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Please help - At wits end with aggression

(15 Posts)
failedflowers Tue 30-Jun-09 13:23:22


Ds is 23months and is a confident, happy, fun child, however,.....I am at my wits end with his aggression towards other children. This 'phase' has been going on for approx 6 months now, first he would bash anyone for any reason and now it has turned into smacking and pulling hair in retaliation to when child bumps into him, takes something from him, invades his space etc. The problem is he is much bigger than other children his own age. I really don't know what the answer is but its coming to the stage where I don't want to be around other children as although I constantly police him there are times he slips the net and I dread the looks from other mothers. I want people to see the lovely boy he is and not just the alpha man toddler he exhibits when out.

He always apologies and it does play on his mind to some degree as often later in the day he will make reference to an earlier incident ie sorry girls hair.

I'm a SAHM and as he is an only I do try to make sure he attends activities or sees other children a couple of times a week. I've decided not to send him to preschool as originally planned in Sept partly due to this and fear he is just too young.

Can anyone offer any advice, suggest books to read or at least convince me that he won't spend the rest of his life fighting.


MatNanPlus Tue 30-Jun-09 13:41:24

He won't always do it.

How about meeting just 1 or 2 children and theirs mum's and everyone being on the same page as it were.

You need to try to relax as he will sense your waiting for something to happen, maybe ignore his behaviour and comforting the other child and get on with playing would help him break to cycle of play / hit out / told off / play etc.

screamingabdab Tue 30-Jun-09 14:56:15

Hi, my great sympathies. DS2 was like this, and I know how crappy it makes you feel, and frustrated. It is also very common at this age.

It will pass. DS2 improved a lot when he started playgroup at just over 2. He is now 6, and a lovely, sociable little boy with lots of friends.

DS2 was always more out of control when tired or hungry, and also in very lively, noisy places like toddler groups and soft play centres, because he'd get over-excited. To be honest, I started avoiding those places, or go for very short periods, and leave as soon as he was looking like he might bite someone.

I know it is hard, because you are worired he will turn into a thug or something, but try and keep the emotional temperature down. Try not to overreact. If he has done something, show concern for the other child, make sure you apologise (I think him apologising is neither here nor there at this age), get down on his eye level and say in a low, firm voice "DO not push/bite/pinch". Then take him to a quiet place and sit with him for a few minutes.

Let him go back to playing, but if he does it again, you might consider leaving.

screamingabdab Tue 30-Jun-09 15:00:46

Sorry, ran out of space for my essay !

On reflection, I think that in my desire to make everyone else see i was dealing with it, I'd get all screechy and naggy, which goes over their head, at best, or at worst, they quite like the (negative) attention it gets them.

Remain calm and this will pass. Try not to think of it in adult terms such as "aggression" or "alpha male". He is a little fella who is learning how to get on in the world!

Watch him like a hawk

Piah Tue 30-Jun-09 15:45:43

You could try to find him older children to play with, at least occasionally. It might help him to understand how to play with other children.

MummyDragon Tue 30-Jun-09 16:56:20

Actually I WOULD send him to preschool (warn the staff what he's like!) and see what their strategies are. Also, you may find that he doesn't behave like this at preschool - he may only do it when he's with you. If that's the case, it may be an attention-seeking thing. Have a chat to the preschool, they could probably help you a lot with this.

screamingabdab Tue 30-Jun-09 17:06:46

I agree with MummyDragon

failedflowers Tue 30-Jun-09 21:21:53

Thanks for all of your advice. I think I may call the preschool. He was due to start in Sept but I was going to put it off until Jan. My rational behind this was that I didn't want him bashing other children there and secondly he is just to young to deal with all of this on his own without me running around breaking up every conflict. Hadn't thought that it may actually help. Hmmmmmm

ICANDOTHAT Wed 01-Jul-09 09:30:46

Send him to pre-school DO NOT warn staff in advance as it will 'label' him before he's even started. they will handle with him and have done with many others like him in the past (if they are any good). Whatever you do, be his advocate and biggest fan. I know 'cause I've had two horrors go through nursery. If any behaviour issues arise, deal with them one at a time in a positive and constructive manner - don't run down your child to anyone in education - it will stick to him forever. Good luck!

failedflowers Wed 01-Jul-09 15:05:31

I can totally see where you are coming from ICANDOTHAT.

How do I get around it as I do want to hear what their policies are and find out how the situations will be handled. I currently have a choice of 2 preschools. One where he will stay until he goes to school, he'll be in a toddler group until he goes into their preschool Sept 2010. This one is affiliated with the school he'll attend. Or another one where he will be the one of the youngest in the group where he will stay until he goes to the affiliated preschool again in Sept 2010.

After his performance this morning with a group of children I am being think agree that he does need to go this Sept to learn social skills. Although it means moving him I think as someone mentioned earlier it would benefit him being around older children.

ICANDOTHAT Wed 01-Jul-09 15:22:45

You should get all their policies and procedures in writing in some kind of perspective anyway, and that way you should gather what their discipline procedures are. The choice of nursery is down to you really and you should make this decision on the basis that you know him better than anyone else. It's tough when they are the younger ones and highly 'spirited and boisterous' grin, but unfortunately they will be all the way through their school life. Nursery and reception are all about social and emotional development and their main purpose are to teach children what are good or bad choices, developing relationships and behaving in an acceptable manner. I have 2 sons, one winter born and the other an August baby. ?My Summer boy has had a tough time, but he'll catch on eventually sad

ICANDOTHAT Wed 01-Jul-09 15:25:57

Forgot to mention '1-2-3- Magic' by Dr Thomas Phelan. It comes in CD or book format avail from Amazon. A brilliant technique to get your child to do as you ask and stop defiant behaviour. Google it - I did it for my ds2 and I hate to sound corny, but it really worked for us. Once you get through the Americanisms, it's good sound advise. Good luck ! smile

failedflowers Wed 01-Jul-09 15:47:42

Thanks for that I'll definitely look at that. I'll give anything a go. Thank you for all of your advice. Good luck with your summer boy too.

gder Wed 01-Jul-09 19:32:18

I have a nearlt three year old boy who is aggressive and over affectionate. He pushes other children and has hurt children with this over enthusiasm. He knows how to wind other children up as well and does so which results in them crying and me having to tell him off. I find it really difficult and soul destroying. He is a lovely bubbly sociable boy but often shows his rough side when we are out and about. Any tips or help with this very welcome.

ICANDOTHAT Fri 03-Jul-09 19:56:44

gder Have you looked at his diet ... sounds obvious, but there is so much 'rubbish' in so many food i.e. any squash with aspartum, sugary cereals/cakes, unfriendly 'E' numbers, even preservatives found in bacon and bread shock Supplements like EyeQ Omega 3,6 & 9 are great to 'calm' the 'active' child, Well Child vitamins. Also, the 1-2-3- Magic strategy I mention earlier on this thread is great for 'disciplining' the little darlings ! Good luck smile

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