Edited by cherryrho - 11/13/12 at 12:44pm
To be honest, I went through this on the other end and it was awful. I'm sure it sucks when you have to constantly correct and discipline your child for always doing the wrong thing BUT I guarantee you it sucks even more when your kid is always doing the right thing and is being hurt and bothered for no reason. I would be very angry if a child, especially one who is older and bigger, kept hitting, shoving and/or bothering my child who was just happily playing and then the mom instead of profusely apologizing got upset that I disciplined their child. It seems that you are well aware that your child is having issues right now. If you want him to be in social situations like this then you really need to be watching him very closely.
I'm not trying to make you feel bad, just to make you try to see the other side of this. If your son is really not capable of being in a social situation with kids his age and younger without lashing out maybe you need to keep away from the playdates for a while. It's just as stressful, if not more so, for the other moms and kids to have to deal with this and I think it's unfair to expect them to.
As far as books go, I liked Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm by Beth Grosshans. My very AP friendly doctor recommended it.
You clearly have a problem with this friend and have to decide if it's worth it to work this out with her. I certainly don't think that adults should be hostile and dismissive of kids or that it's okay to not like any child than your own.
However, I was just giving advice based on your OP which is different from your second. In your OP you wrote ...
"Her son is 6 months younger than mine and very quiet and placid. We were all round a friends house on Saturday with another kid a bit older. My boy kept pushing my friends little kid whenever he was playing near him, or sometimes he would just go up to him and push him for no apparent reason."
Now in your second post you say that her son is not smaller and was following and taking things from your son.
I can't know which way it actually happened so my only advice to you is that you can't control how others react and do things- only yourself. Perhaps you can take some time to think about how you want to deal with situations like this. With a child as young as your son, I would really recommend having a very short limit of maybe two times to correct before you leave somewhere. If he has to leave toys and fun he will get the message eventually that this is not appropriate behavior. I know that can be exhausting and more of a punishment to you but everyone I know who has tried this had it work out for them.
My final word on this is that I never said you were a bad mother. I never said your son was a bad or aggressive kid. I never picked holes in anything. I quoted verbatim what you said to explain why I gave the advice I did. Since you ended your OP looking for information on how to deal with/understand toddlers, I assumed that was the important part of the post, not your friend. I gave you my recommendations and advice. You certainly don't have to like it or listen to it.
Also, I don't think my advice about removing yourselves from the playdate or staying away from playdates for a while is harsh. It's realistic. If this is a chronic problem (it may not be, I don't know you) it would seem wise to just avoid the issue for a bit and try again after some time has passed. You are obviously stressed about this and you've also said your son is not enjoying these times much. There would be nothing wrong or harsh in giving the both of you a break for a while.
You are contradicting yourself by saying you cant control how others react and do things, then telling me how I should take my son away so he learns that his behaviour is not appropriate? Surely that is controlling my sons behaviour?? So we cant control adults behaviour but can control children?
Uh, yes - when your child is hurting other children it is time to control his behaviour.
I dont need to have any more fights with people over this. I dont need this stress at this stage of my pregnancy. I have deleted the original post as I dont want to be made to feel any worse than I already do. Thanks for your advice everyone but it looks like I will need to work it out myself. Please dont respond to me any more