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20 month old screams more than all the rest and generally acts th drama king! (and pinching!)

(12 Posts)
boo64 Mon 26-Feb-07 13:09:27

My almost 20 month old always seem to be the one playing up at the classes/ groups we go to!

First up he has always been a bit wary of other toddlers and if any of them push him slightly (to the point it wouldn't hurt) or an adult gets in his way he just shrieks and cries - completely over reacting (imho).

Secondly - in the past he used to just keep out of the way of the other toddlers and he still does hang back a bit (he gets this from dh who e.g. waits til the other passengers have got off the plane before standing up rather than rushing to get off!) but now if they have something he wants or are in his way he has started pinching. Luckily he is only managing to pinch their clothes (intentionally or otherwise) and hasn't got any skin.

I think that his nature (somewhat sensitive it seems) means situations most other toddlers take in their stride, upset him and now the frustration he feels is manifesting itself with the pinching.

Anyone got any tips as I don't think time out would work at all - he'd be really happy to leave the room as he seems to prefer hanging out in the corridor to being with the scrum (I know that at his age that he shouldn't be expected to actively play with other kids but maybe he should at least tolerate them!)

charlieq Mon 26-Feb-07 13:20:04

boo64 mine is/was exactly the same and still is to some extent (now 3.7). For instance, he will sometimes kick off as if he is being murdered if another child CONTRADICTS him!!

I found it incredibly hard to deal with when he was younger. If I tried time out, he got even more outraged and hysterical; and I didn't feel he understood that it was about the noise he was making at that stage. If he did ever hit or hurt another kid, however (he didn't do that often, just screamed enough to deafen them) I immediately did the time out.

It did improve with age, with being able to negotiate more with other kids, etc. However, I still find myself having to have the talk with him a lot: 'that screaming upsets people, please come and tell mummy if someone does something you dont' like...' etc....

boo64 Mon 26-Feb-07 13:47:12

Charlie - thanks for the message.

It is a tricky one isn't it as on the one hand I feel I should reassure him that he is ok if someone pushes him or whatever and he is freaked out by it but on the other hand he clearly is over reacting.

I know I shouldn't give a monkeys what other mums think but it is kind of embarassing as e.g. this am when he did it several times they make comments (they are not friends - just people at music group thing) like 'ooh blimey what's wrong with him'.

I think they feel awkward as it's like ds is, in his way, accusing their child of hurting him, when actually they haven't usually really done anything wrong.

So question a. do I provide some comfort to him or just leave him to it as maybe he overreacts for attention and b. shall I just stick with a firm no if he pinches - given he would love to do time out and leave the room (e.g. at parties he often wanders into the hallway to potter round in peace and quiet!)

Tricky things toddlers aren't they!

charlieq Mon 26-Feb-07 13:53:06

There does seem to be a bit of a difference between our 2 as ds always seeks out company, but then seems to expect everything to go his way. But I share your annoyance about the comments etc (I still get them when ds kicks off).

I think that as these are clearly sensitive kids some comforting is actually useful just to reassure them that the world has not ended if another kid snatches from them, but of course hurting another kid is not acceptable. I think my task now is to get through to DS that his drama queen screaming does not achieve anything for him and he'd be better coming to me with whatever grievance he has, but he does seem to have such a hair trigger temper! (can't imagine where from )

boo64 Mon 26-Feb-07 13:58:02

Blimey poor you!

But at least at his age you can explain and reason with him I guess!

Toddlers are a nightmare so it is hard to not agree sometimes when ds gets upset! I feel like I'm getting great training if I ever want to join the UN peacekeeping forces!

charlieq Mon 26-Feb-07 14:05:36

hmm explaining and reasoning seem to have limited effect in this area! But i have to keep trying- I reassure myself that not many 7 yos seem to go nuclear in the middle of an argument, and he will eventually learn to just sulk (at worst!) when people dare to contradict him, etc!

He really is a little emperor- very kind and generous, will rarely snatch from other kids, but of course goes ballistic when they do it to him.

