Almost 5yo and disturbing 'cruelty to animals' incident & trying to figure out natural consequences - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday DH found a bunny's nest in the yard.  In the evening we showed DS who will be 5yo in less than a month.  Of course, we requested that he do not disturb the nest.  But it wasn't long before both DH and I were in the house, he snuck out.  DH was by the window and heard noise/talking and saw DS holding a rabbit.  After, DS told us that he was holding one and slammed it down!  I gave him a TV remote and asked me to show how hard, and he really slammed it on the floor!  I had no idea if he was exaggerating.  But a bit later when I asked him to show he again he did it lighter.  I have no idea which is the truth.

 

Also apparently, he was poking a stick into the nest and made them squeal.  We tried to tell if any of the bunnys were hurt but it was hard to tell w/o disturbing the nest/taking them all out.  And apparently after some fishing I found out he took two out, not one.

 

We are very disturbed that he 'slammed' the bunnies and poked them.  (He can also be aggressive with other kids).  He has a huge listening problem.  We are also disturbed that when we talk to him about it he doesn't seem to care.  At this age should they start caring about stuff like that?  He just seems to care about himself, I know kids are naturally self centered but when does this get better?  He was more upset that daddy 'hurt his feelings' than the reason he caused daddy to be upset with him in the first place.  I did ask him what was worse, his feelings being hurt or an animal being hurt.  He thought about it and said animal.  I don't know if he was just saying that because he knew that is what I wanted to hear??

 

Also, a few weeks ago DH caught him trying to smash a bee with his plastic bat.

 

My understanding is that for every year they are supposed to have 10% impulse control.  So if he's supposed to have 50, it seems way less than that!  I would guess 20-30% right now.  With anything, not just the bunnies.

 

I also have a really hard time figuring out natural consequences for this and other things.  Unfortunately, at this point he cannot be alone in the backyard for a while, but other than that I'm not sure what to do.

 

We are supposed to go somewhere fun today and now DH doesn't want to go with and doesn't think DS should go either. 


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#2 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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do you have pets at home?

 

he should feel sad? nah. that is not my expectation. conscience development does not happen till 7 or 8. 

 

the bee thing. swatting a bee? isnt that what everybody does? you see that in movies and many IRL. 

 

he seems really really curious. poking is to me a sign of curiosity. slamming is a sign of not knowing how to be gentle esp. if he is not around another pet. 

 

really when you wrote cruel behaviour i was all ready to read about pulling a rabbit apart and blood and gore. or bashing up a kitten with a baseball bat. 

 

i would work with him and turn this into a totally teachable moment. first i would research the rabbit life cycle. take him to a petting zoo so he gets to understand how to  be gentle.. and then everyday we'd go and check from afar and see how the rabbits are doing. any difference. maybe even keep a journal where he can draw pictures. do the research so he knows what to look forward to.

 

i think you have v. high expectations out of him. impulse control. its also so much a personality thing. some kids have it great, some are still struggling.

 

"he doesnt seem to care". he just hasnt gotten the idea of fragility of life. i dont think you guys should punish him by not going for someplace fun. nor bring up hurt feelings. you shouldnt ask. you should tell. if he doesnt understand the fragility of life how will he feel bad for the animal.

 

has he asked about death or dying?

 

imho i think you guys are blowing this way out of proportion. he is a boy who has his challenges. he still hasnt figured out how fragile life is. i notice you also have a new baby. how is he with the baby? 

 

i think you have a typcial 'elephant in teh china shop' boy. with what you wrote i am not ready to label him cruel from what you have just posted. he needs to stroke a baby chicken maybe. or visit the pound and stroke a kitten?

 

listening skills? hmmm. i have my own beef about my own dd.

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#3 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Natural consequences aren't really something you figure out.  They are what happens naturally, kwim?  Maybe you mean logical consequences...  But the problem with consequences/punishments, even just scolding/chastising/over-explaining, is the child's focus leaves what he did and goes to what is being done to him.  He can't worry about the rabbits because his feelings are hurt because daddy is "being mean" and won't play.  Not going on the fun trip results could result in ds resenting the rabbits and could make him tempted to be even less gentle with them should he come into contact with them again.

 

My ds was pretty good with animals at that age but he still needed supervision.  Kids tend to want to see the animals "work."  My ds would poke dogs with sticks (not aggressively or meanly) because he wanted to see them "go."  Small animals are so much more delicate and kids need to be older just because of the size/strength difference.  I know a 3 yo who squeezed her hamster to death.  It's just one of those unfortunate things that can happen if a young child is in control of a small animal. 

