Forgive me if this has been discussed before. I tried to search through the archives but couldn't find anything. We have two boys, our oldest being 2.5. He has gone through stages of hitting but doesn't act out violently unless he's very upset when he'll swat at one of us. He does chase the cat and do other things that seem to be intentionally harmful toward the cat like sitting on him but with his baby brother, he's usually very gentle.
However, lately he's been pretending things like sticks or his play cutlery are knives or swords and talking about "cutting" people. For example, when we talked about going to visit his grammie yesterday, he made a mean face and said he was going to take his play knife and "cut grammie." He'll also say he wants to bring his knife to cut kids on the playground. Last night, I was reading him a book about being friendly and when I got to the end, he said, "I'm not friendly. I'm a bad kid." We don't refer to kids as good or bad so I asked him if someone else called him that. He said no but then suggested that his great-grandma thinks he's bad. Well, he hardly sees her and I know she's never had the opportunity to say that to him.
Anyway, he seems to *want* to be a "bad kid" and whenever I tell him he's sweet and nice, he argues that he's bad and he's going to hit other kids, etc. We're glad he's not actually physically harming anyone at this point but we're starting to feel a little worried about his desire to cut other kids and identify as "bad." Is this a normal phase or something we should be concerned about?