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ashamed of toddler's behavior- & guilty about that.

951 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Guava~Lush
I am really getting tired of the way my almost 3 year old behaves with other kids. He is soo social and wants to play with them, but he is super bossy and his sharing consists of 'you'll take the toys I give you". He was actually hanging on a little girl today begging her not to leave and that he promised not to scare her. I felt so bad for him and the little girl. He would scare me too! Generally he is a sweet boy and says please and thank you, BUT... Now my husband is saying that the time outs arent working and he's thinking of having ds stand in the corner! I am horrified. I'm I over reacting to the horror of this or is my dh? My dh was raised by a military father who drank, etc... So now I think my dh is reacting in a militant manner, but I don't know what kind of consequences I should use on my son.

If he is acting up, we leave. I tell him that if he acts that way, no one will want to play with him. I can't tell the difference between: this is a stage, it's his age, he's a boy, it's bad parenting or it's that d*%@# Television! He has such an imagination and I don't mind at home, but roaring lions that want to destroy everthing cannot happen at the LIBRARY!

I appreciate this forum to vent and get some advice. Thanks, ladies
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Well, I am not a fan of shaming a child, and to me that's what standing in a corner is. If time outs aren't working, then I'm not really sure why your dh thinks that putting him in the corner would be any better? You're trying to teach him to be sensitive to other people, and to respect them, and IMHO shaming a child like that is insensitive and disrespectful, so it's not a great teaching tool.

I believe in natural consequences: he can't use his quiet voice in the library - we have to leave. You can't share nicely with the other kids - we can't play anymore. I know it's usually a lot more complicated (and heartbreaking) than that, but that's where I usually start. Plus talking with him a lot about it, and roleplaying at home - practice what to say and how to act if someone takes the toy he wants, if someone doesn't want to play with him, etc.

I'm sure it is just a stage, but it sure sounds tough. Don't be too hard on yourself - just the fact that you're thinking so much about it and looking for alternative solutions means that you are a great mama!
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thank you oceanbaby! And not just for agreeing with me on that harsh pusnishment dh suggested. I think all those tools you mentioned plus time and more time will help.
thank you again!
Much of the parenting literature says they are not developmentally able to share until at least age 3 so it sounds to me as if he has a nice start. Some suggestions:
1. Encourage him to take toys he is willing to share to the park/outings. Favorite or new toys are really hard to share.
2. If he is using the toy and someone else wants it, tell him to tell the other child they can have a turn when he is finished with it.
3. Help him to ask others if he can use their toys - not just take them when he wants them.
4. If the other child isn't ready to share with him, distract him (carry bubbles, cars, keep a few tricks in your bag).
5. If there is fighting over a toy and you don't know who had it first, the toy is taken away. If you saw him grab something away (or vice versa) encourage him to give it back and ask for a turn when the other person is finished with it. After all, they only play with a toy for a few minutes anyway and are off to something new. Sometimes you just need to be prepared and have 2 shovels, pails, etc for outings to the beach or whereever.
6. Explain that letting someone use his toy is only for a few minutes and he will get it back soon.
7. Compliment him when he does play nicely/share.
8. I don't think of not wanting to share is acting up. Hitting others results in a quick apology to the hurt child and then it is time to leave. I tell him we will try again another day to play and not hit others rather matter of factly.
9. Practice sharing at home with him.
I don't agree with standing in the corner, please talk to your husband. Natural consequences are much more effective than time outs as oceanbaby said. Explain why the little girl didn't want to play with him anymore because he scared her when he did x.
For my son, age 38 months seemed to be the magical sharing age, what a difference
I vote for this being a stage you son is going through.

Sharing is so difficult for them to get, after all, adults don't share all of their possessions yet we expect children to.
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Originally posted by siddie
Sharing is so difficult for them to get, after all, adults don't share all of their possessions yet we expect children to.
That is why I also make sure dd understands that she doesn't have to share all of her things, either. She owns lots of things that are hers, and hers alone (her clothing, her very favorite toys--but of course we don't play with them in front of others, her bicycle, etc). She is an "only", so that makes it easier for her things to be "her things", but I think every person deserves some things that they do NOT have to share

Lotus--as for inappropriate, but not mean, behaviors in the Library (roaring like a lion)....we were having a similar problem: running in circles in storytime (she was copying some older girls whose parents did not stop them :/) We had some conversations at home about behaviors that appropriate for storytime/the library, and behaviors that are appropriate at home/at the playground/in the courtyard outside the library. And, with no implication of a "punishment", I told her that if she runs in storytime, I will know that she needs to go outside and run in the courtyard. But she can not run in the library. In this way, the child gets to choose where they want to play (library or playground, for instance), and modify their own behavior to meet their goal.
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It sounds like your ds is already experiencing some natural consequences -- if his friends don't want to play with him sometimes.
Its a hard way to learn, but eventually will sink in. You could build on that -- the logical consequence for not playing nicely is not being allowed to play. Maybe cut down on his social engagements overall. I did this recently with my 3 yo -- I really drastically reduced the number of times per week that he gets to play with other children. He is gradually becoming more relaxed able to cope with the "rules" when he does get to play. I've also noticed that having him play with older children works much better than putting him with peers or younger children.

I wouldn't put him in a corner either. I use brief time-outs for hitting or name calling, because if you hurt people than isolation and a brief break is a logical consequence (IMO.) But there are other solutions to other sorts of problems - the best way for him to learn is to connect sensible and reasonable outcomes to his behaviors.

As far as your feelings -- those are important too! Its normal to feel ashamed or embarassed, and I think its really great that you are recognizing and admitting that. The trick now is to react to be very conscious of those feelings and try to make sure that in each situation, you react to your ds in a way that is in *his* best interests. Don't react to him based on your feelings of shame. Your feelings are your problem -- and his behaviors are his. (I have a feeling that I didn't articulate that very well, but I tried!)
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oh, I really like these responses.

Thank you mamaduck for addressing my feelings as my own, and I shouldnt react to my feelings but his behavior. I do get what you are saying! Thank you. Thank goodness my dh hasnt brought up the standing in the corner thing again. He has just lost his 2nd of 4 jobs in two months so I know he is under some stress. My son has so little interaction with kids his own age, it's like he gets sooo excited and over reacts. I am seriously thinking of joing like a Tiny Tots program once or twice a week. Just a couple hours a day with other moms there and do some crafts and stuff like that. So he gets used to other kids and so that I am there to watch and to get involved with him in play.
Now that I think back to the day at the library, I kept telling him before we got there about not yelling or running or screaming and how we would have to leave if he did any of these. I guess I left out being a lion and roaring!
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