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How To Stop My Toddler From Hitting His Brother?!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 13, 2018

Question

I need help. My 3 year old son is violently attacking his brother every single day. I've tried all the tricks to stop him but with vain. Sometimes I ended up blocking him in his bedroom and separating him from his brother. What should I do? Thank you! 

Counselor

Answer


hitting

In this counseling answer:

•Please do examine his home life-if he watches any violent shows on TV, has anyone ever been violent with him at daycare, home, school or relatives/friends.

•Please do protect the child that is being attacked. Talk with your 3-year-old when things are calm and ask him “why do you hurt you brother?”  Please do offer him alternative ways of dealing with anger which are age appropriate.

•Do praise and reward him for the times his interactions are positive with his brother.  You may want to give him some crayons and a book and ask him to draw you pictures of the family, of him and his brother.


As-salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to us with your most critical issue. While I am not sure of your other child’s age, it is imperative that you do protect the child from being harmed.

When you say “violently attacking”  I am not sure if you are speaking about fist fights between a 3-year-old and 5 years old or a 3-year-old punching hitting a 1-year-old. In any event, it must stop. What you are doing is correct for now.  Please do separate them insha’Allah. However, insha’Allah you must get to the bottom of the behavior.  Why is he so violent?  Has he seen or witnessed violence?

Please do examine his home life-if he watches any violent shows on TV, has anyone ever been violent with him at daycare, home, school or relatives/friends. Violence is also sometimes seen in children who are on the low spectrum of autism or have ADHD.  Other medical conditions, either mentally or physically could produce violence in a child thus I kindly suggest that you seek out the advice of your child’s pediatrician.

In the meantime, please do protect the child that is being attacked. Talk with your 3-year-old when things are calm and ask him “why do you hurt you brother?”  Please do offer him alternative ways of dealing with anger which are age appropriate.

Do praise and reward him for the times his interactions are positive with his brother.  You may want to give him some crayons and a book and ask him to draw you pictures of the family, of him and his brother.  Often times art will help a child express more than words.  From his drawings, you may see some clues which may generate some idea’s as to why he is doing this.

As you probably already know, the internet is filled with parents writing in about their violent toddlers, so please know you are not alone.  Please do insha’Allah contact your pediatrician for further help, examinations, and referrals for your child.  Insha’Allah it is a passing phase that can be managed, however, it is best to get situations such as this professionally evaluated.

 

We wish you the best you are in our prayers.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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