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2-year-olds "bullying"

(19 Posts)
Fazerina Mon 27-May-13 01:54:29

DS has just turned 2 and is the love of my life so I know I'm probably bias, but a few kids in our neighbourhood make me a bit upset.

So far DS has never had any problems sharing his toys and he is generally very gentle when it comes to playing with other children. I know toddlers are not good at sharing toys and change very quickly, so I realise my DS could well change into an aggressive grump in the future, but so far so good.

DS is very sociable and enjoys being around other children. He has one good friend, another little boy some 4.5 months older, who has a similar personality and they get on really well playing, sharing toys and having fun.

Unfortunately, there is a boy living close to us, who is 2.9 years and has decided since about a year ago that he doesn't like my LO. At first I thought it was just the typical toddler behaviour of not wanting to share toys etc. But lately he's become really quite mean to my DS purposely coming to him when he's standing somewhere and pushing him or trying to slap him across the face even though my DS is not playing with his toys. That boy is kind of a dominant figure and he's now convinced some other kids not to like my DS either and today when we were out playing all the kids refused to play with my DS.

I realise I should try not to let DS play with these kids, and I don't really see them that often. But sometimes we bump into them in the park etc. And it feels weird just to leave straight away and I don't think we should have to leave anyway if we were there fist and DS was having fun before they came.

Anyway, I'm surprised to see this kind of behaviour in such young children and just wondered if it's happened to others. Sorry for the essay..

LittleMissLucy Mon 27-May-13 04:13:22

Hello. Its hard when you have a gentle, easy going child, the monster kids tend to have extra-sensory perception and make a bee-line for them. The only thing you can do is whisk him away asap and avoid them, and if you are lucky enough to find a kid who is sweet with a mum you can tolerate, cultivate that. Good luck. It will get easier as he gets older. My DS was the same and socially now he is very liked as he is easy going and trusted never to be mean.

ellesabe Mon 27-May-13 08:29:44

Where is this boy's mother?? confused

lottieandmia Mon 27-May-13 08:33:28

At this age you've just got to move your ds away and step in if you see something may happen. The mother of the other boy should be stopping him. At 2 children are far too young to have a developed sense of how to behave.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 27-May-13 08:44:02

Are you all out in the street with them? Where is the other boy's mum or Dad when this happens?

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Mon 27-May-13 08:46:16

It is typical toddler behaviour and it is not bullying. Please don't throw words around like bullying as it belittles the real victims of it.

That said, as lottie says, you just have to move your own child away, and tell the other child to stop if his own mother won't.

But it ain't bullying.

Fazerina Mon 27-May-13 09:35:26

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong,my apologies, I certainly didn't mean to upset anyone by my choice of words! I chose the word bullying for the lack of a better one and I do realise it's a much graver issue.

The mom or both the parents of the other boy are always there and if he makes my DS cry they of course intervene and make him apologise etc. When we see them somewhere the other boy's parents often ask him to say hello to mine and he point blank refuses and it's quite awkward when mine has had a big smile on his face and lifted his hand to waive to him.

I generally try to avoid this boy and his parents and the other kids (and their parents), but sometimes I feel a bit annoyed, if I've just wanted to bring DS outside to have a bit of fresh air in the evening before bath and bedtime and I prefer to just take him to our common garden rather than go all the way to the park. I feel I shouldn't have to not use the garden and be stuck indoors just because of this. There's little else to do in my area and apart from the park, which is quite a walk away, there aren't many other green child-friendly spaces around.

When we see this boy and the other children, who he normally plays with, I try to take DS aside to play with me, but he keeps trying to go to them and play and doesn't seem to really accept they don't like him, even though they push him away. DS then stands a few metres away and watches them play and if he gets too close one of them charges to push him away. At that point we normally go and I can see DS is sad and upset. I realise he will sooner and later learn that not everyone likes you and you cannot be friends with everyone, but I guess I had just hoped this lesson would have come later on when it would perhaps be easier to explain things to him confused..

EleanorHandbasket Mon 27-May-13 10:06:00

You are ascribing adult emotion and intent to a two an a half yo.

Don't fgs make this into an issue. You think this child decided at 18mo that he didn't like your ds? That is insane.

A two year old cannot and would not convince other children to dislike another child. Again, that is I your head and you are wrong.

You need to be very careful that your imagination doesn't impact on your son. You are imagining these issues and making a problem where there isn't one.

You are talking about babies. They Iive entirely in the moment and are creatures of impulse. They do not have complicated friendships or emotions. Just stop this before you make your son into an anxious wreck.

