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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We were at a restaurant with fast food and there was a kid punching different kids in the neck the whole time! (on the play area while mom and dad ate) He is around age 4ish.

I actually feel bad cause I thought my ds started it because he has been in to Karate latley (we have a book and he thinks the kids are punching eachother.)

So the kids dad took him away and then eventually he ended up back on the playground - punching people again.

I called dh to consult about it (I am clueless on boy stuff) and he told me he has seen that same kid at a restaurant and when my ds was eating lunch one time, the kid came up to him and just punched him randomly! And them he came up to dh and tried to punch him! (OMG!)

We will certainly be running in to this boy again because I recognized his mama as someone who is kind of in the same circle as mine.

I feel so conflicted about how to handle this because I *know* that hitting breeds hitting and I feel bad for this kid cause he obviously has some anger issues or something. (Or possibly is spanked on a regular basis. Its a pretty acceptable form of discipline around these parts and most ppl at my church think its biblical.) He is really agressive. I dont want to teach my kid to hit back but I do have to teach him to protect his body! I also am not going to be one of those mamas who always comes running and kissing and have a total mama';s boy who gets made fun of.

At age 4, how do we handle this? What about the future?

I dont get boy stuff.


Jenny
 

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Do they teach your son to block punches at karate? Teaching blocking would be best I think. Also a simple "Hey! Don't hit me" said loudly is good.

My son had a classmate like that in pre-K. He learned to block (arm up, elbow out, body turned away). The funny thing was that he liked the boy (they would play together but his mother was very on top of him, she just had a very agressive/defiant child). So I wonder how your son finds it? Punching is not unusual at this age -in the neck is definitely weird though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I dont know if he is old enough to take karate-but he just has a book about it. (4?)

I like blocking-thats a good idea

and neck is weird! (And thats what he did to everyone, it wasnt random)

Mabye he saw it on a superhero or something....or an innaproproate adult movie. LOL
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by transformed View Post

I dont get boy stuff.

As a mother of 3 boys I really hate to hear this behavior described as "boy stuff". My boys have NEVER punched a kid like that. I know some girls who have though. That particular kid has issues.

I think blocking is a good idea.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by transformed View Post
I feel so conflicted about how to handle this because I *know* that hitting breeds hitting and I feel bad for this kid cause he obviously has some anger issues or something. (Or possibly is spanked on a regular basis. Its a pretty acceptable form of discipline around these parts and most ppl at my church think its biblical.) He is really agressive. I dont want to teach my kid to hit back but I do have to teach him to protect his body! I also am not going to be one of those mamas who always comes running and kissing and have a total mama';s boy who gets made fun of.

At age 4, how do we handle this? What about the future?

I dont get boy stuff.


Jenny
The boy may not have anger issues or be being hit. He may have high energy and poor impulse control, and not have a parent/adult guiding him into more appropriate behaviours (based on what you say you saw of parental-involvement).

As for 'mama's boy' and how to handle it with your four year old - he's 4. If you see this other kid hit your kid, or any other kid, enter the play area and say "it's not ok to hit, stop that now." Check in with the kid who was hit. If this boy you're speaking of doesn't stop hitting, take your kid out of the play area with you and go find this kid's parent or an employee. Four year olds are still preschoolers, and need to be coached in, and witness to, fair conflict resolution.

This is not "boy" stuff - this is "kid" stuff. This other kid needs more hands-on from his parents, and your kid needs you to help him navigate through the occasional rough patches that always arise when a bunch of developing kids get together in one place.
 

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I'm currently the mama of a very aggressive toddler. It's slowly getting better, and the other day at a family reunion I was just amazed at how well she played alongside the other 2-year-olds. She was still a little more aggressive than they were, though.

I've had to just stay really close to her, watch her all the time, and help her learn to play gently and respectfully with other children.

I'd caution against assuming that this boy is treated violently at home, and against making any other assumptions about his parenting. In my own case, I'm the only one in my immediate circle who doesn't believe in spanking or punishment -- and my friend who follows Ezzo has kids much closer in age than mine, who don't have all these aggressiveness issues.

I'm a SAHM, but one day at the park another mama asked if my toddler was in daycare. She thought maybe she was used to always having to compete for toys and attention. (This mom hadn't actually seen my toddler's aggressive behavior, but was asking because I'd explained why I felt a need to stay so close to my daughter when she ran up and approached the other mother's child.)