 

Honestly, I think showing a 4 yo a rabbits nest in the yard and telling him to stay away from it is too high of an expectation.  I'd have had to stay out there with my ds for as long as he was interested and supervised.  After that, I'd have asked him to come get me if he wanted to go back out and see them some more.  This was a key technique for me because ds didn't feel he needed to sneak off to do something he thought I'd not let him do (like play with fire).  He could ask, feel confident that I'd say yes (or yes, in a few minutes) and I'd help him do it safely.


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#4 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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both of my kids being raised on the farm don't show much care for the animals. i mean they do like to feed them and everything but kicking a hen on the way or killing a bee are just natural to all of us (sorry). since their very early age they watched their daddy kill goats and chicken for supper, so they like to watch....one time we raised a goat since he was a baby and then dh made it for supper, i could not eat! but my kids felt nothing and ds kept commenting that our friend is now a piece of  raw meat...dizzy.gifi dont think my kids are cruel or anything, they are just kids simple and curious....we adults lost those qualities unfortunately...

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#5 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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Yikes, I come at it from another point of view.  I think the behavior was reprehensible and there should absolutely have been consequences.  Since he had proven that he couldn't make good choices about how to be gentle with creatures, he would have had to stay right with me for a couple days- helping with chores etc.  No playing off on his own out of sight at all.  

 

By nearly five, a child should absolutely be able to understand that hurting animals is unacceptable.  Curiosity does not need to be displayed through poking and hurting- and the natural reaction when they squealed SHOULD have been "oh, the animal is scared/hurt, this is a bad thing to do!"  It sounds like time to work on empathy. 

 

 

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#6 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

do you have pets at home?

 

he should feel sad? nah. that is not my expectation. conscience development does not happen till 7 or 8. 

 

the bee thing. swatting a bee? isnt that what everybody does? you see that in movies and many IRL. 

 

he seems really really curious. poking is to me a sign of curiosity. slamming is a sign of not knowing how to be gentle esp. if he is not around another pet. 

 

really when you wrote cruel behaviour i was all ready to read about pulling a rabbit apart and blood and gore. or bashing up a kitten with a baseball bat. 

 

i would work with him and turn this into a totally teachable moment. first i would research the rabbit life cycle. take him to a petting zoo so he gets to understand how to  be gentle.. and then everyday we'd go and check from afar and see how the rabbits are doing. any difference. maybe even keep a journal where he can draw pictures. do the research so he knows what to look forward to.

 

i think you have v. high expectations out of him. impulse control. its also so much a personality thing. some kids have it great, some are still struggling.

 

"he doesnt seem to care". he just hasnt gotten the idea of fragility of life. i dont think you guys should punish him by not going for someplace fun. nor bring up hurt feelings. you shouldnt ask. you should tell. if he doesnt understand the fragility of life how will he feel bad for the animal.

 

has he asked about death or dying?

 

imho i think you guys are blowing this way out of proportion. he is a boy who has his challenges. he still hasnt figured out how fragile life is. i notice you also have a new baby. how is he with the baby? 

 

i think you have a typcial 'elephant in teh china shop' boy. with what you wrote i am not ready to label him cruel from what you have just posted. he needs to stroke a baby chicken maybe. or visit the pound and stroke a kitten?

 

listening skills? hmmm. i have my own beef about my own dd.


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#7 of 23 Old 06-12-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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It sounds to me like your son wants to play with the bunnies but doesn't know how to play with them properly. Playing nicely is a skill you need to teach. I would get some books about bunnies, how wild bunnies make their homes, etc. If you are OK with him approaching the bunnies, you can help him induce the bunnies out by bringing carrots or other kitchen scraps. Only play supervised by the bunnies, and teach him how to be respectful of them and their home.

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#8 of 23 Old 06-20-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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Well, you weren't there so it's hard to address behavior you didn't see for yourself.

 

For me personally, treatment of animals is a VERY big deal, just like treatment of humans, and I would have talked to my DS to make sure he understands it is not ok to be rough with animals, and here are the ways we touch animals.

 

It sort of depends on how animals are seen to you and your family, though.  If it's super super important, he probably already knows which means you have a problem to deal with.  If it's not as big of a deal to you (more of a farm-type family), he has probably picked up on that and is just acting out curiosity.

