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?
At age 2 most children are able to understand simple consequences.
If he upsets other children with reg, reg gets taken away. Simple.
personally I would let him have Reg in private and at home but if you have visitors or you leave the house Reg stays upstairs.
he's only 2.2 so you don't be needing to take comforts off him. just have rules. sounds like you are doing a god job.
is the CM coping with him other than 'Reg gate'
if he hadnt have gone through thouse phases.. would the cm still have suggested it?
to me.. clunking some one by accideant is just normally child behaviour. so i would say ynbu, but tell the cm she take reg of him for a littl ebit if he keeps roaring in other childrens face?
and i love the name reg.. your son sounds adorable.
Reg stays at home. You don't need to get rid of him, but in home only - not at CM's or anywhere else in public - should be easy to understand. If he's using him to work stuff out could you even suggest Reg has to stay home because he's sometimes too rough and we need to behave better in public?
I think Reg should stay at home at all times (quite apart from anything else, losing him would be painful.
And if Reg is involved with the naughtiness then he gets taken away.
But no, I wouldn't take away a comfort toy. That would just be mean, he is still a baby.
They understand different rules for different places just fine IME.
I think take it away as a consequence immediately after its bitten someone but he also needs to see that he can get it back.
The cm can't say take it away forever. Maybe just don't take it to the cms
oh another tack. could Reg 'talk' to your ds about his behaviour I.e you develop a voice for Reg that tells your ds he has to be more gentle etc or Reg has to go upstairs by himself?
Of course you mustn't bin Reg!
It's perfectly reasonable to keep him at home and not send him to CM, of course she doesn't want her other mindees roared at and clonked.
To want you to bin a favourite toy at home is quite different, way beyond her remit, and more than a bit harsh.
to add I was a cm and can see her point that if the others are being hit by Reg then she's the one facing the other parents and after all it is a business and she could loose mindees.
keep Reg at home.
Who is your child minder to tell you what to do with your child's toys?! Fair enough if she asks you not to send Reg to nursery but it's not up to her to dictate what you do at home.
I totally agree with the above poster. If Reg hurts or looks likely to hurt another child, he gets confiscated and given a time out on top of the kitchen cupboard. DS will learn very quickly. I think "confiscated" was one if my DS' first words and still, at four, the only thing that really works.
If he is being "aggressive" towards other children with Reg then Reg should stay at home - it's not fair on the other children if they are being made to cry. I see no reason to take him away completely though, that would just be mean.
bloody phone!! didn't mean chucking him away for good.
I don't think it's simple at all!
OP - you clearly 'get' your son. SOunds like he's very physical and possibly quite a big 2.2 yr old but emotionally he's younger? I've seen so many little boys like that in my time as a mother and it's really hard for caregivers because other people expect them to be older than they are.
I am unimpressed the CM wants to keep Reg out of her house. He clearly has a role in helping ds work through situations and as a comfort. Take that away when he's there and then she'll find herself with some real problems because your ds is very young and lacking his security toy he is going to act out that fear and frustration in some way.
However neither can he be scaring the other kids witless I think I would go down the routes of trying to distract him when Reg is in danger of roaring in public, lots of praise of calm behaviour, plenty of time for Reg and ds to run riot outside and possible (the CM will hate this) a couple of smaller dinos that need Reg to look after them. If Reg tries to eat them then they go away. Reg is important, you need to work with Reg not against him
I can't believe I've just typed that.................three kids and 6 nieces/nephews/godchild and sister means you know what personality these toys have.
I think the fact that he uses Reg to play-act the discipline he is hearing is a good thing as it means he is taking in what he is being told abd trying to process it, so I wouldn't remove Reg entirely. As others have said, I'd try no Reg at CM, well-behaved Reg with other children (with removal for poor behaviour) and then roaring Reg when it's just him and Reg. Could you also think about introducing a soft, cuddly Reg for the CM if you think he needs a comfort toy that is less likely to injure anyone?
Good luck! My 3yo baths her Schleich dinosaurs every night. They're great toys
My 3 year old DS took his dinosaur to the CM yesterday. He also likes to roar at people... I told the CM that if the dinosaur misbehaved she should put him away and we'd take him home at home time. As it turns out he was impeccably behaved (dinosaur not DS ) but if he had misbehaved he wouldn't be taken back to the CM.
CM is coping fine with him, of course he behaves like a bloody angel there! Just the clonking incident, after the first one she took his aside and explained everything, he repeated it back and agreed etc, then went and did it again so she took it away. She's super hot on behaviour so I think this is why she's suggested it, she also knows we've had some trials with him so I think may have gone more into advice mode. He seems very habit forming, he is just addicted to Reg and needs him even more in public when he feels a bit insecure or worried. No interest in soft toys, it would be great if I could get him addicted to one of them!
Are you sure she meant get rid of Reg altogether? I can't imagine suggesting something like that to my mindees parents, it would feel like none of my business. Definitely stop Reg from going to the CM though, I can see he must be a nightmare if there are other kids getting roared at!
My dd (also 2.2) has a soft toy she takes everywhere. However we have begun (since Christmas) restroctong it to naps, bedtime and travel in the car. At all other times soft toy gets put away "so the other children dont steal him".
She seems to be ok with it. Maybe now.is the time to start keeping Reg for times of comfort.
Maybe Reg can sit on a shelf and watch DS at the childminders? As he is a heavy hard toy, I don't think scenarios where he is being shoved in the faces of other small children is a good idea.
Use Reg as a force for good! Remember, with great power comes great responsibility....
Your DS sounds as though he needs to learn that actions have consequences.
If he uses Reg as a weapon towards others (or the sofa!), Reg has to be taken away. If he uses Reg as a comforter/toy, then Reg gets to stay. But you have to follow through every time, no backing down just because DS is about to have a tantrum.
Perhaps if your CM could also follow this plan, then Reg might not have to be removed permanently.
However, it might not be a bad idea to leave Reg at home when your DS is at the childminders anyway. When DS goes to pre-school/school, it is likely he won't be allowed his favourite toy there (pre-schools often let children bring toys, but then put them in a "safe" place until home time), so it might be a good idea to break the habit long before this becomes a major problem.
Oh cross posts with loads of great advice, thank you!! Northern, you are spot on with your description apart from DS is tiny and looks like an actual angel. I'm sure that's why we still have friends, people see this gorgeous tiny child hit their brute with a truck and think they've hallucinated and dismiss it.
I AM really worried about him going to CM without Reg, but I think he will just probably pick up something else to hold for that day, and that will roar at people instead.
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!
"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.
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 ). 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 . 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.
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>
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.
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.
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.
I think reg needs a softer friend, one which he can take to the CM.
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.
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
Your son sounds just like my youngest, except mine is built like a rugby player - but he has the face of an angel
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.
Definitely time for Reg to find Baby Reg.
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?
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 ) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
the people referring to Reg as "it" on this post are being unreasonable
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