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Avoiding difficult situations with an almost 3yo

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My ds has recently been hurting one of his friends (a girl of the same age). I tried closely supervising, but I let my guard down just enough, and he hurt her that time too, so I just decided to avoid them playing together for the time being.
Background- they only see each other when her mom (a friend of mine) and I pick up/drop off our older kids for school. School is out tomorrow. I made this decision 2 days ago.


I've gotten a few comments from friends that have implied that I shouldn't just avoid the situation. Like they think I should keep taking him to play with her, and try to teach him not to hurt her.


But it just makes sense to avoid it, right? School is almost out, I do NOT want her dd to get hurt again, I don't want to put ds in a situation where he is going to hurt somebody, he has been sick and feeling cruddy and still is, and I don't want the stress of being judged and having ds be judged for it. (I've already been told that someone was worried about him, that it was a *majorly big deal* and needed to be dealt with now before the little girl was psychologically damaged by it, and "I'm not saying he can't play if you don't spank him, but something has to change".)


In my mind, we just avoid it for a couple days, we have summer to work on helping him express himself without hurting people (I have an older son, too), and when they get back together, they are both older and have more skills, and we deal with things from there. Right? Is my perspective way off, there?

Edited by DevaMajka - 6/27/12 at 12:03pm
post #2 of 6

Almost 3 is very young. Most kids that age are just learning self-control and impulse control. It is normal to be triggered by particular situations. He will get older and more mature, and as you said, learn how to express himself in ways that don't involve hurting. If it is happening with more than one peer, you might need to address it in a more up front manner, but if it is just with this one peer, I can't see how a little break would hurt the situation and help it to just be 'interrupted' and cool down.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok, good. Then its not just me! It just made sense to me, and was a bit surprised that other people disagreed..I figured they'd be happy that S wouldn't get hurt1!
He, yesterday, scratched an older kid who was over (a neighbor). I realized that I have no desire to avoid "playdates" with her, partly because she is older (which changes the dynamic and my ability to supervise) AND because I don't feel judged by her mom.
So ds2 will have plenty of opportunities to learn to be gentle with other kids, kwim?
post #4 of 6

Try this series of books:


Hands are Not for Hitting

Teeth are Not for Biting

Words are Not for Hurting

Feet are Not for Kicking

all by Elizabeth Verdick


They are rhythmic and get into one's head and have been very helpful to a lot of kids at that age!

post #5 of 6
A lot of toddlers go through an aggressive stage. It often gets better as their language improves, especially as they learn to tell people how they feel. You can help by helping him learn words for emotions. "You look very angry!" and all that. Also, "It's OK to be angry, but not to hit." Or something like that.

But yes, it willl improve no matter what you do as he gets more mature and his language develops. There isn't a whole lot you can do for it other than talk through emotions and tail him so he doesn't hurt anyone. If it's easier to just wait it out, like you're doing, that's fine too.
post #6 of 6

Ugh, my daughter had her own brother as the target when she went through her biting stage, and it almost drove me over the edge.  It was nearly impossible to keep them apart, and she was so fast when she would decide to do it, that I had to literally be within arms reach all the time while they played, or have them separated.  It was exhausting.  I don't remember how long it lasted, but she eventually outgrew it.  I know you know how to handle it so I won't bother elborating ;)  but yes, I'm agreeing with you that if it was someone you only see casually anyway and it would be over in a few days, just skip the interaction. 


***EDIT:  Scratch that, here's what I did, in case it helps someone else (or you!)...


 I did my best to insert my body between her and brother, and intercept the bites whenever I could, even if it meant (gently, but purposely) holding her head and preventing her from lunging at him. I got pretty good at it pretty quickly. I would then hold onto whatever body part it was I had (I did the same with hitting that Dono did), quickly got down to their eye level while I was still holding on to them, and said in a low, serious, but not *menacing* tone something like, "NO BITING, THAT HURTS." and then would let go and give her an alternative to biting.

Edited by The4OfUs - 6/28/12 at 7:49am
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