There has been a lot of discussion about elder child, usually a toddler, hitting the younger one. Although, this problem is true, there is another problem in which the aggressive toddler starts hitting the elder one. The reason is that toddlers do not have their frontal cortex fully developed, and hence they get overwhelmed by their emotions which sometime overcome their basic knowledge that hitting basically hurts. The basic reason is that when they find it hard to verbally communicate, they get frustrated and then start hitting.
Although the older children may be able to protect themselves by getting away or showing some sensible behavior, they also need to feel safe and protected. So, below discussed are a few scenarios in which the reasons why toddlers do what they are discussed.
The toddler just wants a connection with the older sibling
Toddlers get obsessed with the elder siblings for just about any reason. If the elder sister is working on a project to build a toy out of cardboard, you can take your toddler near her. But, you should also teach your little fellow to communicate with his sister. Try to convince him on using words rather than going and snatching the items being used in the project.
However, if your daughter is not ready to have interference of her younger brother at the moment, you can offer your services in order to play with the toddler.
Toddler wants to get what older sibling has
Now this can be a little tricky situation because toddler can show impatience while the older sibling may not be willing to hand over the toy right away. This is the time you can show some empathy to the little fellow and teach him some basic social skills. But again, establishing a connection is the most important thing if you want your toddler to understand what you have to say.
Then, you can also tell your older daughter the benefits of sharing things with siblings. You can convince her about giving turn to the little fellow to play with the toy. Also teach her about using words when she would not be in the mood of handing over the toy.
Toddler has the big feelings piled up
When the big feelings are piled up, children can act out. When the big feelings are gone, the toddlers can actually be very playful and happier. So, if your toddler is acting out and hitting the elder sister, he may be doing it due to these big emotions. You can help your child to get rid of those emotions by showing empathy. He may start crying and show some tears but that should be OK. Furthermore, you can do a little roughhousing to make the child giggle. This technique is very effective in making the children getting rid of the burden of their big feelings.