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Mine's the *mean* one, what do I do?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My dd is 2 yrs, 8 mths and she loves to snatch toys from other kids, most notably, a friend's son, who is just a month younger than dd.
She will take everything he picks up, she is worst at our house, but will do it at his too. And she will bug him, like trying to take his hand when she knows he doesn't want to, and getting right in his face.
She does this, to a lesser degree, with other kids too.
This little boy is very sweet, but he rarely does anything to stick up- for himself, and will even drop the toy and run when he sees dd coming, even if he really wanted it. He is also frustrated with this.
We have been babysitting him 1 day a week for the last 9 mths, and the last few mths have been the worst.
Some days are ok, and after the first hour or so (if I am watching him), she gets better.
Also, we will all be moving in together in September! I don't know how to handle dd when she repeatedly takes this boys things?
Time-outs are what I have resorted to, and sometimes I feel that is best, but I would like other suggestions?
Thanks for any advice or experiences you want to share!!!
post #2 of 8
I think the only tried and true method is time and consistency. I'm not personally against time-out, depending on how it's used, and I've certainly used it lots with my ds, who also seemed to be the "mean" one for awhile. I actually attribute it to assertion in it's feral state. It just requires a bit of shaping to get it going. I really helped ds use his words, and reinforced that, but we've gone through periods where he got many time-outs in a day--he's not one of those requiring only a mild rebuke, he's got the push the envelope to see if it will tear, and generally it does--and he slowly got much much better. I'm sorry that I don't have any other fast and easy things, just lots of empathy for you, your dd, and her friend.
post #3 of 8
I agree time and consistency will solve the problem eventually.

My only other advice would be to be proactive rather than reactive with him. In other words, if you know that you will be seeing this other child, talk to him about being friendly, etc. before you get together. Being proactive is much more effective with my daughter than trying to deal with her in the heat of the moment, maybe it will work for you, too.

Good luck!
post #4 of 8

instead of giving her any attention negative or otherwise, concentrate on helping him.(the little boy)
Help him hold onto the toy, empower him and model to her what the correct behavior is. Block her shoves, help him move away, show him how to do it. Take him and walk away, without words. Thats powerful modelling I think
(It always seemed to help our ds see what happened when he did that kind of stuff).

Without being presumptious, also consider where (if at all) she has seen poor boundaries modelled. Is she listened to? Are her boundaries respected? Has she ever had stuff ripped or even taken out of her hands without her permission?

This is how I worked with this kind of issue

good luck!
post #5 of 8

I'd only add that this can be played out with teddybears playing the "here you are" game, you and DH, you and teddies, DH and you and teddies. She'll join in and get used to giving.

Don't show irritation, annoyance or anger.

post #6 of 8
yes! Great point about the role-playing with bears/dolls
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies! Great advice!!!
I have been proactive with this, in that I always have a little talk with her about it before we see her friend, and if she is about to take his things,etc., I take her out of the room for a little talk before she gets wound up.
I try to always be nice, not angry, and I almost always succeed at that part.
I have also been laying on the positive reinforcement extra-thick. As in, when she makes a getsure towards sharing, being nice, I compliment her on it.
We also do a lot of talk/modeling sharing in other situations. Like I commented on the fact that I was taking one of our phones over to the little boy's Mom to use b/c she was my friend and I liked to share with her.
The part that really bugs me is the way, for example, when I say "It will make John sad if you take his things." She often replies "I want to make him sad." and she will tell me flat-out that she is *not* going to share.
And then sometimes she does well and sometimes she doesn't.
Also, if she did really well and didn't take John's things, she will still want to pretend like she did take his things alter on, when we are at home, and she will tell me she *did* take his things, even though she did not. She loves to role play with her dolls, etc., only she wants to do it the wrong way! She wants me to make them cry while she is mean to them.
I hope this is normal!
She is actually pretty sweet and empathetic, but she just delights in being "mean" sometimes!
Anyway, great suggestions, keep em coming!
post #8 of 8

dont worry, I think if we all accepted our humanity we would all see and agree that all expressions of human emotions make up our totality. (Many of us in western culture just do a good job at repressing the not so desirable parts )
No need to judge her harshly for trying on behaviors that she feels. I want to make people "sad" too when Im working something out emotionally.
Maybe figuring out whats driving it (if anything) might help her.

Good luck
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