I don't know why some children are more aggressive than others. I'm sure sometimes it probably is anger. But sometimes it may be a desire for more intense physical contact (my toddler does like to "wrastle" and play roughly), or for the thrill of causing other people to react.

One of my friends theorized that it could even be genetic. I'd been wondering why my attachment-parented toddler was behaving so differently from Jean Liedloff's description of Yequana toddlers, who supposedly never pinch or pull hair or do any aggressive stuff. My ancestry is Northern European, and my friend said those cultures have a much more competitive, aggressive history than do the South American Indians.

So who knows? I realize it's frustrating to have your son attacked, though, and fully agree with your determination to protect him. I just hope you'll allow for the possibility that this boy's parents are good parents, and that this family might be good friends of yours in the future.
 

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If this is happening at a commercial establishment, and the parents are aware of the behavior, you can go to the staff and complain very discreetly and privately and let them be the authority figure. Let them know that you will not return to the establishment if a child is allowed to hit the other children. Of course, this runs the risk of getting caught.

Your other option is to talk with the parent directly.

I would not assume that a child who is going through a hitting stage has parents who spank or are in any way abusive. I know of several children whose parents are the walking talking models of gentle discipline who have kids who hit other kids on a regular basis.

My own darling little precious curly-haired princess went through a phase where she would hit other kids, hard, from babies to kids in third grade, for no reason at all. The first couple of times it happened I could scarcely believe it. I had to shadow her at arms length for almost a year. She's never been spanked in her life, but she has been told "no" for hitting. If that parent knows his son has a propensity to hit other kids, then he has a repsonsibility to stay with his son and catch the punches in motion. It's not OK to sit on a bench and relax while one's child goes around hitting other children.
 

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My child can act like that. He's worse when he is tired or hungry. He gets overstimulated easily. Anyway, I usually haul him home when the situation allows. In your shoes, I would stay close to your child when you notice the other one is around. Insert yourself between the kids when necessary. Tell the kid something he may do. Positive language works better ("keep your hands to yourself" may be a better choice than "don't hit". If saying don't hit worked, he wouldn't hit, lol) My child usually does things physical as a way to provoke interaction so guiding him to acceptable ways to play and interact is helpful. Maybe ask him if he knows any jokes or wants to play tag (with a grown-up it so the tagging part doesn't turn into hitting).
 

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I wouldn't assume it's the parents' fault. My 2 yo does this. He will run up and punch, hit kick, scratch, whatever any kid who looks at him or gets too close to him, or who he wants to play with. My ds is not trying to be mean. He doesn't know how to tell them they're invading his personal space, or that he would like to play with them. He has some serious sensory issues, and is definitely delayed in his social skills. He receives intervention through first steps, but they don't really help all that much w/ his aggressive type behavior. Actually, we started receiving intervention b/c we thought he was autistic. He had almost all of the signs, and they even wrote on his chart that his "diagnosis" was "suspected autism." 3 months later, he started pointing and talking in sentences like some kind of switch went off.
He still has a lot of the same issues going on. But now that's he's talking and communicating verbally so well, we assume he has Asperger's like my oldest son. My friend's son also has Asperger's, and he would punch random people up until recently. He's 5 now, but I think he was still doing it at age 4 or so. THey just don't realize at how what they are doing affects other people. It's not obvious to them, it's something they have to have explained to them logically.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there. It's not always about aggression. Some kids just don't know how to interact appropriately with other kids, and it's not always the parents' fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont think its the parents fault, it was wrong of me to say that. But I do know corporal punishment is very popular in my area. (I cant talk, I struggle with hitting)

I can see the anger in this kids eyes though-mabye he is acting out some violent movies he saw by accident or on purpose-but the kid has an evil eye like I have never seen in a small child before. (Except mabye my 21 month old dd-she is violent! But thats my fault cause I havent exactly been tame the last few monthn...in her case it IS my fault.)
 

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Some boys hit out of social ineptness. Some boys take longer to mature and use hitting as a way to get other children's attention. I had a boy in my class, who, when meeting someone new would hit him. We worked on other ways to say "hello" and such. It was his way of saying, "hey your new, I want to play but am very nervous with new people."

Once we helped him through the initial first moments/days, the hitting would stop. He did this for over 2yrs as he was trying to learn to get along with other kids.
 

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My ds also went through a hitting phase when he was 3-4. He had never been hit himself or seen hitting. but he would run up to other kids and hit them all the time. It got to the point where we stopped going to playgroup or story time at the library because he was always hitting the other kids.

