on the timeline of his youth where he is testing limits, pushing boundaries and demanding attention even if that attention is negative. I think we are getting it across effectively that this is not tolerated, that there are consequeences and we do not hurt our friends. This is just one of those things that is going to take swift and just response isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. ah, sibling love at its finest. noah bites the bejeezus out of ethan and we usually stop ethan from retaliating...but one day, we'll let the siblings figure it out on their own and i bet that biting will stop pretty darn quickly...

    still, it's so frustrating, isn't it? why can't they just love each other and be nice all the time??!