I have a 5 year old who is also my step son and he is always not listen and biting and pinching his little brother. I would like to find out how to stop this. I have tried everything I can think of Please help me

A: You didn’t give me much information to go on but I do have a couple of guesses. You said you’ve “tried everything”. This may be part of the problem. By trying everything, you are not sticking to anything. You’ve been switching from one thing to another, probably getting more and more upset when things don’t work. When this goes on, most kids then up the behavior, trying to find where the real limits are. There are many effective ways to set and keep limits. Choose one way to manage him, make sure your husband agrees to it, and stick to it. It will take a week or two for him to understand that this time you mean it but once that message gets through, things just may settle down.
The other guess I have is that he is jealous of his little brother. If his sibling is your biological child, he may believe that you favor him. It would be understandable if you do. But your stepson needs to know that there’s enough love and attention to go around. In a time when you are not angry, take him in your lap, give him a big hug and tell him that both brothers have special places in the family. He will always be special because he came with his daddy and he’s the first kid in the family. His brother is special because he is the first child born to you. They are differently special but they are both special. He doesn’t have to be angry with his little brother because no one will take his place as the first kid in the house. You might then be able to appeal to him to be the kind of big brother who shows the little one how to be big instead of how to be mean.
Good luck.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 May 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My son keeps biting and pinching his little brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/18/my-son-keeps-biting-and-pinching-his-little-brother/