 

Overall, this is a secondhand incident and I would talk to my son but nothing further.

 

As far as consequences - I don't use those except in extreme circumstances.  If my son does something that's not ok, I tell him "that's not ok" and he knows he's expected to do something different.  For all of the debates and discussions I read and participated in when he was a baby about the topic of consequences - he has a very well developed sense of right and wrong and I have little or no trouble with him following the house rules and he understands all of them and why they are in place.  So, just understand that my input and advice is coming from that place.

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#9 of 23 Old 06-20-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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So he's almost 5. A lot of kids don't even understand what death is at that age. I would use this as an entry to talk about cruelty to animals, and explain that bunnies can die from that and what that means, but he might not have had much exposure to that idea yet. Do you have pets? Someone asked that but I didn't see the answer. If he has lived with an animal I'd expect him to understand that more than if he hasn't. I wouldn't flip out and I wouldn't deny him the fun trip because he won't connect the two issues anyway. But I would absolutely teach him how to treat animals if you haven't had much opportunity yet. Also, to expect a child not quite 5 years old who knows there are baby bunnies in his yard to stay inside and not try to play with them might have been wishful thinking.
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#10 of 23 Old 06-20-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

Yikes, I come at it from another point of view.  I think the behavior was reprehensible and there should absolutely have been consequences.  Since he had proven that he couldn't make good choices about how to be gentle with creatures, he would have had to stay right with me for a couple days- helping with chores etc.  No playing off on his own out of sight at all.  

 

By nearly five, a child should absolutely be able to understand that hurting animals is unacceptable.  Curiosity does not need to be displayed through poking and hurting- and the natural reaction when they squealed SHOULD have been "oh, the animal is scared/hurt, this is a bad thing to do!"  It sounds like time to work on empathy. 

 

 



Absolutely!  The replies in this thread scare me. A child who is almost five most definitely is capable of treating animals with compassion and having empathy. Heck, 2 year olds have empathy! They may not always know how to treat other beings as toddlers, but they certainly have the development to react when they see others in distress.

 

I'm not buying the "we're on a farm so naturally we kick our chickens, what the heck? We live on a ranch with chickens and horses and raise hundreds of cows and sheep a year for meat, but that doesn't mean we don't respect them or treat them with kindness.  

 

OP hug.gif, I think you are totally in the right to be concerned and upset. I 100% do not think your DS is disturbed or cruel, etc but I cannot believe how many people are saying no big deal. Of course children make mistakes and have lapses in judgement, but parents need to be there to teach them what is and is not appropriate. Sounds like your son just needs a refresher on how to treat animals and just as important to stay away from wild animals.

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#11 of 23 Old 06-20-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Firstly I think it's pretty common for small children to need reminders to be gentle when playing with animals.  In my own experience 5 seems a little bit old to be completely incapable of interacting with animals respectfully but if it's just an issue of getting exciting and forgetting his manners that sounds normal.  If he just needs more supervision and reminders that might be a good starting point.  Use stuffed animals or pillows to show him how to gently pet and hold an animal.  When you are with him in the presence of someone's pet, remind him of your practice with "gentle hands" and step in to demonstrate if necessary.  I think having a rule of gentle petting and no holding until he has proven self control and restraint may be a good idea.  Most small children require supervision when interacting with animals, it sound like your son is just a regular kid.

 

On the subject of wild animals.  It is not appropriate for your son to be approaching or touching wild animals period.  As hard as it may be to keep him away from them that family of bunnies deserves peace and space.  You seem to be aware of this and I wish you the best of luck keeping a playful boy under a watchful eye while the bunny nest remains occupied.


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#12 of 23 Old 06-20-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekatherina View Post

both of my kids being raised on the farm don't show much care for the animals. i mean they do like to feed them and everything but kicking a hen on the way or killing a bee are just natural to all of us (sorry). since their very early age they watched their daddy kill goats and chicken for supper, so they like to watch....one time we raised a goat since he was a baby and then dh made it for supper, i could not eat! but my kids felt nothing and ds kept commenting that our friend is now a piece of  raw meat...dizzy.gifi dont think my kids are cruel or anything, they are just kids simple and curious....we adults lost those qualities unfortunately...


