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3.2yo DS hurting and spitting at other children at nursery

(11 Posts)
BotBotticelli Tue 16-Feb-16 09:33:35

Help me please. have no idea how to deal with this and feel mortified, worried and upset that I have somehow failed my little boy ☹☹

Don't know why he is behaving like this.

He has a 6mo baby brother and goes to nursery 3 days per week whilst I am on Mat leave.

Worried he might be acting out cos he feels pushed out at nursery. But no way I could cope with both at home 5 days per week and anyway I go back to work 4 days in June so no point pulling him out now o lt to have to settle him back in again in June (and we would probably lose our place).

His little brother is teething and up lots at night and is generally a lot more demanding now during the day than as a newborn so I think k that might be making ds feel abandoned too.

Also, he is really interested in dinosaurs and I let him watch a few "walking with dinosaurs" type programmes about them on the iPad where they ate each other, plus he loved nature programmes about animals but there's always a fair bit of killing in them I am worried I have shown him content that is too old for him and he is mirroring these animals' behaviour in his play, and hurting people at nursery.

Any advice on how to deal with this?

Am very worried about my son becoming "that" child at nursery that no one wants to play with. Has anyone gone through a phase like this and come out the other side??

He can be so lovely and sweet and he is so clever and interested in the world but he is also very verbal and gives me loads of backchat (like a teenager! "No I won't mummy! That's Rubbish/boring/a poo poo idea") and quite frankly we are running out of ideas.

We have a star chart for good behaviour and do time outs on the doormat for major bad behaviour (hitting little brother for example) but it doesn't seem to be changing his behaviour for the better.

Help me please!!

BotBotticelli Tue 16-Feb-16 09:36:16

Apart from the nature programmes and dinosaurs stuff he just watched typical tv for his age - likes Frozen and the odd Disney film. CBeebies.

Although there's a lot of hurting/killing in Disney sometimes isn't there? Thinking of Sid in toy story and the Lion King (two of his favourite films).

Is it possible I have "made" him violent by letting him watch this stuff?

Or is it more likely a reaction to DS2 being born and taking up more of mine and dh's time???

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Tue 16-Feb-16 09:40:30

You haven't 'made him violent' - he's doing what a lot of 3 year olds do! My DS went through a similar phase at that age, turns out he was copying other children at nursery.

Yes, it's not nice, and I know exactly what you mean about him being 'that' child, but please don't beat yourself up - just keep reinforcing to him that it's not nice behaviour, and try as much as you can to give him some quality one on one time at home. My DS took a while to adapt to his new baby brother at around the same age, but they do get there.

popperdoodles Tue 16-Feb-16 09:46:33

I think a chat with nursery about the circumstances in which these things are happening would be a good starting point. Is it randomly during play, a bit like super hero play and he hasn't learnt the boundaries yet si possibly reenactment of dinosaurs. Or is it at times of conflict with other children, sharing for example and he is lashing out in anger or frustration. Or it could be he is doing it because he gets lots of attention when it happens and is taken away from something he didn't want to do anyway.
In the meantime, firm and consistent but kind.

Smartiepants79 Tue 16-Feb-16 09:49:37

I'd doubt the TV you mentioned had much of an impact to be honest. My DC have watched lost of those things and I've never noticed it affected the way they play or interact.
I would suspect that the arrival of his sibling and the realisation that he's here to stay would be more the problem.
What are nursery themselves doing to help deal with it as it sounds like it is mainly a problem there?
At home you and your partner need to make some special effort to give him more time and attention. Can you organise your time so you can give him some one to one time? Do all you can to make sure he feels loved and secure BUT stay firm with your expectations and boundaries as this is the other way that children know they are secure.
I would expect it to be a phase, and with love and firm boundaries he will come out of it. Nursery need to be doing their bit as well.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 16-Feb-16 09:53:14

when you say you can't cope with them both at home, is it possible there's a lot of "getting ds out the way/keeping him quiet with tv" while you deal with baby.

does he get any time with you at all?

it's harder when teh older one is at nursery because on one hand yku dint want to disrupt their routine and you feel they have more time and energy fir activities. but on the other it's possible the do feel a bit pushed out

would it be possible for you to put the baby in nursery one day a week on a day where your other ds is not at nursery. five yourself a day together?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 16-Feb-16 09:54:15

excuse typos blush

BotBotticelli Tue 16-Feb-16 09:58:02

Thank you all for your reassuring comments - yes my gut feeling it was more likely to be a brother/attention issue rather than the films but thought I would ask!

Yes - we deffo need to make some time for DS to have 1-2-1 time, especially with me I think. DH works long hours so on the days I have both boys at home it's just me. I try to make sure j play on the floor with ds for a couple of hours each day (in 20 minute blocks, in between trips to park and playgroups etc) but ds2 is (ihviously!) always there. Sat between my legs on the floor as we play or nearby in his bouncer.

The baby barely naps (while other thread!) 3 X 40 mins per day if I am lucky which is a shame cos if he had a good 2 hour nap after lunch then that would be ideal mummy and ds1 time ☹

Maybe at the weekends I should leave the baby with DH and take ds1 swimming in my own or something?

So hard to be bothered when you've had 5 hours broken sleep though...! Sorry that sounds awful but the baby is very challenging st the moment!

BotBotticelli Tue 16-Feb-16 10:20:17

Hi giles thanks for your idea but I do t really want to put the baby I to nursery until j really have to - ds1 had a full year of "mummy time" before j went back to work so I want to do the same for the second one!

To be honest, there's not too much sticking ds1 in front of the telly whilst I deal with the baby - in fact it's more the other way round!! On days when I have both boys the baby quite frankly gets ignored a lot in his bouncer/walker/play mat whilst I try to make sure I play with ds1 and we go to lots of age appropriate playgroups and parks for him where the baby just gets plonked in his buggy bless him.

But I think maybe at the weekend some mummy time where the baby is left at home with daddy altogether might be a good plan.

I have spoken to the nursery but they don't seem to always have seen what happened: was it a tussle over a toy or was it boisterous "dinosaur" play? I will ask them to make a note and tell me.

Interesting idea above about attention being lavished on him by nursery staff (albeit negative attention) when he does these things....he has recently moved up a room and the staff ratios are lower (1:4) so I wonder if doing these things is a way of getting attention in a rather busy and hectic room??

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 16-Feb-16 11:43:58

I'm sure he will love that smile

funnily enough it was similar in our house. as much as dd1 would complain she never got a chance to do anything with me, it was in fact dd2 who was handed an ipad or or one of those noisy books in order to free up the time. but dd1 somehow managed to faff about so much and complain about everything that the time.would be gone before she actually was ready to do stuff.grin

minipie Wed 17-Feb-16 15:33:44

Hi BotBot once again you could be writing about DD1. Including the clever, interested and backchat grin And including the slightly ignored baby sibling.

With DD1 it happens when another child at nursery tries to take a toy off her or stop her doing something, or refuses to share which in DD's mind means give her the toy immediately. Strategies that are working to some extent: (1) Encouraging DD to go find an adult if she gets cross with another child, rather than hurting. (2) Warning nursery staff in the morning if DD has slept badly (is your DS still not a great sleeper?) or has a cold, as these things make it much more likely she will lash out.

Do ask nursery to watch out for when/why it happens, and also see if it is related to when he is tired (eg is it always at the end of the day/end of the week?) or a bit ill. Might help in ensuring they keep an eye out at the relevant times.

By the way DD1 gets lots of my attention as I've got a nanny 4 days a week - so I don't think it's down to that. I think some children just take longer to learn to self regulate. DD1 is improving I think, it's up and down though!

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