To not take DSs toy dinosaur away even though CM has asked me to?(73 Posts)
DS is 2.2, and one of life's thugs. He had been through phases of biting, hitting, pushing etc etc starting from about 18 months. We've managed all these phases and attempts at violence are now minimal but it's always a bit edgy and I have to helicopter him constantly! He loves other toddlers, until he doesn't and has problems sharing and all that.
He has a toy dinosaur he ADORES, called Reg. It's a schleich, so pretty heavy duty and quite big. It's a comfort toy and he holds it pretty much all day. He uses Reg to roar at people and Reg is also pretty much constantly attacking and trying to eat everything. As I type Reg is attacking the sofa in a pretty serious way. Sadly Reg has begun to roar in other toddlers faces and clonking them (accidentally). This happened yesterday for the first time at the CM. This is making them cry and CM yesterday suggested that we get rid of Reg altogether.
I'm happy not to send Reg along to CMs and will be keeping a v close eye later today when we have toddler visitors and removing Reg if clonking looks likely. But the thought of taking Reg away forever is breaking my heart. DS just loves him and they do everything together, they eat together, he bathes him, they are best mates. He works a lot of stuff out using him, so Reg will bite something and then DS tells him off etc. I don't really want to take Reg away forever and equally if it's just us here I'm happy for DS and Reg to attack things and roar loudly, it's a way of letting off steam. But will this be confusing for DS, allowed to go beserk with Reg in private but have to be gentle with him (or lose him, which will no doubt cause endless tantrums) in public? What's best to do?
The CM has to consider the needs of her other mindees, not just he OPs DS. That's where it becomes tricky I think. He needs Reg, they need to not have him shoved at them in a manner that scares them.
DS2 looked absolutely adorable as a toddler. Pure angel with a heart of unique chance fire
Unquenchable. Not unique chance!
I am interested Spickle that you think I should take Reg away when he attacks the sofa. DS obviously has some sort of urge to be physical, borderline aggressive I suppose, and can't help thinking that it's OK to allow this in inanimate objects but not people. Is this too complex do you think?
I don't think Reg needs to go completely but in your shoes I would be stopping ALL the roaring and bashing at home too and encouraging Reg to be gentle....when he's not, he goes away.
The toy is being "used" as an excuse to play in a non acceptable way.
however the CM has to be acting in your sons best interest....doesnt she?
YANBU to not take it away fully, but if my daughter got roared at / bashed etc then I would hope that he would have it taken away as a consequence...
To clarify, CM is great and we all love her. I'm sure she was doing it from a place of "substitute Reg for a softer less clonky toy as Reg is frankly a health hazard". It was reported to me by DH so all nuances in the conversation were completely missed.
Your child, your rules, hun x
Seriously, it's your call.
I am a childminder and I think I would tell Reg that he was only allowed to roar at cushions and not people and I would tell your son to tell Reg that if he didn't play nicely ,Reg would have time out.
DS is OBSESSED with violence, everything is chasing, eating, fighting, biting, each other. All his games are to do with this. I have no idea why as I have never eaten or had a fight with any living thing in his presence. We lost Reg briefly on Tuesday and then the syringe in his doctors set was eating and biting the blood pressure cuff and then both joined forces to try and destroy a cushion. It doesn't feel quite right to stop this when we're alone it's obviously some sort of innate thing he's working through.
He is rough though and gets lots of rough play form my a dad, bro and DH who are all rough manly men types. Been thinking about stopping this too as it's spills over into his interactions with peers but wondering if it's some boy thing I'm missing. Most of my friends have girls who are just mystified by him a lot of the time. His best boy friend and him spend a lot of time barging each other and one lying down and the other lying on top whilst the girls look in in bemusement. But don't want to gender polarise when it may have nothing to do with that! Found it all so much more straightforward when he was a baby...
Can you get him a soft toy 'Reg' for the childminder? Or arrange that Reg stays in his bag until nap time/ quiet time?
To be honest, I've always kept my kids comfort toys at home. I know the theory or transitional objects but I'd hate for another child not take it (not understanding it's a special toy - they share everything else) or for it to get lost.
Deffo don't take Reg away!
