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aggressive toddler friends - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wami View Post


OP, do you think there is a way to open up a discussion with these moms?

Well, the first mom is handling things well IMO and has been trying to rectify this behavior in her daughter for some time. She says her daughter became this way in part because the older kids at her daycare were very tough and she had to learn to defend herself. But instead of becoming strong and assertive she turned into something of a bully herself. The mother switched her daughter to another school where they have been working on this problem, but she still reverts to bullying when she's tired, etc. Her daughter particularly likes to walk past another toddler and push them until their head hits the floor.

The second mom is a SAHM and this is her first kid and I wonder if she just doesn't know how to react as a mother, but I also think she thinks her son is an 'alpha' male. Watching your kid do this stuff over and over and not reacting just baffles me. I think in her mind she might be 'blaming the victim' (he's smaller so my big son can't help himself). I do have to say that although my child is no angel, these 'attacks' are unprovoked and are not due to not sharing, whining, etc.

Since I have older kids I've witnessed this kind of thing before...A child might misbehave in a social setting and the mother gets kind of embarrased. She usually doesn't like it. Instead of putting their foot down and just correcting the child (as ellemenope suggested) they get defensive and somehow try to blame the other child even when it is obviously not that other child's fault. I think the mother's love for their child causes them not to see their child's behavior for what it is. They would never like that behavior in somebody else's kid.
post #22 of 34
I'm surprised that other mothers don't try and stop this sort of behavior. I always correct my child if she takes a toy etc. One thing I have noticed though, is that dd never just walks up to a kid and pushes them over. She is always provoked. Usually the gentler child is unsure of how to get a toy away from dd so they follow her around, and get really close to her. These kids don't appear aggressive; it just looks like they want to pay. Neverthess dd clearly gets irritated by this. So now, I stop kids from trailing her around. If a kid gets too close to her I walk up and redirect them. It has helped alot. In fact, I just got back from a playdate with a kid my dd always picks on. I prevented the other kid from trailing her around and getting in her space and there were no conflicts. In fact, my dd was giving toys to the other child! I always just thought dd was an aggressive kid, but now I'm starting to think that she's defensive. And honestly, who wouldn't be uncomfortable if someone was following them around like that? I've noticed that other kids do this all the time. If I were the op, I would watch carefully to see if my child was exhibiting that kind of behavior. It's very subtle. If that is the problem then you may be able to prevent the aggressive behavior all together.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
I'm surprised that other mothers don't try and stop this sort of behavior. I always correct my child if she takes a toy etc. One thing I have noticed though, is that dd never just walks up to a kid and pushes them over. She is always provoked.
I consider this a different situation altogether. In fact, my second child was once accused of being too bossy with a younger child and this was one of those situations where I think it was justified (though I still talked about it with him). The younger child was too scheduled and would play with my son when he was extremely exhausted. Even the mother admitted that her son was very difficult and tired because she had him in too many activities.

I don't want to bore you with stories, but there have been times when I've suspected (not known for sure) that my older son may have participated in bullying with others. I think I am one of the only mothers I know who can admit that her child(ren) is capable of this. Almost everyone else seems to be completely unwilling to admit that their child could bully. One of the infamous bullies in our neighborhood has a mother who thinks her child is the sweetest, kindest thing going. When I talked to her about how I thought our sons may have bullied another child (the mother of this child was extremely angry) she blamed the younger child and told me her son is so nice he's nice to special ed children at school.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
I don't want to bore you with stories, but there have been times when I've suspected (not known for sure) that my older son may have participated in bullying with others. I think I am one of the only mothers I know who can admit that her child(ren) is capable of this. Almost everyone else seems to be completely unwilling to admit that their child could bully. One of the infamous bullies in our neighborhood has a mother who thinks her child is the sweetest, kindest thing going. When I talked to her about how I thought our sons may have bullied another child (the mother of this child was extremely angry) she blamed the younger child and told me her son is so nice he's nice to special ed children at school.
Aggressive toddler behavior and bullying are different issues. I'm not sure if there is any evidence that aggressive toddlers are more likely to be bullies when they are older. I have never seen a parent not correct their toddler if they hit another child. I think your neighbor is highly unusual. As far as true bullying is concerned, I think it is entirely possible that parents are often unaware of their child's behavior because their children are in school most of the day and are probably very good at hiding their behavior. I'm sure there are parents who like the idea of their kids being tough, but I suspect that the majority of parents encourage prosocial behavior in their children. It seems like you really have a problem with the way your neighbor handles her child( I would too). I suggest you consider whether or not you value her friendship enough to continue hanging out with her. If it were me I wouldn't want anything to do with her.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemenope View Post
I meant that there are toddlers who act like true bullies. I honestly can't even understand this argument. If anyone at any age hits, pushes, or forcefully takes things away from another, this is true bullying behaviour, and whether it is developmentaly appropriate for a toddler to exhibit such behaviour or not, it should be rectified, not ignored, and certainly not promoted.

