How should I react to DS being hit? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
My 22 months old DS is an only child and not used to the usual kids stuff as a result. I take him to playdates and public places everyday but I think he is still very timid and gets easily upset when others push him, hit him,yell at him etc. Usually I avoid any situation where its very unpleasant , but otherwise I believe in Exposing him to a little rough playing to get him used to it.

I have a neighbor in my aparrtment complex whose DS is five months younger. I respect and like the mother and we get along very well. She is very AP parent but lately during our playdates her son ends up hitting or snatching from mine, which is very normal I know. But my problem is the mom doesnt try to tell her son thats its not ok to hit. And everytime I tell my son to be gentle with him, she tells me not to bother. I am confused honestly. Yes, kids will hit and behave aggresive but we as moms have to keep reminding them to be gentle and model to them the better behavior, right?
Our last playdate ended with my son in tears ( he is sensitive I get it) and I have since been uncomfortable calling her and scheduling our next playdate. I dont want to ruin our friendship as she is my only neighbor with a kid!

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#2 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 05:28 AM
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First of all, I don't think their personality differences are due to your ds being an only child. My oldest was an only child until she was 7, and she went through an aggressive phase anyway. And your ds might at some point go through an aggressive phase. As you said, it is very common.


So my opinion about toddlers going thorugh this aggressive phase is that, while theyr'e in it, it's the parents' responsibility to tail their toddlers and protect others from them. I think it's something they outgrow as they get more mature and, often, better language skills, and I don't think you can really *teach* them to stop, though obviously it doesn't hurt to remind them to be gentle. I think it's something that they have to just mature past really, though.

Your friend obviously isn't tailing her ds, so I think your choices are to either cool things for a few months and see if the friend's ds has gotten past this phase yet by then, or protect your ds yourself as your friend's ds goes through this. But it is hard when you see another parent not stepping up and taking care of things they should take care of.

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#3 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 05:39 AM
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Don't have playdates with them anymore. You can't control how she parents her child, but you can control what you expose him to. I think hitting amongst toddlers is pretty normal, but if it was happening regularly and with no adult intervention I wouldnt play with them. I dont want my DD (22 months, with only a newborn little brother) to think it is okay, and if she sees it happening and no one stepping in to stop it, then its ok, right? Some parents are very hands off when it comes to playtime between toddlers, and I myself try to let them work things out first, but hitting and pushing is a different story.

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#4 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 04:57 PM
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I know an "AP" parent who was very similar. Her daughter would hit and slap my kids and there was no real reaction. She finally said that at this age (they were 12+mos old) they couldn't understand the concept of not hitting. She did a lot of very bizarre parenting in general. I finally had to realize that she just had a very...unique...perspective on parenting and nothing I could say or do would make any dent on that. The only thing I could do was stop seeing her very often until the kids are a bit bigger. I don't know if your situation is quite so extreme, but you might find at some point that you've exhausted all other options. Something you could try is finding an article (maybe on the Dr Sears site) that talks about discipline and hitting. You could tell her that your DS was going through a hitting phase and you found this article helpful, and then you remembered that her DS was having a similar phase. Something to keep it light & non-judgy. If she's not interested, fine, but at least you've offered a different perspective on it.

The one thing I can do is help my kids learn to stand up for themselves, among any kids they see. This will happen regardless of who your friends are or where you go to the park, so maybe this is also an opportunity to begin to teach him this. I don't know how much language your DS has, but I assume he could say things like "NO!" or "Stop!" or "No Hit!" or whatever. If he hits your DS, you don't have to speak to the other boy but you can speak to your DS. "Tell him ____!" (no, stop, don't hit me, whatever he can say). Continue the conversation a bit, for example ask your DS, "Do you like it when he hits you? No? Let's tell him "I don't like that!" Give him some more words to cope with upsetting situations like that.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
Thank you for the clear replies. During our last playdate, she actually told me " you dont have to tell your son not to hit mine. It doesnt bother me" , well my son wasnt hitting the other kid but I was hinting at her. Obviously she thinks that its wrong to interfere and let toddlers be " natural ".
So I will simply stop having playdates with her for few months. Sad but well..thats how it is.

I do like the advice of teaching DS to stand up for himself! Thanks mama:o

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#6 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 09:00 PM
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Yeah, if you teach your DS to say "Don't hit me, that hurts!" maybe the other kid's mama will think twice about her approach. Or not. But a good skill to have. She's really doing her kid a disservice because other kids don't like to play with kids who hit. Even if it's developmentally normal now it won't always be. 

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