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20 month old toddler, "bad" behaviour towards other children, what is the best way to handle this?

(11 Posts)
Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 13:31:56

My DS is a very very active, adventurous child, was an early crawler, walker, won't really sit sit still for a second. Current favourite activity is jumping, preferably of the highest thing he can find! So, he is supervised every second for safety reasons (I don't stop him from exploring, or cossett him, just stay very close to catch him when necessary...). He doesn't have a cautious bone in his body, and if he does something and hurts himself, he'll be back doing the same thing again a few minutes later, sigh. Other friends can sit around and chat at the play groups we go to, I'm far from being able to do that at the moment.

He has very little spoken language at the moment (the HV is aware) but understands a lot and will follow instructions when he feels inclined to.

Tantrums started a little while ago and are getting more spectacular, but I just ignore them and am coping with them ok I think. They are always caused by him being stopped doing something he want to i.e. crayons taken off him because he's persisted in eating them!

He's been hitting and now biting me and DH for a while, but always with a smile, so not out of frustration as you might expect.

He's my first, and we've spent lots of time with friends and other children since he was tiny. He also goes to nursery several times a week. So he's very used to being around other babies / toddlers.

So, he's a handful, but the hardest thing I'm finding to deal with is his behaviour towards other children. He'll play alongside others quite happily most of the time, but can for no reason just hit out at another child. If someone else has something he wants, he will grab them, then prise the object out of their hands, or pull a child off / out of a toy (trampoline, ride on etc). There's little boy the same age we spend a lot of time with and he regularly hits hit, launches himself at him to push him over, totally unprovoked. Luckily his mum is a good friend and is extremely kind about it, but I feel soooooooooo guilty. When he does it to children we don't know I'm mortified!

When he does this, I'll always say "You can't do that, you've hurt xxxx, we need to say sorry" then remove him from the other child, fuss over them and ignore DS for a very short time then try and redirect him to another activity. I'm not sure what else I can do.

I very much want to follow a positive disciple approach but find myself raising my voice at him......

This is complicated more by me being pg so he's going to have a baby sibling just as he turns two, help!

Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 13:38:06

Sorry that was long, but I wanted to paint as accutate a picture as possible!

Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 13:52:09

Bumpity bump?

3littlefrogs Sat 25-Jun-11 13:58:23

He sounds completely normal and you are doing the right things. He is 20 months - just a baby really. You just have to keep on saying "NO" and removing him...constantly.

Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 14:06:38

Thanks frogs. I'm not really worried that his behaviour isn't "normal", but I honestly don't know any other children like him, which can make me feel quite isolated. Whenever I stop him from doing something when we're out, I find myself looking round to make sure other parents can see I'm not accepting his behaviour, so it feels as I'm more worried about what people think of me. That's not right, isn't it?
But then I also worry that other mums see DS walk through the door and think "oh no, not him........"!!!!!

3littlefrogs Sat 25-Jun-11 14:35:08

I had 2 very lively boys. It wasn't easy, and there were mums with very placid, well behaved children at toddler groups etc, and I used to feel like a bad mother. The key is to be firm and consistant in your reactions to your ds's behaviour, but remember he is just a baby.

Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 15:37:53

How old are your boys? How did you cope when the second was a newborn? Or are they twins?! [breaks out into a cold sweat!]

monkoray Sat 25-Jun-11 16:38:24

Your ds sounds identical to mine. I think you are handling it right but I know what you mean about worrying what the other mums think. I just focus on my ds and try and make it clear to him what I would like him to do or not do. As long as you are consistent I'm sure it will sink in.

purepurple Sat 25-Jun-11 16:47:19

You sound as if you are doing everything right. The key is being consistent in whatever approach you take.
IME, as a nursery nurse, behaviour like you describe is perfectly normal when children are unable to express themselves as well as they would like.
I have been working very hard with a little girl who has a speech delay and behavioural issues. She would lash out and hurt other children, sometimes biting.
I took a zero approach to her behaviour and sat her out every time she hurt another child. Like you, I concentrated on the injured child. Then explained to her what she had done and emphasised how we need 'kind hands'.
This approach has had amazing results and she has now started to play alongside the other children and has even started to say sorry and give them a cuddle without being prompted to on the rare occassions she has lashed out.

mercibucket Sat 25-Jun-11 16:55:10

that sounds very normal and they do grow out of it!! in the meantime, remove, explain why, ignore, pretty much as you are doing. I also used to have a zero tolerance to playdates and we went straight home if there was an 'incident'. it might be worth spending a few weeks apart from your friend with the little boy - the few weeks apart might break a pattern of ''aggression'' towards him.

Icoulddoitbetter Sat 25-Jun-11 18:43:36

It's good to know the general consensus is that he's normal, as is my reaction! I'm hoping that it'll start to settle soon, but I am very much aware he is still a baby and really doesn't know better. Thanks ladies.

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