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playdate horror...help!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

so my next door neighbor and i are friends and we like to let our kids play together a few times a week.  this morning we were playing in her backyard.  C, my neighbor, has 2 kids...S (4) and D (1).  my dd (almost 3) spent all morning pushing, shoving, and taking toys from the other 2.  well, when she pushed D out of the sandbox and he ended up with a bloodied lip from the fall, I lost it.  I was so embarassed and just at my wits end.  


how do you guys handle this?? any tips or suggestions??

post #2 of 5

 It's so hard to be in that place.

My little guy is 15 months. Rather than telling you what I would have done in your place, because I have no idea, I'll tell you what I would have expected as the mama of a near-one year old.

I would have expected you to go over to your child and tell them that what they did was wrong and how they hurt the other child. I would expect that you'd tell your child that this is never, ever okay to do. I would expect a 3 year old to have a punishment....time out, something fun taken away....something.

And then it would be over. I'd still be a good buddy to you and I'd have no issue with our kiddos playing together. Kids do weird stuff sometimes and this type of thing happens. I imagine you handled the situation just fine. hug2.gif

FWIW, DS grabbed his buddy by the collar of his button up shirt, yanked him to his face and yelled 'Nah!' (no) because he didn't want to share a huge fountain that was at another baby friends birthday party. DS's buddy is a laid back kid and didn't cry or anything but I was all over DS that we NEVER grab people like that. I put DS on the other side of the fountain and his buddy remained where he was. My DS has been part of a mama's group since he was 6 weeks old and even being really well socialized (I hate describing it like that but YKWIM) there are still tiffs when the kids get together. Someone missed a nap and is pissy...someone wants a toy the other one has...someone is hungry. It's understood that we have little critters with very intense needs.

post #3 of 5

My youngest daughter (Age 4) sounds a lot like your almost 3 year old although I can tell you right now it gets much better as long as you talk to your child about it OFTEN and make a strong effort to alter her behavior.  


This is what I do when we are with other children, mom's, or playmates and it has worked for us. Hopefully it will help you!


The first thing I do BEFORE we go anywhere, is talk to both of my kids about how to play with others (even though my six year old has never been violent at all and has always played well with others- I just want to make sure the rules are EQUAL for everyone and no one feels left out of the lecture lol)  


I always WARN other parents about her strength, especially if there are little ones, so they too know what to expect and aren't shocked if my kid decides to go bonkers (although she doesn't really do that anymore).   At the 1st sign of shoving/pushing/attitude, she gets taken OUT of play, no excuses or sorry's or crying.  I just don't care, you can't play nice, then you can't play at all.   We talk A LOT about safety, and lots of the things we did was ask her if she really wanted to hurt someone and she always says NO WAY and even cries at the thought she might actually hurt someone because we have instilled that hurting people is BAD and that she could accidentally cause permanent damage.  The other problem we have with her is that she LOVES you to death.  Meaning, that when she hugs you or kisses you she is totally brutal, so we have made sure to constantly remind her to be soft and gentle, especially with animals and small children because they can get hurt easily and then we PRACTICE being gentle.  


Also, she has been taught that when she feels someone is being unfair to talk to an adult instead of trying to beat the child that took her toy  or shoving back someone that shoved her first because she really is stronger than other kids (or maybe just more passionate hahaha) and that she might really hurt them if she retaliates -- or of course, simply stop playing with that particular child. 


We no longer have any issues with her playing with other children her age or older, although I do still hover if there are smaller children and make absolute sure that she is reminded BEFORE touching or going near a small child or animal just in case she decides to revert.   I hope this helps, it has to be done constantly, and I mean every day.   We also used stuffed animals and baby-dolls to train her on how to handle, touch, pet, and properly interact/care for baby so that she does not HURT them and properly reward her and praise her for good behavior and adequate handling of pets and children.  This motivates her and makes her feel important and good.  


As your daughter matures and starts to realize that hitting/shoving/violence is bad -- especially once she grasps that the doctor can't fix everything!  I hated having to talk to my children about permanent damage from accidents but I feel it's necessary that they grasp that not everything is going to go away with a kiss and a band-aid and that safety IS necessary.  Once my daughter understood that and we worked on her behavior things got much better FAST.   I hope this helps, really!  Don't be too hard on yourself, you haven't done anything wrong, some kids just need different lessons than others.  


Lots of hugs!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that really helps.  I've always used positive reinforcement so I don't know where this behavior comes from.  we use phrases like "hands are not for hitting/pushing...whatever, then we go over what hands are for...hugs, high fives, help...you get it. so this is sooooo frustrating.  my friend seemed fine with all of it, her kids have done the same to her, but it didnt make me feel any less terrible.  it's one thing for dd to be obnixous, as 3 yr olds can often be, but to actually injure another child, that was it for me.  I yelled at her (which I RARELY do) and we left immediately.  she spent a record 20 minutes in time out while i collected myself, and though she isn't in time out at the moment, i still dont feel that i've put myself back together completely.  


i do like the idea of talking about the rules before playtime.  i'll definitely try that.  thanks for the input! much appreciated!

post #5 of 5

Glad to help!  I just felt so bad for you, I've been there!  I know that it can feel like you somehow failed somewhere, but that is so not the case. The before playtime talks should help a lot.  HUGS!


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