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DD has behavioral issues after playing with a friend

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a 3.5 yo daughter who is actually very verbally and behaviorally advanced, more like a 6 yo. She is very, very gentle, likes gentle play and is quiet. She loves cooperating with other kids and playing together and when the other kids are not playing nice (snatching toys, being rude) she will first ask them calmly to "please play nice." She never hits or kicks or screams, but will run crying to me or scream at the other child/hold her ground if they persist in the behavior.

 

We have friends that we play with, mostly little boys and one of them is our very, very good friend whom we love dearly and wouldn't DREAM of keeping DD away from, but after playing with these other kids who are rougher and grabby and sometimes like to snatch from her just to get her reaction, she will often show bad behavior when we leave.

 

For example, the little boy's (3 yo) mom (my very good friend who also practices GD) is trying to speak to him about his behavior, he refuses to listen, will fight her and she will have to take him off somewhere to help him calm down. When he comes back, he'll be fine for a little while and the problems will start again, etc. He's a really great kid, just has a TOTALLY different personality than DD and can be a handful at times.

 

When we leave the play group, DD, who is normally very obedient and doesn't put up fights about anything, will totally lose it, seemingly for no reason. Yesterday, it was time to get in the car to go and she stepped up as if to do so calmly and then very suddenly screamed "NO," ducked under my arm and took off into traffic! She has NEVER done anything like this before. For her, it's totally crazy. I had to grab her and try to explain about traffic and the whole time she yanked on me to get away and screamed just like her friend had with his mom. I didn't know what to do or say.

 

I attribute these outbursts to playing with other kids, because she only does it after another child is being difficult with her. Then we go back to her normal behavior a few hours later.

 

I can't keep her away from every child in the world that won't play nicely. I know she's doing it because she's copying behavior she has just witnessed. (We've had to stop letting her watch shows like Caillou because after the show, she will immediately emulate Caillou's bad behavior that was in the show instead of learning the lesson that was supposed to go with it.) I guess she's experimenting with what she sees and is mimicking.

 

I can stop it with media. How do I stop it with real people?

 

Edit: I should add that I'm not forcing her to play with these children or this child. She calls them her friends and asks to play with them and they usually play together quite nicely, but there's almost always a point where things go awry. It's not as if she doesn't like the kids she's playing with. It's more her mimicking behavior that has become a problem.

 

I have tried explaining to her WHY we don't act this way and she always wants to know why her friend does it. I have no idea how to answer that. She keeps saying "he's always naughty," etc. which I don't think is true and I don't want to teach her that. Ideas?

post #2 of 10

It sounds like she's being a typical three-year-old.

post #3 of 10

6-year-olds aren't actually that well behaved.  LOL.  Does she get snotty and talk about butts and farting a lot?  If not, she's not really acting like a 6-year-old.  :)

 

She seems to have an easy-going personality though, and I understand that if you're used to a child with an easier personality that it can be hard to hang out with kids who have more typical 3-year-old termperaments. However, that doesn't mean the 3-year-olds are behaving badly, just that they're 3, and IMO she ought to be able to play with kids her own age from time to time, even if she acts more like a typical 3-year-old afterward.

 

My older dd, while she didn't have an easy personality, was very advanced and spoke way past her years at that age, and I remember sometimes feeling like she was older and having greater expectations of her, but being advanced didn't make her stop being 3. I think it might be a good idea to re-think that expectation.

 

Also, just because I think it's interesting, my easy child is not verbally advanced. But she has a delightful personality and never behaves like a typical 2.5-almost-3-year-old. She's never had a tantrum, shares well, is sweet tempered, etc. But I understand I just got lucky this time. I think having the kid who was more high needs first might have been good for me.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

LOL! Definitely butts and farting and snottiness. Plus I have an older stepdaughter who used to be that age and one of our close friends is 6. Definitely, she acts more like an older kid in terms of how well she can control herself.

 

I agree that she should play with kids her own age. I'm not planning on removing her from playgroups. I just don't know how I should handle this kind of behavior. She did it again today and I was at a total loss. I had no idea what to do, I ended up just picking her up bodily like a sack of potatoes (at which point she attempted and almost succeeded in escaping by going limp) and just putting her in the car and strapping her in without saying anything else to her. I'm pregnant, though, and picking up a 40 lb child is just not easy (she's rather tall).

 

How do you handle it when a child acts this way and they are too big for you to just pick them up and walk off with them?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

6-year-olds aren't actually that well behaved.  LOL.  Does she get snotty and talk about butts and farting a lot?  If not, she's not really acting like a 6-year-old.  :)

 

She seems to have an easy-going personality though, and I understand that if you're used to a child with an easier personality that it can be hard to hang out with kids who have more typical 3-year-old termperaments. However, that doesn't mean the 3-year-olds are behaving badly, just that they're 3, and IMO she ought to be able to play with kids her own age from time to time, even if she acts more like a typical 3-year-old afterward.

