To not take DSs toy dinosaur away even though CM has asked me to?

(73 Posts)
HarderToKidnap Fri 28-Feb-14 08:06:51

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?

hoobypickypicky Fri 28-Feb-14 09:40:21

"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."

That would be my approach too. I don't accept "working through" as an excuse for aggression and I would be unprepared to give out the message that it's okay to attack furnishings etc, be that in my home or anyone else's. There's a big difference between letting off steam or even expressing anger, which can be done by carrying out some form of physical activity, and aggressive behaviour and I would be stamping out the aggression sooner rather than later.

evertonmint Fri 28-Feb-14 09:58:45

Yes, I too would be concerned about the macho rough and tumble and be looking to stamp that out. It's not a boy thing whatever anyone says - my DS (6) has always been very averse to roughness and violence. We do do very physical things with him and his sister, but it is more of the cuddly bundles on the bed or chasing with tickly fingers type thing or having dancing contests or creating obstacle courses. Soft play is great for rough and tumble in a non-violent way (well, apart from other people's children there if course wink). And our trampoline has been a brilliant purchase - DH and DS are regularly on there together. If the male members of your family feel they need to do something 'masculine' with him then suggest something more constructive like football or rugby rather than pretend fighting.

As a slightly cautionary tale, there is a boy in DS's class who is pretty badly behaved and physical with the other kids. His dad drops him off 2 days a week and instead of a kiss and cuddle, his dad puts his fists up and they have a pretend fight shock. If that's how they have played and greeted each other for 6 years, it's no wonder he is so rough with his friends. Definitely worth thinking about the rough play and how to channel his energy and theirs in a more positive way.

Lancelottie Fri 28-Feb-14 10:06:32

Ah yes, IceBeing, but playfighting with my brothers is one of my best memories of childhood. I used to specialise in leaping over the back of the sofa and pummelling them into a heap with a cushion before they'd come out of their Beano-induced haze.
<ponders whether to ask brothers whether they remember this fondly or with horror>

pancakesfortea Fri 28-Feb-14 10:09:27

Both my childminder and nursery had a no comforters, dummies or toys from home rule. It just made their lives very difficult in an environment where all the toys were for sharing.

Both of them actually had a little box at the door where various things (blankies, special cars) were left and they were occasionally retrieved at nap time or if a child fell over.

I was always surprised how easily all the kids accepted it. Although I can see that a simple blanket rule from day one would be easier than changing something.

mymiraclebubba Fri 28-Feb-14 10:09:34

Oh bless his heart!! He sounds very like my godson wasas a ttoddler (also looked like an angel but could be a complete devil!). The good news is he will grow out of it and the fact he uses Reg to play out the scenarios is a) incredibly cute and b) showing excellent intelligence that's his age he is fully understanding cause and effect

I concur with using Reg to try and curb this current issue and your Cm should be supporting you to do thatbif she is any good.

Shelby2010 Fri 28-Feb-14 10:21:19

YY, Youcan, DD1's comfort toy is threatened with being put on the naughty mat if it 'misbehaves'. Works very well. Also, although it accompanies her to nursery, it always goes for a 'sleep' in her bag until home time. It's there if she needs it but doesn't get lost or interfere with activities.

I would also look at the adult males modeling some more socially acceptable behaviors.

HadABadDay2014 Fri 28-Feb-14 10:26:43

I think reg needs a softer friend, one which he can take to the CM.

littledrummergirl Fri 28-Feb-14 10:29:09

Not much help for now but it might be worth considering an activity like judo when he is bigger. It will give him and outlet for his aggression and give him the discipline and control for coping with life of the mat.
It worked for my dcs.

TrinityRhino Fri 28-Feb-14 10:33:55
WilsonFrickett Fri 28-Feb-14 10:35:47

I too think you need a baby Reg, who is soft and cuddly and goes to CM, while big Reg stays at home. You could also then use baby Reg to role model gentler play.

But I wouldn't have a problem with the cushions etc, as long as you set clear boundaries.

I utterly love the fact that we are discussing this so seriously, only on MN would you get this conversation grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 28-Feb-14 10:47:00

Your son sounds just like my youngest, except mine is built like a rugby player - but he has the face of an angel grin

He is a little older than your DS, and we say to him that play fighting and roaring etc is something for family and that he needs to be more restrained with friends etc.

