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SO distressed over my violent toddler- any tips pleeeease??

(7 Posts)
vannah Fri 20-Jul-07 12:10:47

Hello all,
Im really at my wits ends. DS is 21 months, and he loves going to toddler groups but his behaviour is far worse than others. I do watch other children biting/pushing/hitting but there is normally a reason for it- ie : 'thats mine'

DS used to have reasons too, but now I find he just randomly attacks children - swiping at their faces and pushing. Often there is a reason, and there is much frustration at the groups ie- only two bikes, or only one easel to paint on. Waiting and sharing are alien concepts to him.

Ive dealt with it using the baby whisperer for toddlers guide: ie a firm warning not to hit, and then removing him if he continues.
But at this rate, I am forever walking out of toddler groups having only been there for 20 mins. And Im not at all relaxed, Im constantly watching him like a hawk ready to intervene if he attacks. I feel so embarrassed because he does it so much, ie one attack every five minutes.
If I do ignore him and get busy talking to another mum, he attacks anyway and I hear the screams of the other child...

My friend advised me to ignore him and pay lots of attention to the other child, but this is hard to do when the other mum has rushed in to comfort her poor inconsolable child.

I am writing this out of desperation as the last straw was at playgroup this morning, when he pushed a little 1 year old girl, still unsteady on her feet, who went flying and landed under a table narrowly missing her head. I was so shocked and appauled.

any advice?

DrNortherner Fri 20-Jul-07 12:15:15

Hi vannah. I know how you feel. My ds is now 5, but just like your ds as a toddler. It is embarrassing and you think everyone is pointing the finger at your child. Some kids are just like this, my sd is extremely inquisitive and a proper little scientist. He wants to know what happens if he does certain things - cause and effect and all that and i just beleive he was seeing what would happen if he pushed/hit someone. He was wondering what teh reaction would be.

I don't think you can do any more than you are. Don't stop going to toddler groups as he clearly needs the interaction of other kids, and he will learn that this is not acceptable eventually.

TenaLady Fri 20-Jul-07 12:16:02

Ahh, I do feel for you most children do go through these phases.

I can only reinforce what you have already been told. Ignore him and make a fuss of the child at the end of the assault.

Dont give up going to play groups as this is a good source for socialising him.

Give it time and just explain to the mothers that you are going through a bit of a phase with him. They will understand but just dont take you eyes off him so that you can jump in quickly.

Good luck x

gracej Fri 20-Jul-07 12:26:49

Hi Vannah,
this is a subject dear to my heart!! I promise you, you are not suffering as much as I did up to christmas.
I literally had to walk after DS at all times during toddler groups. I couldn't leave him for one second because he would grab a child. I am not exaggerating, I really couldn't talk to anyone. It was getting me down, depressed, upset.
Everybody kept telling me, to just show him what he is supposed to do, talk firmly,etc,etc. Nothing worked.
In the end, we (DH and I) spend one week with his little cousin, and each time he grabbed her we put him in the naughty corner (a play pen) and closed the door, telling him what he had done wrong. After doing it for a coupld of days he stopped.
Since then, he doesn't do it.
I must mention though, that DS has a developmental delay and he wasn't doing it aggresively, he just doesn't know how to handle children, he was treating them more like toys.
But regardless of the reason, the naughty play pen WORKED wonders. I now enjoy playgroups.

hellish Fri 20-Jul-07 12:27:13

don't stop going, just keep watching him, and removing him from situation so he learns it's wrong.

IME,you need to keep watching him like a hawk as if he is violent and you don't notice - he will think ' ah I can get away with it sometimes"
Also IME you'll get dirty looks from other mums if you don't notice.

My dd2 was just like this and grew out of it by 3, don't despair.

vannah Sat 21-Jul-07 23:33:07

thankyou for the advice everyone. Its very reassuring to know others have had it this bad! I'll keep on top of him. Sadly the naughty step has no effect...

juuule Sun 22-Jul-07 09:35:48

I would stop going to the playgroups for a while. I would wait while he is a little older and more responsive to what you say to him. Once you feel he does respond more to you reasoning with him then when you go to playgroup I would remind him that if he enjoys going he must be nice to other children otherwise you will both have to go home. Following round and intervening is pretty standard stuff at this age. Until this stage passes you will have to put ignoring him and getting busy talking to another mum into second place. It will pass though.

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