 

My older dd, while she didn't have an easy personality, was very advanced and spoke way past her years at that age, and I remember sometimes feeling like she was older and having greater expectations of her, but being advanced didn't make her stop being 3. I think it might be a good idea to re-think that expectation.

 

Also, just because I think it's interesting, my easy child is not verbally advanced. But she has a delightful personality and never behaves like a typical 2.5-almost-3-year-old. She's never had a tantrum, shares well, is sweet tempered, etc. But I understand I just got lucky this time. I think having the kid who was more high needs first might have been good for me.


 

 

post #5 of 10

I'd say prevention, or rather preparation, is your best bet.  Every kid has times or circumstances under which you'd be more likely to see difficult behaviour.  For some it's when they're hungry... or tired... or....  The idea is to forestall the circumstances if possible (pack a snack, make naptime a priority, etc), or, at worst, recognize when those circumstances are already in play and be prepared to deal with the fallout.  For you dd it seems to be after these playgroup meetings or playdates.  So, go into it *expecting* that she's not unlikely to get up to some shenanigans. 

 

I think the safety thing is the main concern.  So you have to be prepared for erratic, out-of-character behaviour.   While normally you might trust her explicitly to walk safely by you side through the parking lot, in these times know that you need to hold her hand.  Try to think of distractions to make things go smoother.  Maybe as you walk out of the door of the playgroup meeting /playdate suddenly you pull an exciting snack (granola bar?  fruit leather?) out of your purse to keep her occupied, distracted, and more amenable to holding hands on the way to the car and getting into the carseat without a fuss.

 

Poke around this forum for all the tips on dealing with typical 3.5yo behaviour (and 3.5 can be a TRICKY age!), and keep them in your bag of parenting tools for when you need them.  ;)

post #6 of 10

My DD (6 now) used to try out her friends' behaviors at that age and still does occasionally. I started handling it by calmly informing her that her behavior was unkind and not acceptable (however it needed to be said for her level of understanding at the time) and then quietly and calmly went about business as usual. If she wouldn't go where I needed her to go (like in the car), if it was possible, I gave her one chance first ("It's time to get in the car. Would you like to get in on your own, or would you like me to help you?"). If she chose not to do what needed to be done, I helped her, which in the car situation would mean picking her up and putting her there. Reacting any further than that just made matters worse. As she's gotten older, she's mostly grown out of it, but when she does try out other children's behaviors, it's become just a matter of talking to her. Now as soon as she starts up, I get down on her level, make eye contact and calmly say (pausing between questions giving her a chance to respond either outloud or in her own mind) "Stop and think about what you're doing. When you act like this, are you being kind? Is this a good choice, or do you need to make a different one?" At 4 this worked occasionally. At 5 it worked more often than not. At 6, she may need a reminder to stop and think about her actions, but then almost always makes a kinder choice. We talk a lot about what it is to be kind and why we should always strive for kindness in everyday conversation (have since she was pretty little), not just when her behavior is an issue, so when something like this comes up, "kind" really means something to her. Kindness is important to her, but as she's still pretty impulsive, she sometimes needs someone to step in, get her attention, and give her the chance to do the right thing.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys! I'll try that and I'll also keep a snack treat in my purse for when we have to leave someplace. Yesterday it happened again at the beach and it was pretty awful. :( I handled it badly, asking DD to sit down until she felt calm, which she did, but then I realized I was really just creating more of a spectacle for the people around us who had to listen to her shrill screaming as she tantrumed. I guess I kind of had tunnel vision. I'll talk to her about it more and I think the snack idea is fantastic. Thank you for the help!

post #8 of 10

I have a pretty similar thing going on with my 28 mo old. She is well-behaved, gentle, shares and has a big heart. Yes I wrote that! But she does - when the other person is grabbing her toys or their toys she gets frustrated but when momma explains she says "Ok" and tries to move on or sometimes hands over the toys herself.

 

But after playing with one particularly rough girl (doesn't share yet and hits sometimes....is a very good girl otherwise...just that she is 26 mos) my DD seems a bit sullen (for lack of a better word). Sometimes I wonder if she is not actually copying this other girl but lashing out at me for not protecting her from this other girl's bad behavior? If she feels somehow betrayed? I struggle a lot with these situations but I also need for her to be around friends. She doesn't go to daycare and hence her interaction with other kids is rather limited. I will take what I can get....


Edited by Blessed_Mom - 10/20/11 at 10:14am
post #9 of 10

I agree she just sounds 3. Having a wind down to leaving helped us at that age for example we'd have a finial walk around the park together to say goodbye ending with a snack in the car..

 Oh and it was about this age where I learned if I took her to a place with a big play structure to not seclare it time untill her feet were on the floor and she is necessary was in arms reach cause that little "advanced" brain learned very quickly mama can't climb...

Deanna

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post

 Oh and it was about this age where I learned if I took her to a place with a big play structure to not seclare it time untill her feet were on the floor and she is necessary was in arms reach cause that little "advanced" brain learned very quickly mama can't climb...

Deanna



I so totally remember hiding in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese when I was a kid because my parents couldn't get in. :)

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