How to stop sibling bullying?

Can anyone please shed some advice on sibling bullying. And ways to correct the problem . I’m a mother of two boys ; ages 2 and 3. My 3 year old is always taking toys, books or anything away from his brother. He could be playing with something else, and see his brother with something and go for it. My 2 year old seems more timid, and although sometimes he stands his ground more often he just cry. I don’t know what to do. I tried time outs, verbally telling him that’s not nice and share but he keeps doing it. My fear is that my 2 year old will thinks it’s ok for people to take from him . Please help. Thanks


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to stop sibling bullying?

Courtney Tune jon needs this

Stay out of it. They need to work this out on their own and if they aren’t violent…don’t save them.

3 year olds can’t really grasp this concept anyways.

They don’t understand sharing at this age yet. All you can do is keep telling him no. Once they are older they will begin to get the concept of sharing but for now just keep taking the toy of the 3 year old and giving it back to his brother.


My 12-year-old and 9-year-old still do this and then they torment their two year old sister The sibling thing

Good luck. My daughter and my niece are 2. We’re trying to teach them to share but they don’t fully grasp it yet.

I tell mine that it’s not nice, to give it back and wait his turn to play with whatever item they are having a dispute over , and when they really can’t stop fighting over a item I take it away from both for the day.

It’s siblings being siblings and if you have another one the little one will do that to the next but if it really bothers you do what I did and snatch things out of his hands from time to time. It will show him how it feels

Siblings do that tho. All you can do is constantly tell them to share and take turns. Explain why sharing is good and taking from people is bad

LOL good luck. They’re going to fight for the rest of their childhood.


Neither 2 or 3 year olds can really understand sharing at this age very well. I would suggest staying calm about it and don’t make it a big deal for the younger one to get upset. You can try telling the 3 year old instead of that isn’t nice give clear instructions, like saying you need to give that toy back to your brother he is still playing with that.

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You could separate them. Set one to play in one area and the other in the other area when the 3yro takes things away. Give it back to the 2yro and set 3yro in his area with some other toys.

Just keep trying and make older brother sit on time out chair as often as it takes

They are 2 and 3 🤦 Totally normal. Have patience and show them how to share. It’s still going to take awhile.

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Girl you’ll be alright lol

It’s the age and the fact that they’re siblings especially so close in age. Redirect, use gentle approaching. You won’t see results immediately so just remain consistent. As they get older your approach will show through them.

My girls do this, age 4 and 5. One minute they are best friends the next they are wrestling over a toy. I let them work it out for the most part but I do intervene when it looks like the MMA. It may be the closeness in age and then again just siblings.

So this is gonna be a little controversial of an opinion. BUT idrc. I don’t believe in making my kids share. When they went through those phases, it was simple talk about how this one is playing with this right now,. You can find one of your many other toys, a similar toy, or you can wait til that one’s done. But you can’t have what someone else has. And not making them share kind of reinforced that.


They do understand at 3. And when my nieces would do this to eachother, I’d take one of their favorite toys away and give it to the other to play with. They’re much older now and still fight like crazy because they’re so close in age. But it worked well when they were little!

Encourage him to ask for it back nicely and if that doesn’t work tell him to go take it back.

When he takes something from his brother you take something from him. (Not the same thing he took from his brother) although you should take that too and set it up high so the kids can’t get to it.
Then when he throws a fit and asks for it say no and reasons why. (You aren’t being nice and using your manners etc)
When things have calmed down and you think enough time has passed you give him the item you took from him and at the same time you make him give your youngest the item he took from his brother. So he connects that when he gets something he wants he needs to behave and you do the right thing. If he refuses or throws a fit, take the items away again and start all over.

My 9 and 6 year old do this daily. Only thing that helps is separating them

Tell him that you don’t take things that don’t belong to you. Sharing isn’t the correct word because it’s not about sharing, he should not take something that is not his to have at that time.

Instead of time outs, give him time ins; every time he takes a toy he has to give it back and sit and nicely play with his brother for 5 mins without taking anything from him.

Good luck, my sister and I never stopped. We don’t even talk now.

Well actually now that I think about it we fought because of our environment. Our mom didn’t realize how she pitted us against each other. That was when we got older though, when we were young like your kids it was plain old jealousy.

Have you tried over praising what needs to be praised, and spending more one on one time with the eldest? Negative attention is better than no attention to a child. You may feel like you’re giving him enough, but he may not feel it. Maybe just try and see if it helps at all. Also maybe get creative on how to make sharing a more enjoyable experience for him. You’ve tried a lot of discipline and I’m not telling you not to discipline, just add more positive than negative too and see if it helps.

