I am looking for any advice or experience any of you have with boys. Mine are 4 and 7, and they are constantly rough-housing or wrestling. They rarely “play”, but instead always seem to want to wrestle, throw things at each other, chase each other or “fight”. Much of the time it is in “good fun” (though it drives me crazy), but sometimes they do get angry at each other and push, shove or punch each other.
My 4 year old is the worst, he’s already gotten in trouble 3-4 times at school for it and had to sit out at recess. He will throw things, kick and just be very physical. Part of me blames it on his fascination with superheroes (which my husband encourages and is one of the things we argue about), but several months ago I banned all superhero shows/movies. They do enjoy watching movies, but I try very hard not to let them see anything violent, only allow “G” rated movies, etc. (like Tangled, Gnomeo and Juliet, Rio, Toy Story, etc.). They are allowed to watch the Disney channel also. I am debating eliminating all tv for 2 weeks to see if it makes a difference, but sometimes turning on the tv is the only way I can get anything done (dinner made, lunches made, dishes done, etc.) as it calms them down; otherwise they are attacking each other, throwing things and wrecking the house or getting hurt.
I also work full time (which I often resent) so part of me blames it on me not being around them enough when they are little to teach them right from wrong, and on them both having been in daycare since a very young age (which I feel guilty about). However, my 7yo was extremely polite and well-mannered until he entered public school in grade one and I feel like his personality has totally changed. My younger son goes to public school too now, so part of me feels like it’s being in school.
But maybe it’s something I’m doing! I just don’t know what. DH and I are going through martial problems, but we don’t hit, push, punch or anything that is violent (we just argue a lot). We’ve tried the “token” system where they lose a token if they push, hit, kick or throw things. It doesn’t seem to deter them.
Is this “normal boys aggression”? Do any of you have boys who like to rough-house?
Any suggestions on how to channel some of that energy – particularly in my 4 year old? My 7 year old is a very accomplished athlete and enjoys lots of different sports, and he is rarely the instigator (but gets right in to it when my 4yo starts it). He likes to play hockey in the basement, baseball in the backyard, and is on several sports teams. My 4yo, on the other hand, hates all sports and refuses to do any organized sports (tried many times, he will only sit on the sidelines or run away). He also bites his brother a lot.
I’ve tried buying lots of interesting board games and trying to get them to play with me, but one of them ends up pushing the pieces off the board, throwing a piece, etc. Neither of them have any interest in Lego (which seems like a nice quiet activity). I’ve tried getting them educational toys and books, building blocks, cars, you name it, but my 4yo has no interest in any of that stuff (the funny thing is, he plays really well at daycare, but not at all at home…). My 7 yo would be happy to read, play games, do Webkins, play with his Beyblades etc. but my 4yo won’t let him and then they get in to it. My 4yo is constantly grabbing, pushing, kicking, hitting or throwing things at my 7yo.
Help! What am I doing wrong? Does anyone else have boys like this?
Worn out mom