Today, my DS calmly guided a toddler to the top of a playground slide and then deliberately shoved him down it. Fortunately the Toddler was fine (if shaken), but when I sat DS down and talked to him about what he'd just done, he told me matter-of-factly that he hadn't wanted this child on the playground. Despite our chat, he shoved a different toddler (much less dramatically) a couple of times more before I took him away.
I'd love to say that this was an isolated incident, but at playgrounds and in a playschool class he hits and shoves on a pretty regular basis. It seems mostly tied to sharing and sense of space issues - either not wanting to share a favourite toy (or playground in this case), or someone getting too close to his personal space. He often seems worse if he's not eaten, but that's not the problem in pre-school at least.
He's a very large 3 yr old, and could really do a lot of damage.
He has an older sister who is quite bossy and can be aggressive with him, although she's well behaved and considerate with all other kids.
He does seem to be making some progress with one preschool teacher, with a small pupil to teacher ratio.
We've tried time outs, sitting him down after each incident and talking about it, praising gentle behaviour, etc.
We are really frustrated with the whole situation, and would welcome suggestions of anything new to try. Does he need therapy (at 3?)?
Repeat as necessary, no matter how inconvenient to you at the time...think of it as a temporary project to get him over the behavior. And, as you noted, try to be sure he's on a full belly and not tired when he enters a situation he finds stressful in this way. He'll get there developmentally soon enough.
I would also make sure to be consistant between the two kids. Of his sister gets angry at him for being around her or playing with her toys it might not seem fair to him that he doesn't get to be mad at others who do it to him. Does she ever push or hit him?
she shoves and hits him a lot! it gets infuriating for me because it is the very thing that he is getting in trouble for and she has been doing it for a long long time to him. We find violence unacceptable but are having a hard time getting them to not do it.
It sounds to me like he's not ready for socialization of larger unstructured groups and the preschool setting. Many children aren't. The stress of that environment overweighs the benefits for a lot of children (mine included). Maybe he would do better in smaller groups with a lot of structure. Is there a reason he has to go to preschool at all? Maybe he could go to the park when it is less crowded?
But I agree that whatever you do, its just a developmental phase and he will grow out of it.
Reminds me of my brothers and sisters. I would bet he is frustrated with how she treats him but can't really do much about it without retaliation from her. Hes learned that when people are in his space or playing with his toys thats how you treat them especially if they are smaller or can't fight back. 3 yearolds are smart and I bet you at preschool kids aren't exactly the best at sharing either. I am sure he will grow out of it but I would certainly address his sister shoving and hitting him as much as you can. Boys can be really sensative and maybe changing that dynamic even a little could really help him improve his behavior.