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Toddler Frustrated with Peer

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

I need some insight, thoughts etc on a toddler situation with my son. It's a long post...

Let me tell you about my beautiful DS: he's 31 months, very verbal (and has been for quite some time), he's inquisitive, emotional, loving, funny and oh so spirited!

He goes to my friends house two days a week for three hours each day while I am at work. In return, I watch her two kids (15 months and 30 months) so she and her husband can go out. Up until the past month, it has been a win win situation for all. I believe it has started to sour.

It's hard to describe the dynamic between the two kids but it is not good and we are at a loss at how to change it. Her son has interacted with my son by ripping out of my sons hand whatever he is playing with. The other child never then goes on to play with the toy he has taken from my son but then goes on to take from my son what is has started playing with. He gets very physically close to my son (trying to sit on him, pushing him, he literally tries to force my sons shoes, jacket etc off of him). My son will tell him "No" or "Stop" and of the kids are at our house, we will help support the interaction. Over a month ago, the kids were at our house and my son had asked the other boy to stop and when the boy didn't, my son pushed him. We immediately talked to our son about how we understood he was frustrated but that pushing is never ok. In fact, we role played it (my partner and I) out about how to handle the situation next time which was to say Stop and if he didn't, to walk away from the situation.

My son is handling these situations how he is supposed to but the other boy is not getting it and honestly, I don't think his mother is either. Today when My partner went to drop him off in the morning he told her that he was tired and wanted to go home when they pulled into their driveway. When I picked him up, the mother told me the my son was cranky and was getting upset when her son was getting too close to him. It really upset me but then I worry that my spirited child is being too spirited. The mom acknowledged to me last week when her son was repeatedly pushing and grabbing things away from my son that "this is what he always does". I'm not goong to lie: my son says "No" in a loud, pissed off toddler way.

So, after that long story, am I crazy for thinking I need to pull my son out of this situation? Is my son just too sensitive (I don't think so but I could be biased)? Thoughts? Insight? Been there, done thats? I guess I jut need to know that Im not the only one who has been here with their kid.

post #2 of 7
A large number of toddlers go through an aggressive phase like this. It is not uncommon at all, and it seems to happen with some toddlers no matter how they're parented. It is probably temporary, but that doesn't make it easier for your son now.

I could imagine reasons for handling this any number of ways. On one hand, having to interact with other toddlers who won't put up with him is probably one of the ways toddlers learn to get out of this stage and learn how to handle social interactions, and I don't think it would probably hurt anything for your son to stay in. Your son might also go through an aggressive phase as it is very common (though not all kids do), but I wouldn't assume that being around this other little boy would cause that. I don't think it's something they pick up from other kids, but just a developmental phase.

On the other hand, it sounds to me like this mom might be overwhelmed with having to deal with two older toddlers and one little toddler. That's a lot to handle, and I can see why she's having trouble keeping the peace, and peace keeping is probably what's needed. Are you finding it to be a lot when you watch her kids?

Sometimes these aggressive phases can include hitting and biting (and even toddlers who are the product of attachment parenting can have those behavior problems.) Maybe she can't keep up with it all, and it might be a good idea to come up with another arrangement. Whether it's just until they're a bit older and not so overwhelming, or permanently, I don't know.

I think I personally would probably find a different daycare situation, though I understand it might be harder for part time babysitting like that. Is he in preschool? Maybe preschool would be a good option. Preschoolers oven go that often.

Good luck!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

We are checking out a preschool on Wednesday. It's interesting because my son doesn't run into these issues or have these explosions with his other buddies especially those he can "talk" with. We were thinking that a preschool setting may give him a more varied social environment as well as opportunities to play with a variety of kids.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the mom maybe being overwhelmed. And sure, when I have the three kids it is certainly a lot but its more than manageable. I have very clear boundaries yet let the kids do their thing, so to speak. I don't know how to help her and I have said that many times to her when she has said she's had it with her son bc he spent al day hitting my son and her daughter. I feel bad for everyone involved. :/
post #4 of 7
Kids seem to behave worst for their own parents, for whatever reason. It's possible his behavior is worse, even quite a bit worse, at home than when he's with you.
post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Kids seem to behave worst for their own parents, for whatever reason. It's possible his behavior is worse, even quite a bit worse, at home than when he's with you.

Agreed! I would consider a different care provider.

post #6 of 7
We watch my DD's younger cousin once a week, and my DD is absolutely bonkers during that day. Her behavior is off the charts bad. I could definitely see the other little boy making life very difficult for his mother on their babysitting days, even if it doesn't seem that bad when you watch him.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh there is nod doubt that his behavior is worse for his mother and father. When they pick him up from our house at dinner when we watch him, he goes from calm and doing a quiet time activity with one of us to out of his freaking mind (jumping on our furniture, jumping up and down, yelling, stomping his feet, sitting on his sister, running around our house) the second his parents walk in the door. No joke. I have tried to talk to the mom about the fact that these behaviors seem to be very attention seeking and that I'd be more than happy to watch her daughter so she could have special time alone with her son but she doesn't seem to think that's the problem.

I think my solution has to be taking my son out of there. :/
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