Many people in farming communities feel compassion for animals.  Where I live, there is a lot of animal agriculture, but many people love animals.  Some of the old timers are even vegetarians.  I met an old lady at the library who told me that she saw a pig butchered once as a child and could never eat meat again.  She didn't identify as a vegetarian, but as a child, she still had this gut level of empathy for the animal she watched being killed.  Another older man talked to me about the cruelty of cattle ranchers because they were deaf to the cries of the baby cows when they were separated from their mothers.  The whole idea that people naturally have no problem with watching animals being killed ot tormented strikes me as a trendy backlash to animal rights activism.

 

To me, it's obvious.  Of course we should nurture our children's empathy toward animals.  It helps them develop into compassionate people.

 

To the OP:  Maybe you should put up a little boundary out of rope or sticks around the rabbit's nest, to help your son remember not to get too close.  It might not be good for him to play to close to the bunnies because they will have fleas.  Around here, there is still plague carried by fleas, so I'm always a little paranoid around rodent burrows.   

 

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#13 of 23 Old 06-21-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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 I think it does sound a bit out of the norm for an almost-5-year-old to act like that. My 5-year-old, for instance, is very gentle with animals and has been for years. I'm a huge animal lover, so I can see how you'd be concerned about this. 

 

But I'm wondering if there's more going on that has you so worried. Do you have any reason to believe that if you tell him he behaved inappropriately with the bunnies that he wouldn't learn from it?    I would talk to him again and ask him to describe to you how he needs to behave with animals in the future and stress to him how important it is that he treat all living beings with kindness. Then, (unless there's more I don't know) I would just chalk it up to one of the random weird and/or unacceptable things that little boys sometimes do (I have twin 9-year-old boys and I can assure you they will do completely unexpected things-- often only once). But one incident doesn't mean he's going down the wrong path.  

 

About the bee-- just tell him to stop.  I don't think you need to read into it. 

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#14 of 23 Old 06-22-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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I believe that you can move baby bunnies a certain distance and mom will still find them. 

 

Also, your son sounds in the range of normal to me.  He probably did not "slam" them, he was curious and probably dropped one.  His telling you he slammed one may actually be a sign that he feels somewhat guilty about dropping it.  We have chickens and dogs and all that and my son can be sweet sometimes and then  mean other times.  

 

The big issue is that is disobeyed you and that should be addressed, but remember that telling him not to go back to see baby bunnies is an impossible task to set for a 5 year old.

 

If there is something about your son that you know otherwise that makes you think he is sociopathic then you should have that addressed by professional help, but i don't think anything you said indicated anything but normal little boy behavior.  


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#15 of 23 Old 06-23-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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I am sure what's normal for this age will vary a lot from child to child. 

But that aside, I agree that it is something that needs to be taken seriously and not tolerated.  Like a pp said, learning to show compassion to animals helps kids learn compassion to towards people. 

 

But I agree with the PP who said it's an opportunity to work on gentleness with animals, learning not to touch wild animals, respecting an animal's space, etc. It sounds like you are really empathetic, and so no doubt he will learn this from you.  Maybe he just needed some refreshing, as one pp said. 

 

And I SO agree about being able to live on a farm and still be compassionate to animals.  Those two are not in any form mutually exclusive.  

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#16 of 23 Old 06-27-2011, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies!  I/we could not think of another consequence except he was NOT allowed in the backyard by himself until the bunnies were gone.  He is unusually rough with people, also, I think.  He tries to hit and kick us, treats his 4mo sister like a rag doll (he loves her but doesn't understand unsafe things, like you shouldn't put your hand over a babies mouth to quiet them or shake them).  There was an incident at a water park yesterday, he wanted a sprayer that a 3yo girl was on, she wouldn't let him have it (rightfully so, she was playing with it at the time), he tried pushing her, then he pried her fingers off the sprayer and pushed her down, then turned the sprayer on her!  This sort of thing happens ALL the time and no matter how much we try to tell him the right thing to do and role-play, it doesn't help.

 

The bunnies are now grown up enough and not in the nest, but oddly enough we had a Bunny Rescue Fiasco just a couple days ago.  We have a window well that I just happened to notice one of the babies fell in, so he helped me rescue the bunny and let it go (it got in the house while I was trying to get it out of the well).  I explained to him how much better that was to rescue the bunny instead of the other stuff he was doing.


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#17 of 23 Old 06-27-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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Ophelia, it sounds like there is a pattern forming with your son.  The big question is... what are you doing about it?  Yes, you gave him a consequence to the bunny situation but what are you doing to prevent it in the future?  Have you spent time talking about how we treat all animals (farm, wild or otherwise) and people?  What consequences is he receiving when he's hurting his sister? 