What is a child learning when he is allowed to hit and get the toy he wants from another child? And, more important to me, what is the victim learning?

I am not calling toddlers who hit sociopaths. And, I would never label a child as a bully. But, bullish behaviour is bullish behaviour. Someone who exhibits bullish behaviour at the time is being a bully.

As the mother of a perpetual toddler victim, I am not asking for punishments. I am asking for a "We do not hit. Give that toy back. That is not nice. See, you made that boy upset when you took his toy."
Because the word bully and "bullish behavior," etc. imply a motive:

bul·ly
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.

First of all, I don't think a toddler has enough experience to have "habitual" behavior, or the morality to be intentionally cruel. Also, we don't call names in my family, and it seems like name calling to say, "Oh, that child is a bully."

I've never said that the behavior was okay, or that it should be tolerated. If it were me and my child, I would remove myself and my child from the company of the other parents/children. Revisit them in a few months.

Most toddlers are still at the parallel play stage, so it isn't like they are playing with each other and working on communicating and playing *with* each other. They're playing next to each other.

I've found that this works better with an older child and a toddler, where the older child can clearly tell the younger child (in a kind manner) not to take their toy, etc. And the younger child is more receptive to this because it has been clearly communicated. The older child can often model playing with another, and allow the toddler to experience playing with another child.

Of course a parent should follow their child around, but honestly, I prefer to interact positively with my child. I like to focus on the positive, and not the negative. If I am in a situation where I have to constantly correct my child, I am going to do everyone a favor and remove ourselves from that situation, and revisit it later.
post #26 of 34
Could you perhaps model some good toddler parenting to your neighbor without it seeming like you are telling her how to discipline her child? What I mean is keeping close to your kid and then when her child comes over and hits/pushes/takes a toy you can say something like, "oh-oh, DS feels sad when you take his toy, please give it back!" and then gently help the other child with the behavior. Even stating a rule, "we don't hit, hitting isn't nice" doesn't seem like you're disciplining her child, but could be a good teaching model for her. Especially if its her first and if he doesn't play around other children much, he might just be needing more guidance on appropriate social behavior.

Otherwise, I'd probably just take a break with the playdates. It's not worth it at this age. FWIW, DD1 at age 2 had a playmate who was very aggressive... and for awhile playdates were exhausting because we had to be constantly involved in making sure they didn't hurt each other, take toys, etc. Now they are 4 and 5yo and play so nicely together, we could leave them for hours without any issues whatsoever, and this friend is still a challenging kid that has a hard time dealing with others. So, in my experience the wait was worthwhile, but both of us moms were committed to being involved in helping our kids play together, which sounds like is not the same in your case.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemenope View Post
I sympathize with the OP. Maybe we are in the minority, but I also have a child (my only) who is not aggressive at all. I only know of one instance where she has struck another child, and I could clearly see how and why that played out. She was getting maliciously pushed and bullied, got frustrated, walked over to a baby, and proceeded to almost gently hit the little boy on the back.

You see, I used to just let the kids figure it out by thelselves. I wanted DD to learn how to solve conflicts by hersef. I used to hate when parents would intervene over every little thing. That was until this incident. From then on, I have never let DD get pushed around without intervening or letting her know that I knew the other kid was being rough and that wasn't nice. She has never hit since. She doesn't even hit me.

She is 25 months old, and I can say almost positively that she has never taken something from someone else. NEVER. It is so bad (or good depending how you look at it) that it leaves her helpless when another child takes something of hers. She does not even try to stop it. She practacally gives the objest up. Then she comes to me and tattles.

I have also heard other people tell her, "well, go take it back." (which she has never done. ever. that's my girl) I am trying to teach her to ask for it back, but she is still not assertive enough to even do that be herself. Hopefully, that will come with age. But, I don't know.