Jux Fri 28-Feb-14 10:47:30

Definitely time for Reg to find Baby Reg.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 28-Feb-14 11:03:00

I wouldn't take Reg away because he isn't really the problem is he? If Reg leaves someone/thing else will take his place and frighten and clonk the other children. I think talking to Reg (and DS) about appropriate behaviour and then using time-out/lots of over the top praise would work better. Do you have any 'Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs' books? Those dinosaurs are very well behaved (although I think they might 'raahhhh' at the dentist), maybe read some of those to show him what else Reg could do?

More generally, you need to discourage the aggressive play, sometimes in context it's fine, but all the time is too much. Encourage him to play 'properly' with his doctor's set. Does he have a kitchen/tea set, dolls, some happyland stuff? Things that encourage slightly more nurturing play?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 28-Feb-14 11:14:14

As someone who spent yesterday ransacking the house, driving round car parks and phoning shops in search of a beloved lost monkey (eventually found in the washing basket grin) I would advise keeping Reg at home.

I am sure she didn't mean bin Reg totally. She probably just meant let's take him out of the (CM's) equation.

I think that is fair. I don't think children usually take comfort toys to their childminder's, although DS used to take a couple of trains with him. But I know a lot of CMs have a no toys at all policy.

DeWe Fri 28-Feb-14 11:20:52

Since ds started his attachment to a comfort toy, the rule is that it doesn't go out of the house except for special occasions (eg when he had his operation it came too). When it does go out of the house it stays in my bag unless he is cuddling/playing with it.

He accepted that, although he was very young at the time. At 2yo he's old enough to understand that a toy is a home toy. We also had a rule that if you take a toy to someone else's house you expect to share it.

The attacking the sofa/roaringeating things You need to consider what you will do when these happen at someone else's house. Because if you let him do it in yours he will assume he can and, at some point, it will be an issue.
The roaring, no in someone's face, but otherwise fairly harmless as long as he knows when not too to.

MidniteScribbler Fri 28-Feb-14 20:00:02

I personally don't think that comfort items have any real place outside of the house. It's a nightmare for childminders to stop other children wanting to play with them, and it makes it more difficult for children to interact with other activities and messy play. Not to mention the problems that occur if they go missing. DS has Dog and Ted that are his comfort items and they aren't allowed out of the house (Ted has been owned by six generations in my family so I really don't want him going walkabout). Each time we go out, Dog and Ted get put on the recliner chair, DS picks a book for them to read (so they don't get bored) and gives them both cups (in case they get thirsty). They then wait for him to get home.

Morloth Fri 28-Feb-14 20:14:45

I have 2 boys. They wrestle, and playfight and run around screaming and whacking things occasionally at home.

DH is often on the carpet with them throwing them around.

No way would I be 'stamping out' any of that. Their relationship with their dad is not mine to control.

They know there are different rules for different places.

Keep Reg at home, if he is that special it really will save you all a lot of stress and upset.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Fri 28-Feb-14 20:28:12

I agree with Morloth. I don't think it's a gender or rough play problem it's an appropriateness problem.

My DS was a bit push and hitty as a 2 year old. Now he can have rough play with relatives, karate at classes and mostly plays horsies with the girls at school. He's getting some Roman soldier playmobil and 2 my little ponies for his 6th birthday next week.

HarderToKidnap Fri 28-Feb-14 21:47:34

Thanks everyone, I've had some really fantastic advice. I love him rough playing with his male rellies, but as someone said upthread very astutely, it can't be the only interaction style he has. Am going to keep Reg at home on CM days, and try and introduce a new soft comfort toy for outside the house. Have been spending a lot of time today talking about not being rough, definitely paying off already! DS also likes everything to be scary, he loves to scare me and talks about his friends being scared of Reg. I've been playing along with this but today have been saying I'm not scared because he is my friend and we don't scare friends etc. will carry on in this vein. Thanks again everybody!

that's really cute!

<unhelpful>

Morloth Fri 28-Feb-14 22:04:25

We lost Puppy once, it wasn't pretty.

They really can grasp that some behaviours are appropriate in different settings.

Find something to run off his aggression. I run my two like dogs, really I do.

Lots and lots of exercise is the key to happy boys IME.

itsmeitscathy Fri 28-Feb-14 22:47:44

YANBU
the people referring to Reg as "it" on this post are being unreasonable wink

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