However I would always step in and redirect or remove him from the situation and express that hitting isn't a good thing ect.
 

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Oh, I'm so glad to have dug up this thread! We are having the same problem as this boy.
My 2.5 yo has a major aggression problem. It started at play group. He kept getting hit or pushed by other kids (he was by far the youngest at 12 mo) who wanted to take his toys. One day he hit one back and he's been hitting since then. I wish I'd never gone there!

We have a second child now (7 mo) and he's just learning to play with her without hitting/kicking/pushing/etc. It's been a nightmare 7 months for me because I have to watch him like a hawk all day. I also have to watch him very closely when we interact with other people's kids because the hitting will just come out of nowhere. Sometimes he'll walk into a room and hit someone. Right after walking in! Without anything happening to upset him. It's like he just doesn't know how to get people's attention without smacking them.

But the strangest thing about it is that it's completely variable. He has days where all he does is hit people (like today and yesterday) and others where he's angelic all day and hugs and kisses and is a total joy to be around. This weekend we were at a party for 6 hours with about 5 other kids and he didn't hit anyone once. But today and yesterday he woke up being aggressive and it never stopped.

For a while I thought he might be autistic but he doesn't have any other symptoms. He was a late-talker (all symptoms for Einstein Syndrome present) but he's at age-level now and has a rather amazing vocabulary in certain topics of interest (animals, trains, colors).

Do you think this is just a phase or should we have him evaluated for something more serious? Side note: We live in an area where there is no "early intervention" until the age of 3 unless there is some sort of developmental delay, so we can't really do anything, anyway, until we move back to the States next May.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brendon View Post
Some boys hit out of social ineptness. Some boys take longer to mature and use hitting as a way to get other children's attention. I had a boy in my class, who, when meeting someone new would hit him. We worked on other ways to say "hello" and such. It was his way of saying, "hey your new, I want to play but am very nervous with new people."

Once we helped him through the initial first moments/days, the hitting would stop. He did this for over 2yrs as he was trying to learn to get along with other kids.
Why can't we say "Kids"?

Is it really only BOYS who hit? I have seen girls behave the same way.

I don't understand why this is being presented as if him being a boy makes this different from if it were a girl.

In the post I quoted, "Boys" could have been replaced with kids.

Sorry, but as the mother of boys it is hard to see all of the stereotypes that they are up against. Even normal toddler/preschool behavior gets labeled "Boy behavior" if it is a boy doing it. I don't see that so much with girls.

Boys are really getting the short end of the stick these days...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
But the strangest thing about it is that it's completely variable. He has days where all he does is hit people (like today and yesterday) and others where he's angelic all day and hugs and kisses and is a total joy to be around. This weekend we were at a party for 6 hours with about 5 other kids and he didn't hit anyone once. But today and yesterday he woke up being aggressive and it never stopped.
Is he getting the same amount of sleep each night? Maybe try keeping a food/sleep/activity journal and see if he is worse the day after a busy day, or after getting less sleep or eating something unusual.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Boys are really getting the short end of the stick these days...
Sometimes boys are excused with the boys will be boys excuse. Sometimes their behavior is come down on extra hard. And girls get excused for aggressive behavior because they are girls sometimes. Sometimes they are even encouraged in their aggression under the belief that they are being prepared to stand up for themselves in a man's world. Or they are admonished for being unladylike.
 

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I am encouraged from reading the responses to the OP. As a mom of a 6yo with possible Aspergers that has impulse issues and can become aggressive, it is nice to know I'm not alone.

My son can seem so out of control sometimes. Just this week at the bus stop he was the only child out of 10 kids jumping around, yelling, poking others and acting silly.
: All the other kids and parents just stood and stared at him. I am forever telling him to calm down, keep his hands to himself, relax....
It is so exhausting and embarrassing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Why can't we say "Kids"?

Is it really only BOYS who hit? I have seen girls behave the same way.

I don't understand why this is being presented as if him being a boy makes this different from if it were a girl.

In the post I quoted, "Boys" could have been replaced with kids.

Sorry, but as the mother of boys it is hard to see all of the stereotypes that they are up against. Even normal toddler/preschool behavior gets labeled "Boy behavior" if it is a boy doing it. I don't see that so much with girls.

Boys are really getting the short end of the stick these days...
Well to be honest with you (whether its right or wrong) My dh would probably teach my ds to hit a boy back. But he would never teach him to hit a girl back. When it comes to fighting, there is a distinction between girls and boys, IMO.

Ugh, I have to parent my dh too.
 
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