When she was less than a year old, she would be using a piece of playground equipment (at one of those mall playgrounds), and if another child started to climb on it, she would get off. DH and I used to voice pretend thoughts for her. "Oh, you would like to climb on this? Well, let me get out of your way so you can fully enjoy this."

This is just her personality. These toddlers exist. It has nothing to do with parenting. And, in my DD's case, they are super sensitive.[/B] I can see the frustration build when she is getting pushed around by bigger kids, yet she restrains herself from pushing back. She expresses frustration during and after altercations. I have seen her tell herself, "I do not hit anyone," as she is getting pummeled.

She has told this to me after one rough playground experience: "The playgwound just isn't fair."

DD might be special (you know I think she is ), but I tend to believe that if kids like her exist at this age, there sure as heck could be kids her age who are true bullies.

Regardless, bullying beaviour should not be tolerated and certainly not promoted at any age.
I haven't read all the posts, but I just had to stop and comment on this. This is EXACTLY how my DS is (esp the bolded)--very gentle, never takes toys, etc. What makes it more difficult for me is that my son is non-verbal, so I can't tell him to tell the other kid "Keep your hands on your own body" (although I will say this to the kid myself) or "Ouch! No!" or something like that when he is being pushed. And my DS is usually the biggest kid in any playgroup, so I definitely appreciate that he is gentle b/c I know a lot of parents would get very frustrated if a giant were bullying their smaller kid.

There is a kid who bullies (I know this is a controversial word here, but that's the best way I can describe his behavior) in DS' Gymboree playgroup. IMO, his father (and the parent of any toddler who knows their child is a hitter, biter, etc) should never be more than an arm's reach away (which, in fact, is the rule at Gymboree) and he often is not. This child will grab and pull hair, hit, push, etc. the. entire. class. I was very careful to keep my DS away b/c I am very sensitive about people hurting my DS for the above reasons, but 2 weeks ago, this child walked up to my DS and, completely unprovoked, open hand slapped him right in the face while I was standing right there. That upset me SO much. I did tell the child to keep his hands on his own body and that hitting hurts, but the damage was done, my DS was upset and pouting and had his feelings hurt. Can I protect my son from ever getting his feelings hurt? No. But can I protect him from incidents like this--yes, and I will. I will admit that I "helicopter parent" in this class and around toddlers I know to be aggressive b/c I don't like this kind of thing to happen to my DS. And it worked effectively--until 2 weeks ago. Now, I will be even more on alert in class (and we are aging up next month...thank goodness!).

OP, I would intervene every single time. If it got to be too bad, I personally would not continue playing with these children. I know a lot of people say this is just a stage and it is natural for toddlers to exhibit this kind of behavior, but it is also really easy to say that when your kid is or has gone through this stage. For those of us whose toddlers do not, I think it is a natural reaction to protect them from other aggressive children. And, of course, I do not want my DS to start imitating this kind of behavior.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
Again, I wonder if some people allow their children to behave this way because they think their kids are tough, strong and assertive. I find it odd that if the kid were to do something nasty to their own parent (take something, hit them, push them to the floor, etc.) they would get a punishment, but if they do the same behavior to another kid the parents go into 'denial' mode and insist that the kids just work it out themselves.
This. I often find that I catch parents who allow their children to engage in this kind of behavior value their kid being the toughest, strongest, etc. (this often comes out, unbeknownst to them, in conversations). And, interestingly, the kids I know who do this are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Not that every one is, but the 2 examples I can think of in my DS' life definitely are. I wonder if the parents are (consciously or unconsciously) sensitive to this and therefore allow them to behave this way.
post #29 of 34
This whole thread is really interesting ladies. I have read every post and thought I would share a story:

I was listening to talk radio (Dr. Laura...I know, I know) but she said something really insightful. The caller was talking about the OP's situation almost exactly - she started a playgroup with her neighbours, son is constantly beat up on, other moms don't do anything about it, son is getting hurt, play dates aren't fun anymore - so the caller's question was "how do I talk to the other moms about their kids behaviours?"

Dr. Laura said "Are you still going to playgroup?"
Caller:"Yes."
Dr. Laura "And your son is still getting physically hurt?"
Caller: "Yes"
Dr Laura "Well, then stop going! It's your job to protect your kids, not the other mom's".

