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So, is this normal behavior for a 3 year old?

(7 Posts)
jabberwocky Mon 21-Mar-05 01:28:06

I took ds to a brunch today at a friend's house. I was a bit nervous as her ds has been quite aggressive towards mine and other children in the past but hoped he was maybe growing out of that stage. Ds is very much into trucks right now and saw the little boy's battery operated toy hummer in the back yard. It's one of the big ones that up to 2 toddlers can ride in. Anyway, ds and I walked over to look at it and of course the little boy saw us and ran over to jump in it. No problem, I expected that and ds didn't want to ride anyway just look. So we are watching him drive it and talking about the color of it etc. (ds is 19 months) when I noticed that the boy was driving it in our direction. Still didn't think much about it until he got a bit closer. Then I held out my hand and said, "Stop XXX". Imagine my surprise when it became clear that he was not only not going to stop but had sped up and was going for us. I picked up ds and stepped back to get out of the way, tripping over a board that was laying on the ground. I wound up falling over with ds in my arms and bruising my right leg in several places, quite badly, from hitting the board I guess. Anyway the boy just ran off. I truly believe now that he would have actually run over us if the board had not been in the way. Later the mother heard me tell ds, "No we're not going to look at the truck anymore that didn't work out." To which she asked if he had tried to hit my ds with it. I told that he had run us both down. She then made him apologize (it was fairly insincere IMO) and put the truck up. It seemed obvious to me that he must have done somthing like this before or she wouldn't have asked that question. His previous acts of aggression have also seemed to be quite premeditated. So, is this normal aggression or something deeper?

leelee39 Mon 21-Mar-05 03:12:04

It sounds to me that this boy may have some extra aggression. However, it is also possible that he is just absolutely not old enough for a toy like that! It seems like he doesn't have the maturity to deal with it responsibly and his parents should take it away from him. Just my opinion. Hope you're ok by the way....

KarenThirl Mon 21-Mar-05 07:00:23

Hard to say. Yes, it does sound as though he's done this sort of thing before but at that age it can be quite hard to understand that he shouldnt' be doing something that hurts other people. Excitement can block out all common sense, and it can take a while to learn how to channel aggressiveness appropriately.

If it's any help, there was a boy at my ds's playgroup (a year older) who was very aggressive and seemed to be doing it deliberately to upset ds, who'd often end up crying excessively. The boy did grow out of it once he'd started school and learned from all sources that it wasn't appropriate to hurt people on purpose. He's a lovely kid now.

I do understand it can be pretty worrying and distressing for parents of well-behaved boys to come across the aggressive ones, but I'm not convinced that it's not normal behaviour for that age. Normal covers a very wide range when you're 2-3.

Jimjams Mon 21-Mar-05 08:43:41

Sounds normal to me (as does an insincere apology).

In fact ds2 (who is 3 and fairly switched on) just does not understand aboout hurting others. He keeps leaning on his baby brother (who he adores) and just doesn't seem to get that he'll hurt him. Likewise he keeps trying to hurt his older brother on purpose, although that's more understandable.

jabberwocky Mon 21-Mar-05 13:37:38

Thanks for the feedback. I guess I was, and still am , a bit upset by the whole thing. It's also distressing that this is the son of one of my very best friends, but I now find myself having to limit the time I spend with her because I am so afraid of what her son might do to ds. In fact, yesterday was the first time I had been to her house in about 6 months because of an incident that happened before. I was so hoping that he might have gotten a little better but if anything he seems worse. So, should I just let it go? Or talk to her about it?

Jimjams Mon 21-Mar-05 14:27:06

I woulodn't say anything- I don't think he's done anything unusual. I think you either have to decide you'll have to supervise your ds closely or not go. I am in the same situation regarding the majority of my friends as they all have children with SN and cannot be trusted to be safe around ds3 (10 weeks). Yesterday at a friends house I left the room with ds3 in it briefly (a friend had called to ask us to collect her younger daughter as her elder one was in hospital probably with a stroke/brain bleed sop we were ll kind of rushing around and I forgot ds3) when dh went back into the room (having been supervising ds1) he found my friends 8 year old autistic daughter swinging ds3 around. Completely my fault- whatever else was happening I shouldn't have left him. Anyway no harm done and a reminder of how careful we have to be.

I think you have to see it the same way really. 3 is too young to understand about hurting others (although they need to be told- usually over and over again) so if you don't trust him around your ds then you need to watch your ds to keep him safe.

chipmonkey Mon 21-Mar-05 14:28:56

It sounds to me as if she already knows all too well what he's like! I would leave it, talking to her might come across as criticism which could cause tension between you which would be a pity if you're good friends and in any case, he's likely to grow out of it with time 9one would hope!)

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