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to want to toughen DS up?

(25 Posts)
wolfear Fri 16-Oct-09 15:27:58

My DS (2.3) seems to have become so over sensitive. He's always been pretty laid back when it come to other children's actions towards him, i.e. - he let's them take toys away, will get off slides/ride ons etc if he sees them trying to have a turn before him etc.

Lately, everytime we go to somewhere like playgroup or friend's hoouses to play, he ends up in tears because he's had a toy taken off him or he's been pushed or hit. He never ever retaliates. I've started saying that's it's okay to push back or take things back but he doesn't seem to like the idea at all.

My DH thinks I'm worrying about nothing, that DS will toughen up as he gets older and at least he isn't the one going and hitting and snatching. But we all know it's hard watching your child upset and everytime it happens know he bursts into tears and says he wants to go home.

BTW, he has no problem standing his ground at home with DH and I.

Has anyone had similar experience and is it something he'll grow out of or can I do something to help him toughen up a bit?

pjmama Fri 16-Oct-09 15:41:21

I think this is probably just who he is, bless him! If you're regularly taking him out to play with other kids, then other than that I'm not sure what you can really do. If it's any consolation my 3yo DS regularly comes back to me crying because some 18mth old girl has taken a toy off him! grin

ImMissWorld Fri 16-Oct-09 16:37:24

Oh I heart your DH - what a guy. That's so nice to read about about male who accepts their son for who they are and not want to make them all macho. He's just a little baby - let him learn in his own time. He will, or maybe he'll always be excpetionally kind and considerate. So long as he is happy, that's all you want surely?

Heated Fri 16-Oct-09 16:38:59

Agree with your dh. Lots of little boys are like this at that age.

flibertygibet Fri 16-Oct-09 16:42:27

Wolfear...my ds was exactly the same as that. He was always the one waiting and waiting and waiting for a turn because all the others had pushed in. He would do anything any child told him to do. I had the same fears as you.

He is 6 now and he is a lovely, chatty, confident little boy. He's still not the 'pushy' type but the 'peacemaker'. He has had a few problems with friends who would say things to him and he didn't know how to respond. We did some role playing to help him articulate what he wanted and to teach him how to say NO if someone was doing something he didn't like.

I think your little one is still little and I wouldn't worry. Your dh is right, just have patience..he'll be okay.

HowlingAtTheMoon Fri 16-Oct-09 16:42:46

My DS is a bit like this, be grateful he's nice and not a thug - too many of them out there.

OrmIrian Fri 16-Oct-09 16:46:52

He will toughen up. DS#1 was very like this. When his sister was born he was the same age as your LO. Even when she was only a yr old DD used to only have to scream loud enough for him to give in grin. But it didn't last.

There is no need to toughen him up. Time and other children will do that for you!

Singstar Fri 16-Oct-09 16:48:32

One of mine is a right softie and when he's in the 'right' mood will cry at the drop of a hat - about anything. He can be over sensitive, over dramatic and a real mummy's boy and it can be a bit embarrasing at times when he's crying like a banshee and asking to be picked up for a cuddle over the slightest little thing, especially as he's 17 !!

Only joking, he's 5 grin

Seriously though as he's growning up and maturing he is becoming less and less like this, especially as he becomes more aware of his peers and how they behave although I do think it will always be a part of his personality.
IMO I think YAB a but U it's just who is. Not all boys are 'tough' just like not all girls are into dolls, that's what makes it interesting.

wolfear Fri 16-Oct-09 17:15:54

Thanks ladies. It's just nice to know I'm not alone.

He really is a lovely little guy and I don't want to change or try and make him be something he's not. Ijust don't want him to become a target for bullies you know?

HowlingAtTheMoon Fri 16-Oct-09 17:17:50

Wolfear maybe start to teach him a different way of dealing with his frustration or anger / upset? He is still very little though, bless him.

freakname Fri 16-Oct-09 17:21:03

It is just developmental as he is making more sense of his place in the rest of the world.