This is why birth order personalities are true (as the middle child)

When my kids can’t share I take it easy and put it away and when they cry about it then I explained to them at eye level and they seem to act different

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he’s 3 years old. he knows why he’s taking things from his brother. have you asked him why he’s doing this? and then discuss it – at his level of comprehension. explain that it’s not nice and then level a punishment which gives him the same sense of irritation he’s giving his brother – suzanne nightingale’s advice in addition would also work.

My boys are 11mos apart, this is normal & will take time. They’re almost 22 & 23 and are buddies now :purple_heart:

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When you find out let me know. :joy:

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Take everything out of the three year olds room except his mattress pillow and a blanket and make him earn things back

That’s not bullying. That’s so normal for that age. They will grow out of it. If the kid takes something just return it to the kid. And explain that isn’t nice…

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Consistency is the key. Each time he takes a toy away from his brother, don’t allow him to play with that particular toy again that day. This is normal sibling rivalry.

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My 10yo and 8yo were like this alot growing up. My 8yo also went though the hitting, biting, kicking phases. He’s my wild child. Basically I started getting the same toy twice lol or I’d separate them into different rooms. It was difficult. I wanted my 10yo to stand up for himself (he’s also timid) but I also didn’t want my 8yo to turn into a bully. They did get better as they got older, now they have separate interest. But it was a pain for awhile.

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I was the “enforcer” when my kids were that age my son would take things from his little sister so I would make him give it back, if he didn’t I would get one of his toys and give it to her. He didn’t like her playing with his toys so he would give it back. Now she takes from him… haha so I do the same thing.

It’s a normal behavior. Just stay calm and explain why it is not nice to do that. Take the toy and give it back to the other child.

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Tell him “no, brother is playing with that right now. You can have a turn when he’s done” when the toy is put down point it out and say “he’s done now, would you like a turn?” This is very common for 3 year olds! Try to be patient and keep reminding him that he can’t take things from other people. Remember it’s not about sharing in this instance, it’s about not taking things that others are using.

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They are still real little. Be consistent and keep up with the time outs and warnings. Unfortunately, it won’t go away completely. But when they get older they will get better. Having them play with their own toys and not making them share helps. I have 5 kids and it is always a struggle to make them share and get along in general.

Not uncommon and u not alone. Takes time for them to realize this human now exists and I don’t have mommy and daddy alone. Try giving them their own space besides together time. Time alone w mommy and daddy even if it’s a weekly one hour to park alone or go for a walk etc just so there is some escape per day

This is not bullying this is brothers

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You take that toy & return it to his brother & remove him. If he can’t play nice, he sits. Let him play alone sometimes too. Keep reminding him we don’t do that. It’ll take consistency but they’ll get thru it.

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That’s to be expected You have that with little ones they are growing an learning too!

I use to make them play separate,with there own toys.playing alone was no fun,but they had to share if they played together.

That’s not bullying. That’s toddlers not knowing how to share yet. Everything at that age is “mine” even if it’s not theirs, ya know? You need to teach your 3 year old the concept of sharing and actually work on it with him instead of just letting him take away his brother’s toys all the time.

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It’s pretty common behavior. You have to take the toy, give it back to his brother and say, “No, you can have it when brother is done with it.” Then when the brother puts it down, offer it to the 3-yr-old. You have to explain taking things from others isn’t nice. This will take awhile. Your kids are still very young. Sharing is a learned behavior that some kids don’t learn till much later.


First off, who is in charge in that house? The three year old obviously. You can stop it, you just won’t do what’s necessary to do it.

I’m not sure that this could be categorized as bullying.

The ability to understand the concept of sharing is a developmental milestone. Just keep encouraging him. The ability will eventually take hold.

Its pretty normal behaviour tbh. Just take it from him and return it. Stay calm and tell him its not acceptable behaviour…sometimes doing the same thing to them and asking how they feel about it helps them understand.

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Lol that’s normal, I have 3 boys
And it’s not bullying

Not bullying. That’s normal behavior at that age. Just keep enforcing that it is not ok to take things and such. The 3 year old most likely knows not to but does it because they can. The 2 year old will soon learn to do the same but as you teach the older one the younger one will pick up on it also. Your child isn’t yet a bully. You can definitely teach him now and all will be ok.
Whatever punishment you use just be consistent. For me I liked to have the child return the item themselves and a time out or whatever if they did it again. Those 3 year olds love pushing those boundaries to the mAx


Slap his hands and firmly tell him NO


lol did you have siblings?! You must not have… my kids also pester one another… it’s really just siblings being siblings. If they didn’t do this to one another sometimes it would be weird lol. Especially when they’re close in age.


