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Difficult relationship between 2 year olds at playgroup- advice please!

(4 Posts)
singalongamumum Wed 11-Nov-09 17:16:52

Ok, so this is going to make em sound MAD I'm sure. I'd like to start (defensively) by saying I am a very child centred person, a teacher and generally always looking for the good in every child. But every week I take my DS (2) to a playgroup thing, where there is another boy ( a few months older, not much) who behaves in a very aggressive way towards him. Just him. He will literally be smiling at another child and when my DS appreas on the horizon, he will turn and glare/ push him/ shout at him or something similar. It is completely bizarre! My DS is not upset by this behaviour- but he is getting perturbed by it. As am I!

My DS is generally confident and out going, always looking for ways to play with others in his little two year old fashion, and I promise you has done nothing to antagonise this particular child ( not to say he's perfect, just innocent in this case!!)

So, what should I do? The mum is lovely and smiley but doesn't seem to notice this recurrent behaviour. I obviously realise this boy is only two so feel like I'd be making a big thing of it if I say anything to her. I have tried being super charming to this boy, and encouraging DS to do the same but to no avail- I was thinking about taking in a very small token gift as part of this charm offensive.

Just not sure- WWYD?

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 11-Nov-09 18:23:16

I would say that I can understand your reaction, but what you are seeing is not necessarily aggressive, but a very (very) inept way of of him trying to make contact with your son.

I know it sounds bizarre, but DS2 used to push children he wanted to play with, or sometimes to just get a reaction. If this other child has language difficulty or other SN then it may be more likely this is the case, but it is in the realms of normal behaviour.

The boy IS old enough to be told/taught what is and isn't appropriate, though, so if the mother is not doing anything, I would say something to the little boy himself. Put a big grin on your face and say hello to him, then speak up for your son - something like "X doesn't like it when you shout at him. We don't shout/push".

singalongamumum Wed 11-Nov-09 19:26:34

Thanks Jamienadhismagictorch! I think you may be right that speaking to him more clearly is a good way- I did do this once in order to prevent him hitting DS and it did work. I am completely sure though, that he is not trying to be friends because he does behave in a more friendly way to other children and he will glare at DS and seems to use him more as an outlet for his frustrations. For example, today he couldn't have the maracas so he turned round and walked over to DS and pushed him (DS did not have the maracas). I have never seen such targeted behaviour in one so young and am a bit shock.

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 11-Nov-09 20:49:30

Are you worrying there's something about DS that attracts this sort of behaviour ?(reading between the lines ..)

If so, don't worry - DS1 used to be the butt of, shall we say, more boisterous children, and is a totally assertive, happy 9 year old now. You speaking up for DS will help him in the short term, and in the longer term, teaching him some phrases to defend himself and asking for adult help.

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