The thing with a comfort toy is that constantly clinging to it/searching for it can interfere with learning which sounds a bit strange I know. If hands are full then they can't explore very easily blah blah
I would go down the road of Reg stays at home. Sits in window looking out for ds to come home
You mention rough play from your male family members, have a think about whether it's Too Much
It sounds to me like Reg could learn not to scare small children with the same "time out" method that works with small children like your DS. Long-term and non-immediate sanctions don't help: neither DS nor Reg have any capability to understand that Reg not going to the CM today is because he scared a child yesterday.
Both at home and at the CM, if Reg actually scares or hurts anybody, including you, he needs to immediatly have a 5 minute "time out" (perhaps on a high shelf, what with being a dinosaur) during which he can't play. After which, you or the CM can help DS explain to Reg that whilst he does love him very much he is not allowed to scare or upset or hurt anybody he will have to have another time out.
I think this would be even more effective if you have aa similar system for DS (perhaps on a stair or stool rather than a shelf), if you don't already.
I do symathise as it's difficult to get a child who has very physical interactions like this to understand how to play nicely, but its a lot easier to teach him good behaviour now while he is little enough not to be able to do much harm than it will be when he is bigger and stronger. I realise you probably don't mind his attacking now because it doesn't actually hurt you and its quite sweet really. But, when he is a couple of years older he will be three times stronger and it will start to hurt you, but by that time he will have learned that this behaviour is OK and will be confused if you change the rules - so you need to start disciplining now AS IF he did already have that strength to really hurt, so that he can learn before he develops that strength.
I'd say let Reg go to nursery but tell Reg in a very stern way that he mustn't be so aggressive (in child friendly language) and he must play nicely or he will have to have time out. Talk to your son through Reg.
That way you are not telling your child off, he keeps his comfort toy, but he gets the message.
Put Reg in time out, every time he is aggressive to people or objects. Roaring is ok, shoving him in faces or attacking sofa's, is not. Tell Reg himself this.
You and the childminder must be a united force on this.
Might be time to introduce Indoor Voice and Outdoor Voice? Roaring outdoors = thumbs up Roaring indoors = thumbs down.
Just chucking ideas into the ring!
The angelic looking ones are the worst. DS2 at 2 had a sweet-looking face, 'like a little kitten' according to doting friends, but oh god...
Agree with everyone who has said Reg needs to be a home toy and not go to the CM - she has other children too and can't spend her day managing Reg's behaviour.
If your DS needs a comfort object how about something small and soft that cannot frighten or injure anything?
Attacking the sofa seems harmless to me. Where is the outlet for any aggressive feelings if that is taken away?
I've seen advice for adults to hit a cushion or punch a pillow if they need to let feelings out. What's so different?
Yuccan, I think I love you.
my nephew had a similar comfort toy that "played rough".... his toy ended up staying at home - but my sis drew it on a bit of cloth (a cloth "photo") that could go in his pocket - so if he needed his dooby (plastic scooby doo) he could rub the cloth instead..
I wouldn't remove a comfort toy from a child. Even if that toy isn't a soft toy. And I certainly wouldn't take it away all together!
The idea of not taking it to the CM is a good one worth trying but it is a really a comfort toy, it might not be going down very well...
However what I would work on is his 'violent' behaviour. Personally wouldn't leave attacking cushions etc but would teach him to treat everything with respect, incl things. I would encourage any behaviour where he is calm and gentle with people/things rather than just the rough play he is getting with his dad. Nothing wrong with that as such but if it is becoming the one way he interacts then he needs some gentle teaching on other ways to do things.
I think this is the cause of the issues here. Toddlers learn by copying. He is getting very mixed messages if fighting and aggression are being encouraged by half his role models and discouraged by the others.
I think the gender bias damage has already been done - the key question is would your DH, dad and bro all play such rough and tumble games with a DD?
Little girls don't 'get' your DS because no one treats them the way the rest of your family are treating your DS. They haven't learnt that play fighting is a thing!
Sorry I garbled that up OP
The point is to send a consistent message!
Aggression and play fighting are either okay, in which case get the CM to relax a little or they are not okay in which case get his male role models on board with toning down the aggression!
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