1.5 and 2.5 year old sibling fighting

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2010
1.5 and 2.5 year old sibling fighting
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 9:49pm

Hi Ladies,

I am new to this board and was hoping someone, anyone could help me..

I have two boys 14 months apart and they do not get along at ALL! My older DS won't allow his brother to come near him without screaming no or pushing him.. if the little ds touches a toy that my older DS claims to be his he hits him , kicks him or head butts him.. I do time outs but they're not working. I can't live like this much longer.. it's all day long scream fests.. any advice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2007
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 9:03am

HI! Welcome to the board!!

Definitely not speaking from experience here since mine are 3 years apart and the closest thing I have to compare is my ODD not wanting her little brother to drool on her Barbies...so ignore me if you want. :) If the arguments are generally around toys how about packing up all of your

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 1:22pm

I have twins that are older. Kids need to understand mine(and have their ownership respected) before they can share. Your older & younger ds should each have special toys that they only can play with. Then the vast majority of toys should be shared, but don't allow younger ds to take a toy away from older ds even if it is a shared toy.

Put yourself in the older ds shoes, he was king of the hill and everything was his then little brother started to crawl and walk and invading his space and taking his toys. I would scream too if I thought every time a certain person came near I would lose my toy. Some parents make the mistake of putting it on the older child to share with the younger one. Sharing isn't a one way street, and each should have toys they never have to share.

Let older ds have his space, even if it means, putting up a gate between 2 rooms where you can watch both kids, but younger ds won't bother him. Once he is allowed his space and to have toys that are his only, he may be more amenable to letting younger bro play near him.

If the gate thing won't work, redirect your younger one to other toys or activities away from the older ds. The younger ds should be pretty easy to redirect at 1.5yrs. Maybe work out a word for your older ds to say to you when younger ds is bothering him, rather than respond to a scream, respond to a neutral word (the key is you have to respond quickly).

Time outs will work but only if the 2.5 yr old feels as though they are being heard and listened to. "I understand you are mad at your bro, but we never hit even if he takes a toy away". I would take the toy away from little ds and let older ds have it after the time out is over. This way you are disciplining the poor behavior but also listening to a valid complaint the older ds has.

It's hard. My twins have always had 6-12 toys that were only theirs and the other one couldn't play with them unless the "owner" gave her approval and the owner said how long the toy could be played with. Of course, now we are beyond toys, they get mad when the other one raids their closet, but we use the same "owner" rule, the owner says when it can be borrowed and can veto it's use at any time.

Cathie mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs.
Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs