I have a ... situation ... I would like y'alls perspective on. A good friend of mine recently moved back to the area - she has a 21 month old son. My son is 27 months old. We've been getting together to hang out but the boys canNOT get along. My son is very easy-going, calm, and introverted. Her son is more rough and tumble, and extroverted. Okay, so big personality difference. But more than that, her son keeps hitting my son (or rather, trying to hit - I've started keeping myself very close to my son so I can protect him), pushing him, screaming in his face, yanking his toys away, pushing him some more, etc. It is getting pretty miserable to have playdates. My son gets really scared when the other boy screams in his face, even if he's not actually hurting him. I'm trying to limit our get-togethers to things that don't involve toys (since that seems to be a main point of contention) - things like walks, pool, playground, etc, but even then if they get close enough to touch the other boy will push and hit my son. Sometimes out of the blue for no apparent reason.
My friend is a good mom and is wanting to do "gentle discipline" with her son, although I'm not sure she's fully thought through what that means. In other words, she knows more about what she doesn't want to do than what she DOES want to do. I gave her Unconditional Parenting when her son was born but I don't think she read it. She does really try to get her son to "share" (I don't push sharing, just emphasize taking turns, making trades, and also allow my son not to share his toys if he doesn't want to - and also to respect the other boy's desire not to share his toys) and she says "Good job" too many times for my comfort level.
Anyway, I don't really feel like my friend is doing anything wrong, per se, but I also want my child to be protected and not constantly in fear of being hit or shoved. I'm not really sure what to do - or if there IS anything to do other than limit their time together. My friend is very insecure about her parenting and so it's hard to even suggest anything without her feeling judged (even if that is not my intent.)
I guess my question is, what do you do in social situations where another kid is being mean to your kid? How do you handle the sharing issue? My son is just now starting to say "mine" and want the toy that another kid has just because the other kid has it (he's not ever rough about it though, just whiny.) This other boy doesn't seem to fully understand what is being said to him and doesn't have much (if any) empathy.