My husband and I have only been married and living together a year. He has two children from previous relationships, one 14 and the other 7. Together we have a son who just turned one year old. I've been noticing recently that my one year old has been falling down more often and getting hurt. Always the seven year old is with him. So I began paying closer attention and saw the seven year old pushing my one year old down on the tile floor. When I spoke to the seven year old and asked him why he had done that he said "I was angry". Upon talking to him more he told me that he has been doing this for a few weeks. We have alot of other behavior problems with the seven year old at home and at school but so far not with him being aggresive with other children until now. I discussed this with my husband hoping that we could work on a solution to his behavior but the responsibility of taking care of the children is falling on me alone. I do not know how to handle this problem, I want to protect my child but everytime I turn my back something happens to him. Often there is no confession as to what really happened but I know his cry and he only crys like that if he has been hurt. I do not know what to do and would appreciat any advise you offer, thank you.
You should never leave a one year old child without adult supervision. The best thing you can do to take care of him is to be with him - that will mostly solve your problem. Also, don't take anything your seven year old says at face value. For example, when he says the shoving has been occurring for the past several weeks, there's no reason to believe that, because the sense of time of a seven year old makes a comment like that almost entirely unreliable. If your son acts in an aggressive fashion, place him in time out immediately for about ten minutes. Read Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents, and follow the guidelines explicitly - you'll be glad you did. Finally, your husband should be involved in managing behavior as well. Why is this falling only to you? This is something to discuss with your husband.
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