Its funny what you say about your ds accusing other kids- before ds could talk properly he used to point at the offending other toddler and splutter with absolute outrage (while screeching). Sometimes I found it funny but when the other mum is right there, it certainly isn't....

boo64 Mon 26-Feb-07 20:07:32

totally - the whole thing with other mums is a nightmare.
Your ds sounds really sweet as he isn't the real perpetrator and sounds like he hates it that these other kids could be such brutes!

Well I went to a friend's this pm and there were 2 3year olds there and ds was really well behaved and much less scared of the girl - in fact he even let her tickle him and put his shoes on which he has never let another toddler do. She is a total sweetie and maybe he sensed that she wasn't going to hurt him so let her - I was pretty amazed though that he didn't freak out.

charlieq Tue 27-Feb-07 12:12:11

well yes boo he CAN be very sweet indeed. But can also be a little b*gger when crossed.

I think we have got two mega strong personalities here. Is yours a Leo by any chance (not that I believe in astrology!!)

sunnysideup Tue 27-Feb-07 13:07:57

My ds always hated the 'scrum' as you so neatly put it

If I were you I would take the problem away as much as you can! We went to one 'group' a week. That's it. End of. I also took ds swimming, but that was an activity for us to do together....also the library was a weekly visit, ditto our local farm which is a little 'zoo' as well.

We were out and about mixing with the human race every day but not at too many of these organised groups, which ARE hard going for many children. Your ds is very very young, there's plenty of time for more groups as he gets older.

Regarding his response to these imagined 'injuries' from other toddlers, I would I think always pay some attention to it, check he's ok then be pretty no nonsense about it - 'you'll live' as my mum used to say to me. And distract him big time if you can.

He sounds very sweet.

boo64 Tue 27-Feb-07 14:50:30


Well was very interesting today as at nursery when I picked him up at lunchtime, he was given a massive hug by one of the little boys he knows well and instead of freaking out (which he always would if I am with him but apparently doesn't at nursery when I am not there) he was fine (until the other boy knocked him over and he hit his head but that's different!)

So it seems that although I was there at nursery he just doesn't do it there so it must be something to do with me.

Reckon you are right and he needs a reassuring but no nonsense approach as, given the above, it could be me over pandering to him and he is getting lots of lovely attention so thinks hey I'll make a big deal out of this!

He is quie a sweetie - always trying to give food and drinks to us and tothe birds in the garden etc.

Hey Sunnyside maybe they will surprise us and be rugby players one day - although right now I just can't imagine ds doing that!

Thanks though for giving me the confidence to reduce the situations like this - I will look at the groups we do and choose only ones that suit him better for next term. He is so little that we shouldn't go if we aren't enjoying ourselves and he gets to learn the 'rules of engagement' of socialising with other kids via nursery and when we meet friends with toddlers (a nightmare too but at least i don't usually feel my friends are judging me!)

He seems to prefer slightly more sedate stuff so will stick with that.

How old is your lo now sunnyside?

sunnysideup Tue 27-Feb-07 15:29:27

My ds is four, five in August.

School REALLY helps; the reception year at ds school starts with a whole term on social skills, listening, making friends etc.

So I really do feel you're wise to keep the toddler groups only to the one/s that you feel your ds actually enjoys; I am absolutely sure that as he gets older he will gain more ability to cope in social situations. This will resolve naturally, so there's really no point in putting yourselves through something you don't even enjoy!

I found with ds at this age that he got plenty of social interaction just being out at the park, let alone swimming or the zoo - people stopped and spoke to him, shop ladies paid him attention, etc etc - it's all good social interaction I feel, just as valuable as the groups. Very best of luck!

sunnysideup Tue 27-Feb-07 15:32:21

oh, and meant to add, he gained plenty of experience with other kids just at the local park, playing alongside them, or just being aware of them; and I'm sure children with sensitive natures like this gain more from that relaxed play than from being overwhelmed by the 'scrum' at groups.

And yes, I reckon you're right, maybe he does do the extravagan reaction to things to get that extra bit of your attention; interesting he can keep the lid on that at nursery, bless him

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