 

My son was a handful for us.  We finally realized that our parenting skills were lacking and we now see a behavioral therapist who is teaching us to effectively parent our son.  On our first appointment he told us.... "most parents parent by the seat of their pants.  That's because that's how their parents parented them, and their parents parented them.  That works for about 65% of the population".  It sounds like it's possible you may, like me and my husband, be part of that 35% that need help.  Before it escalates to the point where he hurts his sister or someone or something else, you really need to nip it in the bud.


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#18 of 23 Old 06-27-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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It's very common for boys to react physically to nonphysical situations.  So a young boy might hit or shove because someone said something mean.  He might cover a baby's mouth to try to quiet her.  He might try to just take something he wants (and try harder if he meets resistance) that another person is using.  He might poke or shove (gently or not) someone or an animal with whom he wants to interact.  He might hold a baby bunny too tightly because it is trying to wiggle away.  He might slam it down if he got startled or hurt by sharp little claws.

 

What worked well for my ds was giving him phrases to say, like lines in a play, for the more common situations.  I coached him to say "Hi, my name is ___, want to play?" instead of poking the other kid.  I coached him to say "Can I have a turn when you are done?"  Then I'd try redirecting him so he wasn't hovering too closely, "lets do ___ while you wait for your turn."  Turns get tricky in group situations, the kids learn quickly that the more aggressive ones get more turns.  We'd actually wait right there if it was a group and I'd verbalize to all the kids that came up whose turn was next, "When this girl is done, my son is going to have his turn. Then it will be your turn."  I'd get my body in between kids when necessary.  I think all the kids were happy to have whose turn it was clear.  I also showed ds things like how to throw a stick for a dog instead of poking the dog with the stick to make it go.  Etc.  My ds did pretty well with all that at 4 but he wasn't shy and he was very verbal.  A less verbal kid might take more time.  The good news is impulse control starts to kick in more between 5 and 6!

 

It still sounds like your ds is very normal.  But a ton of guidance is helpful for getting through this age.  And physical kids might need less talking and more physical parenting.  Not spanking or anything rough, but being right there, getting your body in between kids, etc.  It's easy to overdo talking with kids.  If you said something a couple times, chances are your ds knows what you are going to say.  Saying it again doesn't help because he knows but doesn't have the maturity and impulse control or the desire to not do whatever.  And the repetition causes them to tune you out.

 

Another thing that was really helpful when my ds was 4ish was using positive redirection.  Telling him what to do instead of telling him what not to do.  I'd say "watch for cars" instead of "don't go in the street." I might say "try giving the baby a toy" as a way to direct his interaction with her.   Remember to walk, pet the dog gently, etc.  It takes practice to retrain your speech so you don't say "don't" all the time.  But I found it very helpful for getting ds to behave more safely and more acceptably.  Good luck!  I thought 4 was the worst age.  It gradually got better from there.


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#19 of 23 Old 07-01-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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RE: his sister-- you keep them separated, right?  One of my friends had a physical child and kept the baby in a sling ALL the time-- the other child NEVER had access.

 

As for the consequence, is that going to work?  He already went out once w/o your permission.

 

I would say that this is not a time to panic-- some of my children would NEVER do this and one, well, maybe.  All girls, but one is extremely physical and always testing limits.  She IS getting better but has a long way to go.  I have started talking a lot about following "the rules" with her.  I use a reminder-- "You are breaking a rule-- what can you do instead?"  This is sort of a trigger word for her, to remember what to do. 

 

I'd do two things: again and again show the right way to treat ___. 

The other is to find a million physical outlets.

 

One more-- I'd remind myself not to worry.  You will see other kids that don't act like this and wonder what you did wrong.  I can tell you what you did-- nothing!  Trust me, some kids are just born compliant (my 4 yo is like this . . .OMG) and others, well, no way.  You can tell early on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post

Thanks for the replies!  I/we could not think of another consequence except he was NOT allowed in the backyard by himself until the bunnies were gone.  He is unusually rough with people, also, I think.  He tries to hit and kick us, treats his 4mo sister like a rag doll (he loves her but doesn't understand unsafe things, like you shouldn't put your hand over a babies mouth to quiet them or shake them). 



