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Home » How Do I Protect My Toddler from His 5-Year-Old Brother?

How Do I Protect My Toddler from His 5-Year-Old Brother?

From the U.S.: hello i have a 2 year old son and 5 year old stepson that are brothers. The 5 year old stepson humiliates the 2 year old son by calling him a brat and saying his brother dies. The 5 year old stepson tells the 2 year old son that his toys are worse and uglier than his own toys.

I have a question regarding how to go about the 5 year olds behaviour towards the 2 year old. On one hand my instinct tells me to acknowledge the 5 year olds behavior towards the 2 year old and call him out on it by telling the 5 year old to stop the name calling and humiliation of the 2 year old as simply ignoring the name calling could have subconscious negative effects on the 2 year olds emotional and mental wellbeing .

On the other hand there is another approach to the situation which dictates to not acknowledge the 5 years old humiliation and name calling towards the 2 year old for the purpose that not acknowledging and ignoring the 5 year olds humiliation and name calling towards the 2 year old teaches the 2 year old to not place importance on the name calling for the sake of the 2 year olds mental and emotional wellbeing, though I wonder whether this approach would have a positive or negative subonscious effect on the 2 year olds emotional and mental wellbeing, if it has a subconscious effect at all. Which approach is best for the 2 year olds mental and emotional wellbeing?

How Do I Protect My Toddler from His 5-Year-Old Brother?

A.

From my point of view, both of these little boys are in trouble. It is not usual or normal for a 5-year-old to pick on a 2-year-old. It is not helpful to the 2-year-old’s growth and development to be so dominated by a bully. By all means, set clear limits and consequences with the 5-year-old and comfort the 2-year-old. But even more important, get these kids to a counselor to find out what is going on with the older boy — and to give you some guidance and support as you work to turn things around.

Both boys need you — though in different ways. Both boys count on you and the other adults in their lives to provide safety and help when they can’t help themselves.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Protect My Toddler from His 5-Year-Old Brother?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How Do I Protect My Toddler from His 5-Year-Old Brother?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/07/01/how-do-i-protect-my-toddler-from-his-5-year-old-brother/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 29 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.