Does this sound like normal behaviour? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-10-2006, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I hoping that someone can give me some advice or at the very least tell me this is ‘normal”. My ds will be 3 in june. He has always been very spirited from day one. In the last few months he seems to have gotten more aggressive with other children. For example, we’ll be at the park and he will want to play with a child. I’ve tried modeling behaviour for him such as “do you want to play with me” which he does ask, however, he will think nothing of grabbing their hand and trying to drag them to where he wants to play, whether they give him an answer or not. Usually it is with children younger than himself. He will also tell me that he wants to share his bucket and pail, or toy trucks or whatever, something we have been working on as well. Yet, when a lot of times the other child will go to get said toy, and ds will get angry and grab it away, or try to throw sand at the other child. He does much better with kids slightly older than him but unfortunately we encounter children of all ages at the park or playgroup or wherever.

Another example. Yesterday we were at the park. He had his turn on the swings and then wanted down to go and play on the playground. Fine. Then two more children around his age came and their mothers put them on the swings. As soon as ds saw this, he immediately stopped what he was doing and demanded that he go on the swings again. I told him (as I have numerous times before) Honey, you will get a turn again when the other kids are done with their turn” Not good enough. He marched over there with me trailing behind him and yelled for the kids to “get off”. Then he pleaded with me to take the other kids out. When I told him again, that it is not our turn yet, he turned to the mothers and yelled at them to take them out. I reminded him that if he was not being nice and waited his turn that we would leave the park. Well, he continued his sulking and shouting loudly at the other kids on the swings, so I picked him up under my arm and told him we were leaving, that his privilege of going to the park had ended because he did not listen to mommy and he was not being nice and waiting his turn. That we do not yell at other people. He was pleading and crying, but I stood firm to show him the consequences of his actions. He was telling me that it is HIS park, HIS swings. I explained when we got home that the park belongs to EVERYONE. Nope. Not good enough. More crying and yelling. Which led to two more tantrums.

The final straw was last night, he calmed down dh and I were having a good time with him. Then out of the blue, he demanded that I find his roller skates. I’m like What??? You don’t have roller skates, who told you that you had roller skates. I thought he meant daddy’s roller blades which I showed him and he freaked, demanding HIS roller skates and that I go get him some NOW. I told him that he does not have rollar skates and that they are for bigger children. More tantruming, crying, banging into walls. Why. I’m heartbroken over his behaviour. I’m terrified at parks and social settings that he will get aggressive with another child that I’m his constant shadow. Just last weekend we had to go to a ‘first communion’ for a friends daughter. We opted to leave ds with his grandmother as he was having a ‘bad’ day and we were afraid he would tantrum or be very unruly at the dinner afterwards. There were several children at the dinner party. Of course some eventually cried and yelled, but not like our son probably would. It made us so sad to have to lie to our friends and say that our son wasn’t feeling well and that is why he could not come. I’ve never met a more intense child Please tell me if this sounds like normal behaviour. I’m putting a call into his pediatrician so dh and I could talk to her. Is this just the terrible twos/ threes??

Dh and I are constantly arguing over what method of discipline and what to do about ds. Last Sunday he didn’t want to leave his swimming class when it was over. He threw a tantrum, screaming bloody murder in the changeroom with dh, whilst I waited outside. I could hear him yelling down the hall and watched the faces of all the other parents leaving the changeroom, probably thinking “thank God that’s not my kid”. I’m heartbroken. I don’t know what to do.
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#2 of 5 Old 05-10-2006, 01:20 PM
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to you..
My DS2 was just like that when he was amost 3, and for a time after. We did not want to take him in out public, because we never knew what would happen We thought he would be like that forever.

Ya know what....he out grew it, it stopped. The tantrums got farther apart, till one day around Xmas DH and I noticed it had been a few weeks since one of those horrible meltdowns.

Hang in, it will get better!

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#3 of 5 Old 05-10-2006, 01:20 PM
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my dd was similar. I often had to carry her away from situations. It got better with time and now dd is pretty great. It was a gradual progression from physical aggression-verbal aggression-crying-arguing-whining. the only thing I would suggest is not teaching your dc to ask "do you want to play with me". It kinda sets up the other dc to say "no" (I tried that approach and I think it often backfired and kinda scared the other dc) I think something along the line of "what you playing ?" dd still asks "do you want to be my friend" and while the results are better it still can catch some dc off guard.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#4 of 5 Old 05-10-2006, 02:07 PM
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My son is 3 and alot like that. VERY hard headed and adament that the world run a certain way to serve him. It can get frusturating. Just stick with your guns. He will see you are the boss. What a tough age for both you and he to go through! Hope it gets better for ya! Hugs hun!!!
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#5 of 5 Old 05-10-2006, 09:53 PM
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Very typical. Have you tried the book "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka? It's good.

Just remember that this kind of outgoing personality and persistence will be a great asset as an adult! The key is to navigate the stormy preschool years without going insane (you) or crushing his spirit.

Originally Posted by chel
I would suggest is not teaching your dc to ask "do you want to play with me". It kinda sets up the other dc to say "no" (I tried that approach and I think it often backfired and kinda scared the other dc) I think something along the line of "what you playing ?" dd still asks "do you want to be my friend" and while the results are better it still can catch some dc off guard.
I agree -- something more neutral like "I'm going down the slide. what are you doing?" is a better way to start. And he's a bit young, but teaching him that sometimes he'll get a better reception if he watches what the other child is doing and then starts doing the same thing than if he barges in. You can role play that at home.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
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