Fazerina Mon 27-May-13 16:41:41

EleanorHandbasket, I think that was a bit harsh and uncalled for tbh. I do think a 2-year-old is capable to show his/her likes and dislikes. Obviously they are not able to show their emotions in the same way as adults and probably don't have the capacity to form complex relationships with their peers etc. I feel it it quite obvious this particular little boy doesn't like mine for whatever reason and the behaviour he portrays is modelled by the other kids to the disadvantage of my son. I'm not imagining things and I'm not trying to put things in my DS's head either.

SolomanDaisy Mon 27-May-13 22:06:08

I agree with Eleanor. I am really struggling to reconcile your perception of 2 year-old behaviour with anything I have seen with my DS or the children he plays with. Just let your DS develop his own relationships without projecting these interpretations onto his playmates. At his age children are just beginning parallel play, not playing together anyway. They are not forming gangs to exclude other children from 18 months on.

matana Mon 27-May-13 22:44:34

As the mum of an over exuberant and often impulsive 2.6yo ds I understand where a few of these replies are coming from. I don't think a 2 year old can be a bully and it sounds like his parents are trying hard to teach him right from wrong. I am always mortified when my ds steps out of line with another child. But he too is the love of my life and I would like to think other parents are more understanding about toddler behaviour, especially as I am doing my very best to raise him well.

Fazerina Tue 28-May-13 01:55:16

I think my choice of words has clearly caused a misinterpretation, which I do apologise for, again. I chose the word "bullying" for lack of a better one, and hence the brackets.

To clarify again, I do appreciate that the emotional capabilities or a 2-year-old are not sufficient to become a 'bully'. Nevertheless, it has become quite obvious both to me and to this boy's parents that he doesn't like my DS. Whenever we bump into them somewhere on the street etc. His parents make a concerted effort to try and have him great my DS and he often gets quite upset and says "NO". One time my DS was sitting in his buggy and this boy suddenly rushed at him and tried to slap him without any reason. His parents are always mortified and I do feel for them, as it's not a pleasant situation for any of us obviously.

I wasn't really after any particular advice, just wondered if anyone had experienced this type of a scenario with such young children before and understand from someone's reply up-thread that someone had. As I mentioned before, I do realise that children this age can change rapidly, as their personalities develop and I appreciate that I may well end up having to manage my own DS's bad behaviour in the future. I'm not trying to judge anyone.

It does make me sad, however, and I don't think it's nice to see my DS sad and upset, because he doesn't understand why these kids won't want to play with him. Like someone already said, the best thing is to just avoid these kids and seek the company of the kids my DS gets on well with.

Fazerina Tue 28-May-13 01:57:35

Sorry for the typos, I'm on my phone blush..

Smartieaddict Tue 28-May-13 02:29:11

It sounds to me like this other little boy is reacting to the pressure of being forced to greet yours, rather than actually having an issue with your DS. I remember my DS at that age being very confident and happy to talk to anyone, unless he was told to, then he didn't want to know. At 2 I doubt he even really registers your DS as a person.

lifesobeautiful Tue 28-May-13 10:55:46

Poor Fazerina! Who would have thought your perfectly normal post could incite such fury and indignation! Bizarre!

Anyway, I totally sympathise - I can't stand it when other little kids blank my DS (2.9yo) or are horrible to him. It really upsets me! No matter how normal it is for a toddler! And my DS shows distinct likes and dislikes at his age - of both people and things. (And i also hate it when he obviously doesn't like someone!) So I definitely think they are capable of not liking other children.

Don't allow this kid's behaviour to keep you awake at night fretting or to stop you going outside. You'll just have to try to ignore it and laugh it off with your little one - if you see it happening go over and distract him with something else. How well do you know the mother? Could you invite her and her little boy over for a play date? That might improve things? Or could you take a cool toy with you outside that might engage the other little boy? And get some positive interaction?

Anyway, it WILL pass I'm sure - and isn't a reflection on your toddler at all or a sign of things to come. It is just an unfortunate thing about that age. Hope it gets better soon!

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 28-May-13 11:41:23

It is not normal to accuse 2 yr olds of bullying. Because 2 yr olds are behaviourally incapable of doing so, and to use this term is to project adult ideas onto children's actions.

Developmentally bullying as we understand it just does not happen earlier than about 6 or 7.

That is not to say that 2 yr olds can't be badly behaved. They are programmed to be badly behaved when placed in certain situations (ie being asked to share, to treat other children nicely)

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 28-May-13 11:44:18

She's said she was sorry ffs. hmm lay off.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 28-May-13 11:47:24

FFS backatcha. I was talking to her friend.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 28-May-13 11:49:43

Yes but you're just repeating what's already been said.

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