Recently my daughter started to hit another girl with whom she is currently sharing her nanny. My daughter is 2 years and 2 months now, the other child is 1 year 3 months. The nanny only cared for our daughter until 5 months ago, at which point we started sharing with the other family. We had a few trial days and it was perfect, but after a few proper days it became clear that our daughter is not very happy with the arrangement - probably she was jealous.

A few weeks ago the problems grew more serious, and our daughter started hitting the other girl much more often. Part of the reason might be that the younger girl is interested in everything around and in particular in the toy that our daughter is playing with (natural at this age I guess), so our daughter was fighting back. But now she became so aggressive that the nanny and all the parents involved are very worried: often she would attack the little girl when she just passes by or waves her hand.

We are trying to figure out how to improve their relationship and how to make our daughter stop this violence. Gentle explanations don't seem to work - I believe she understands she does the wrong thing, she says sorry, kisses the smaller child etc., but 3 mins later the same thing happens again.

Could anyone reccommend anything we could do about it? And what could make it worse? The real question is should we try to punish our daughter in any way (e.g. stop the play and take to the other end of the room), or is it going to have the opposite effect?

asked 13 Jun '11, 15:57

Gandrusz's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Jun '11, 13:09

DazedandConfused's gravatar image


This is obviously a sensitive situation. I would say the first thing to note is that your daughter's behavior is completely normal. Since the two children are sharing a nanny, or a single mother figure, in effect you have created a sibling rivalry between them. It's just much harder to handle because they aren't both your kids.

My recommendation would be to deal with it in the same way you would if they were siblings. The nanny will need to be able to discipline your child when she hits the younger one (time out, take her out of the situation, apology to the younger one, etc.) as well as be on point to keep an eye on her and manage situations that require sharing, dealing with anger, and so forth.

The tricky part is that you also need the other parents to be on board. They may not want their child to be the one who takes all the hits so your child can learn some stuff that she would normally have to deal with if she had a younger sister or brother. But if they are understanding, I think it could work.


answered 13 Jun '11, 20:49

blue's gravatar image

accept rate: 26%

edited 14 Jun '11, 02:35

+1 Having recently witness our daughter interacting with a younger child I would completely agree.

(13 Jun '11, 21:06) Tammy ♦♦

+1, I completely agree too. Time outs every. single. time. she hits with a clear, "we don't hit, it hurts people", usually takes care of it pretty quickly.

(14 Jun '11, 11:29) Neen

In anwswer to you question yes she should be disciplined for hitting.

We had a similar issue with our daughter hitting our son when she was about your daughters age. We adopted the approach outlined above. She was taken away from the situation immediately, told it was not appropriate, our son got attention and then our daughter had to apologise when she came back. After doing this very consistently for a few days things started to improve. Then occassionally she would start again but we would take the same approach and she would work out it wasn't a good idea.

The answer to this question might help as well.


answered 17 Jun '11, 16:03

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 17 Jun '11, 16:06

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Asked: 13 Jun '11, 15:57

Seen: 2,908 times

Last updated: 17 Jun '11, 16:06