2-year old being a bully - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-29-2007, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, we had a playdate at our house today, and my sweet 2 year-old dd didn't do so great. There were younger children at the playdate, and she kept pushing them down. I tried to talk to her about it, but before I could even finish my sentence, she was going back to do it again.

Just a little background- my hubby and I are AP gentle disciplining parents. We do have a 5 week old new baby, but she has never shown aggression towards him or to anyone else for that matter. And our dd has seemed to have very little trouble adjusting to having a new baby in the house.

DD is around two other brothers in the church nursery who regularly rough-house each other. She may be picking up on their behavior, but I don't really know.

The big question I have is how to help her learn that pushing and being a bully is not okay. My approach of getting down on her level, talking to her about it, and trying to redirect her hasn't worked.

All suggestions are welcome!
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#2 of 4 Old 08-29-2007, 03:18 PM
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Oh, my son went through that phase at 2.5. And he would always go for smaller children, he was usually okay with kids his size or bigger.

All I found that worked was to follow him around like a hawk and move him away from the area as soon as he pushed. Playdates weren't a whole lot of fun for either of us for a while but he did outgrow it as he got closer to 3.

I'm not sure you'll ever find a reason for why she's doing it. Some kids just do.
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#3 of 4 Old 08-29-2007, 04:23 PM
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When my DD, who is 2, does things like that, I will say "we just pat or hug our friends, if you need to push/hit something here is a pillow (or whatever)."

Maybe yours would like one of those blow up "punching bags" that rock back and forth when hit?

I try to give my DD the message that anger or frustration is ok, but hurting ourselves or others is not and help her get her feelings out in a way that is safe for everyone.

I also try to model this for her. I will say "Mama is frustrated/angry. I want my mad pillow so I can let out my anger." Then I get the pillow and give it a couple of whacks.

The other thing I do for playdates is I have a box of toys I can share with friends and my DD. (I also share with DD when we are at home, to model sharing.) We also put away any of "her" toys ahead of time that she doesn't feel like sharing that day. Maybe doing these will help you too, in case sharing is the issue.

I think this is a phase that we all go through and it will pass. Good luck!
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#4 of 4 Old 08-29-2007, 09:41 PM
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You're not alone! I do two things when my 26-month old does something like that:

1. When she's after something in particular, like a toy, offer alternatives (I'll say sweetly "Don't hit...use words" or "Don't pinch...pat gently"). Don't reprimand or belabor it too much -- I personally don't think they do it to be mean, they just don't have the ability to empathize quite yet and understand the consequences of their actions.

2. When she's just tired or fussy, remove her to another part of the room and provide a distraction (a different toy, a book, point out something in the room)

I hope this helps!
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