 


 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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#20 of 23 Old 07-06-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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Hey - Sounds like you're getting all kinds of good advice... I just wanted to chime in - I agree that gentleness with animals probably should be pretty well intact by 5 years old if enough opportunities have been given to learn this - and yes to whoever said he should NOT be playing with wild animals; they could bite him and then he'd need shots for rabies and who knows what else.  The PP who said that expecting your 5 year old to stay away from the bunny nest was too high an expectation - I disagree with this - children at 5 can obey this kind of rule.  My 3 1/2 year old can do this - and he is very strong willed and independent minded.  

 

I wanted to comment on your statement that he's a pretty physical and rough little kid.  First, he should be disciplined strongly for doing things that could/do hurt his baby sister.  I would take privileges/treats away, do serious timeouts, early bedtime, whatever it takes to get that under control.  He is five, not two - he should either know better not to put his hand on his sister's mouth or he needs to learn quick.  Even at two - I would discipline that (in lesser ways) to get it under control and get good habits forming.  Since he's five, he can understand cause and effect - so use that to your advantage.  Let him know what the boundaries and consequences are up front and then stick with them.  

 

As for the water park incident - I wonder what your response was to him bullying the 3 year old girl?  Did he receive a consequence of any kind or did you just reprimand him and let him continue to play?  If it's common for him - then I would just nip it in the bud - let him know the next time you go out to play somewhere fun - that if he bullies (and explain what that is) - then you'll leave and the fun will be over and then do it - and make home super boring afterward.  He'll get the picture after this happens a few times that bullying equals no fun.  The fact that bullying isn't kind and we shouldn't do it on principle will kick in over time - but I think you've got to get his impulses to be rough and tumble under control.  I think you'll all have more fun together.  

 

Anyway - that's my two cents - I'm no pro parent - that's for sure! ;)  This is what I would probably do though.  

 

 


Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

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#21 of 23 Old 07-07-2011, 12:46 AM
 
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I would go and see a therapist as soon as possiable.  Cruelty to animals is a very disturbing sign.     The fact that he bullies other children is also worrisome.  Does he wet his bed? Has unhealthy interest in fires?

 

Some issues are much easier to deal with at age 5 than age 12-15-20.

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#22 of 23 Old 07-15-2011, 12:22 AM
 
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About the behaviour towards sister, girl at water play area, etc etc...  Have you looked at his diet?

 

DS was getting more and more violent, when finally I had an "aha" moment after he lost it 20 minutes after having a DumDum lollipop.  Over the rest of the year we worked it out and realized he can't have anything based on corn syrup.  Colors might be a problem as well, but it's hard to find things with artificial colors that don't have corn syrup in it, and he's not willing to experiment.  However I do remember one WEIRD Easter-time with him licking his fingers while dying eggs (he loved the vinegar) and getting into a really freaky mood. 

 

Once we got rid of those things from his diet, he became MUCH more calm.  Before that, I had to physically separate him from our cat, because I couldn't get him to be *at all* gentle with her.  No you can't expect much from a 2 year old with a cat, but I had plenty of friends who had cats when their kids were that age and they pretty quickly learn that petting didn't mean pressing down so hard that the cat's belly touched the floor...he never got that.  Sadly she got tremendously sick, then while hubby was cleaning up after her with the door open, she ran away...  So we never got to see if it was causing the weirdness with how he treated the cat, too, and I'd realized how very allergic I am to indoor cats, so we aren't getting another. 

 

 

Anyway, just an idea based on our experience!

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#23 of 23 Old 07-17-2011, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

I would go and see a therapist as soon as possiable.  Cruelty to animals is a very disturbing sign.     The fact that he bullies other children is also worrisome.  Does he wet his bed? Has unhealthy interest in fires?

Yeah, actually we did when he was 2....because he's high spirited and low impulse control and we weren't sure how to deal with some issues.  At the time she said he did have low impulse control for his age (so at 2 years it was less than 20%)

 

Yes, he does have LOTS of pee accidents both daytime and nighttime.  I think it's at least partial food, but unfortunately have not had the cooperation of DH or I would have figured it out by now.  No, not an unhealthy interest in fires.  He likes them and is excited when we have bonfire, but doesn't beg for them all the time.

 

 

Quote:

Have you looked at his diet?

Last fall, on the advice of our ND, we did cut out ALL artificial and corn.  It was well more than 2 weeks, more like a month and a half, because I kept messing up until I finally got all the corn out including toothpaste.  I watched for behavior changes during that time, and nothing.


DS 2006 nocirc.gif DiaperFreeBaby angel1.gif March 2010, DD 2011

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