I'm looking for some tips to help my 2year old son get along in my home daycare. I'm a single mom and opened the daycare in part to stay home with him. It hasn't been open long and for the first month, everything was fine. Then a new child age 19 months started who was very aggressive towards my son - really targeted him - and also competed with him for my attention (for instance any time my son was getting attention from me, he would come try to get between us). It was such a bad situation that I only had that boy for four days; ever since then, though, my son has been hitting, biting and pushing the other children. He targets the ones who are upset or new and so are getting some extra attention from me. I think part of the issue may be that I have been so conscious of not giving him extra attention or favoring him that I almost always put the other kids' needs before his (unless he is injured). I do that unconsciously and am working on giving him more attention but I don't know what else to do. Everything I have tried has not worked so far. It breaks my heart every day because, unlike when the others occasionally hit or push, I get angry at him when he does it. I don't act on it of course, but its started to change the way I see him.
I've tried every gentle solution I can find from reading various resources online. Everything I can find specifically for daycare providers in this situation comes from a very punitive, punishment-oriented position that I don't believe in. The only thing that has helped a little is encouraging him to take a break from the other kids when he's seeming overwhelmed - not a time out really, but sitting in a chair in the room with his lovey and resting until he feels ready to participate again. Ideally I would sit with him but with others to care for I can't usually do that. I do think he gets overwhelmed being with the other kids 50 hours a week - no single one of my daycare kids are in daycare as many hours as my son is.
Any help/ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!