This is actually very normal. 3 year olds have a hard time understanding the concept of “sharing”. They can comprehend “taking turns” better. Explaining “It’s brothers turn with that toy right now and when he’s done then it can be your turn”.

This isn’t bullying. This is typical toddler behavior.


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Sounds like normal toddler, they want the toy the other has.
It happens. Always make him give it back
Remind him he needs to ask.

You have to teach sharing and taking turns and that includes making the 2 yr old share as well when it brothers turn.

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It’s normal. Just explain to them that it’s not nice to do that

This is pretty normal at this age.Unless u r noticing that it is just super aggressive behavior every single time then I wouldn’t worry.just keep encouraging them to share with each other.I do not see that it is bullying

Yea it’s called grab your child and give them a quick spanking and then tell them that you don’t take from their siblings. And then have them walk over and give it back. Then have the said child go pick out a toy that the sibling is not playing with so they can play with their sibling. Maybe even do play acts of sharing and kindness and encourage them to do the same in play.


My 6 yo granddaughter and 8 yo grandson fight sometimes. I mean they get into it. But they are also such loving siblings. They REALLY care about each other. I see them holding hands, laughing, hanging out outside, talking, and its just adorable.

My two yr old son bullies my 6 and 7 yr old girls send help

Well that’s how toddlers are. They are too young to understand the concept of sharing. You just have to keep instilling that you have to share.

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Just stop talking to each other completely. Like “what f*cking brother? I don’t have one of those anymore.” Worked for mine, haven’t seen mine in over a decade. We’re pretending we are strangers for the rest of our lives, its going to totally work. :slight_smile:

Just wait til they’re 15 and 16 like my boys!! They are always wrestling and putting each other in headlocks :woman_facepalming: welcome to the life with sons close in age :joy:

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The one that is the bully at the time he is bullying his brother should bee given a time out until he wants to share. I wouldn’t permitt the bully a toy the time out would Stan firm until he tells you he will share. Explain to him what you expect from him. Iv learned raising 3 consistency is the trick

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spank that butt and put him in the corner until he stops doing it… just a swat on the rear to get his attention and then a few minutes in the corner to think about it… time out is bs and doesnt work

Time. To. Sit the. 3. Yr. Old. Down &. School. Him,. I. Know. Your. Stealing. Your. Brothers. Things If. I. See. It. ,. Or. Hear about. It. I’ll. Do. It. To. You!! See. How. You. Like. It,. Or. Teach. The. 2. Yr. Old. To. Defend. Himself

They. Gotta. Esperance. How. It. Feels. To. Learn. What. Not to do

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Mine are 11 & 12 and I haven’t figured it out

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Keep on showing them the right way! They will eventually get it!


Stop making them share. Start treating them like individuals instead of some kind of package deal


He’s 3… he does not have the cognitive ability to understand sharing, and the more you punish him for something beyond his scope of reasoning, the more likely you’re going to make him have unhealthy attachments to objects. Either that or you’re setting them up for sibling rivalry issues. He can however grasp the concept of sequencing though, so encourage turn taking and redirect by giving him an equaling appealing object to play with. Also, it could be a jealousy issue and I would recommend spending more one on one time with the 3 year old and watching how you speak to them both to ensure you never take sides even if you know one is in the wrong.


I don’t know how you feel about spanking but I would try maybe smacking on the hand or a little spank on the butt and see if that helps to get him to stop

Big hugs!! Sibling squaffles can really hit hard. Especially when they are both so young and needing you. One very freeing thing to know is that children under 3 have no impulse control. They don’t mean anything by what they do beyond basic cause and effect eg. “If I throw this, what will happen?” and then it slowly develops from there. So your children are just experimenting with the world and their big feelings. Their off-track behaviour is an SOS or cry for help. They need connection rather than disconnection, which mainstream disciplinary methods tend to be.

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It’s what they do! I started this 3 weeks ago with mine. In the mornings after breakfast I have them give each other a hug, tell their brother I love you because and they have to say at least one thing they love about their brother. It could be I love you because you build leggos with me or anything really. Whatever they want to say. And then again at the end of the day before bedtime they do it again. Just because they do fight so much and so often I believe it’s so important at the start of the day and end of the day to be positive. And it’s helped a little bit!

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Get them each the same thing so they have their own. I’ve always done this with my kids. It’s like a rule of thumb. If you get one something you get the other the same thing


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