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A friend of mine and I have been trading some childcare with our 20 mo dd's. I watch hers once a week and she watches mine once a week. So the girls are playing together 2x a week since the beginning of May. In many ways it is great; the girls love eachother, my friend and I each get a morning to do other things, and it is lots of fun playing with the 2 of them (most of the time!). My friends dd has had a tendency to hit my dd, most of the time it is totally unprovoked and out of the blue. Sometimes it isseems to be brought on by my friend and I discussing the hitting, other times she is clearly just tired or hungry. For the first several playdates, my dd frowned and shyed away. I would intervene by comforting my dd and explaining to both girls how hitting hurts and that we should not hurt our friends. After a few too many wacks, my dd began retalliating by pinching her in the face. Soon after that, she began initiating, pinching without having been hit. And now she is ramndomly doing it to other kids.

My resonse has been to I talk to her about how important it is to have gentle hands and how we do not hurt others, and have her say sorry (which I am not sure she even completely understands at 20 mo). I have also tried time out for the first time this week. She doesn't like sitting with me there and so it seemed to help her keep her hands more gnetle. Today, at market (I manage a farmers market and bring her to work with me) she pinched two kids, one was actually a 8-10mo baby and the other was about a 3 or 4 yo girl. I felt so horrible. I am not sure what to do. It seems like the behavior is just getting worse and worse and I am not sure how to turn this around...aaaaagh!

Please chime in if anyone has any advice on how to handle this differently. Any strategies that have worked? I feel so frustrated :(
 
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