I guess it just really hit home for me. If your child is getting hurt, remove them from the situation. You can start socializing with your neighbours again when the toddlers are able to play more peacefully. I haven't allowed my DD to see her cousin in more than a year because her cousin is just too rough. Like, pushing my kid off the couch, out of the car onto the pavement rough. I'll get them back together when they are able to understand right from wrong.

Just my
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinupchamp View Post
This whole thread is really interesting ladies. I have read every post and thought I would share a story:

I was listening to talk radio (Dr. Laura...I know, I know) but she said something really insightful. The caller was talking about the OP's situation almost exactly - she started a playgroup with her neighbours, son is constantly beat up on, other moms don't do anything about it, son is getting hurt, play dates aren't fun anymore - so the caller's question was "how do I talk to the other moms about their kids behaviours?"

Dr. Laura said "Are you still going to playgroup?"
Caller:"Yes."
Dr. Laura "And your son is still getting physically hurt?"
Caller: "Yes"
Dr Laura "Well, then stop going! It's your job to protect your kids, not the other mom's".

I guess it just really hit home for me. If your child is getting hurt, remove them from the situation. You can start socializing with your neighbours again when the toddlers are able to play more peacefully. I haven't allowed my DD to see her cousin in more than a year because her cousin is just too rough. Like, pushing my kid off the couch, out of the car onto the pavement rough. I'll get them back together when they are able to understand right from wrong.

Just my

Can I ask the age of your DD's cousin?
post #31 of 34

I'm bumping because this is soooo relevant to what I'm dealing with at the moment.  My DS is the persistent victim (18 months) of another toddler (who hits).  I follow/hover/separate as much as possible...but still, he's managed to hit my son every time we've been with each other.  The other mom is aware of the problem, and intervenes/says all the appropriate things.  Yet, her son hits out of the blue and I'm officially tired of it.  We all reassure her that it will pass, etcetera etcetera, and I'm sure it will...but at the moment....

 

That said, if my spouse had a friend who's spouse smacked me every time we saw each other we would presumable stop seeing them...and I can imagine my anger if my spouse kept insisting because "maybe he/she won't do it this time".  So, the question I've ended up asking myself is, why am I putting my child in a situation where he will not be safe?  So, I'm thinking that no matter how much I like the mom and the rest of the moms in the playgroup...we're done.  My kid is more important than my desire to hang out with these awesome women.  

post #32 of 34

I am in that very situation right now and I completely agree; no parent should allow their child to be pushed around every time they go outside. No mother should feel obligated to be around an inconsiderate mother just because she lives next door. As for the moms who have responded to this by making excuses for their aggressive child(shame on you) you are the problem and the reason why there are gross adults in the world who I am sure had equally ignorant mother's who were most likely in denial as well. If you are offended by this post than you are probably one of them. Maybe things would be different if the parents of your child's victim's started beating your ass, bet you'd notice then.

 

Sincerely,

 

Disgusted by younono.gif

post #33 of 34

Well hopefully my answer doesn't come off confusing.  My son is 20 months and somewhere right down the middle age-wise of all our friends' kids.  The older ones push him around, but the younger ones he has the tendency to be a little rough with.  I believe their is a fine line between being protective and also letting children learn to interact with each other.  I usually try to gage first whether or not the circumstances call for parental intervention or if it was a simple misunderstanding or accident.  The more I baby him when things happen unintentionally then the more he milks situations to get his way when he is also sometimes in the wrong.  When there are big age differences developmentally, it can be difficult for young ones to understand what is appropriate behavior towards others.  One kid can catch the ball and is okay with being chased around or playing tag, but a younger kid will get hurt.  Bottom line, I always look out for the most vulnerable and as a parent I feel its my responsibility to prevent my kid from injuring others.  I feel I should step in and correct him when he does something wrong and try to explain as well as I can on his level why.  When another parent's kid has hurt my kid or stolen his toy I hesitate first to see how the parent will react and give them the opportunity to step in.  If they don't then I address the child and tell them nicely why it is not okay.   

post #34 of 34

My son is only 19 months so take my input with a grain of salt but I think toddlers need a lot of adult guidance at this age and if there is a group of them playing on their own, a lot of stuff is going to happen.  They are really not capable of understanding how to share, not grab toys, not hit until they are much older.  Toddlers need guidance from adults.  The fact that your son is trying to tell the other mom what happens tells me that he needs an adult to help him navigate the situation.  If it were me, I would either stop going to this playgroup or know that I need to be involved in the kids' play the whole time.

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