When mine faced this I gave permission for them to
ask for / take it back
come to me and ask me to help

talked about different things they could say to the other child
'I'll give it to you when I've finished with it'
'wait your turn'etc

As long as they feel armed with some kind of action. They learn from observing how other kids deal with it too.

wolfear Fri 16-Oct-09 17:28:21

Do you have any suggestions Howling? He does get very frustrated and flips out at times, poarticularly when he gets embarrassed in front of others.

freakname Fri 16-Oct-09 17:34:47

er Wolf?.....I just made some suggestions?

pointyhat Fri 16-Oct-09 17:49:46

yanbu. It is hard to watch your kid being pushed about and it's hard not to start secretive tuffing up lessons, feeding them a few lines, a few moves grin.

But it doesn't work that way. He'll change as he gets older and what is most important is that you accept him for what he is, tuff or not.

JoInScotland Fri 16-Oct-09 17:50:32

I was a nanny for my friend's triplets for several years. She has 2 sons and a daughter, and they are 4.5 years old now. However, when they were about 16 months old, A was (although the largest baby) not very good at walking and the others had mastered running. A having a big head didn't help with his balance! B and C would take toys off him and run off, and A would simply lay down and cry, often banging his head on the floor on purpose in frustration. He was so tolerant (but unhappy) and never stole their toys, pushed, bit, etc.

I think he eventually had enough because when he caught up developmentally (physically) he suddenly went through a phase of lots of biting, toy stealing, hitting, etc. Was he just making up for lost time? We got through that phase, but A is a naturally happy, content boy and not nearly as competitive as B and C, and it was nice when the biting/hitting/kicking/toy stealing phase was over. He is the most verbal triplet now, and the most emotionally sensitive, knowing when someone needs a hug or a cuddle.

I think they do work these things out, in time.

piscesmoon Fri 16-Oct-09 17:59:01

He is a baby and sounds lovely-don't worry!

ILoveGregoryHouse Fri 16-Oct-09 18:12:43

Aw, don't worry, he'll grow out of it. One of the very few things my MIL has said that I disagree with is that "there's no room in this world for a sensitive boy". I did point out to her that her son (my DH) was one of the loveliest, most sensitive men I'd ever met. You can take time with him to let him know that having "feelings" is fine and help him work them through.

ImMissWorld Fri 16-Oct-09 18:58:41

Wolf - what you say about being a target for bullies made me think. What I reckon is that if he is comfortable in himself, which with the support of you and your (lovely!) DH he will be, then he is much less likely to be affected by bullies.

You both sound so nice though and your little son will reap the benefit of that.

piscesmoon Fri 16-Oct-09 19:05:44

I have 3 sensitive DSs-they haven't been bullied and are perfectly friendly.

wolfear Fri 16-Oct-09 19:22:46

Thanks for your lovely, encouraging comments MissWorld.

As I type this, I can't help but laugh listening to my ever-so sensitive DS shouting at his dad to 'put me down!' in the shower. grin

mumeeee Fri 16-Oct-09 21:05:39

A lot of little boys are like this. Just let him be who he is and he will grow out of it.

SpoiltKid Fri 16-Oct-09 21:17:12

He sounds a lovely little boy. It's hard seeing your child being bossed around/attacked by other more confident/aggressive kids but be glad you've got a sensitive, gentle little lad.

ABetaDad Fri 16-Oct-09 21:29:10

Must admit we struggled with this when DS1 went to nursery. He is 9 now and still the same. Vey sensitive but absolutely lovely with other children. The teachers say he spends some of his play time helping the nusery children learn how to use the climbing frame and they all look up to him - literally. grin

When he plays with children his own age he often gets pushed over by girls and quite often in tears. That said he loves his rugby and is very competitive.

DW wanted hm to toughen up but I think it is counterproductive. They need someone on their side - not someone telling them to 'be a man'.

beaniesinthebucketagain Fri 16-Oct-09 21:33:53

enjoy it while it lasts ds 26mnths was like that, and i was really worried, then last week he obviously realised he didnt have to be a push over and i spent the whole session of toddlers with him in and out of the hall, oh how i long for the cry baby clinging to my leg!!!!

lovechoc Fri 16-Oct-09 21:36:01

I have the opposite problem with DS. To say he's very assertive, is one way of putting it! blush He will have a go on something at the park even if another child is in his way. It is only recently he is learning manners and 'taking turns' and so things are calming down a bit..

OP try not to worry, he may turn the complete opposite in nature later on!

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