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3yrs old pushed 2yr old down stairs

(41 Posts)
Appleicecream Sun 08-Nov-15 22:12:14

My friend dropped off her 2 yr old for me to babysit for the morning and they were perfectly happy.
My son has been quite badly behaved recently. He has been hitting myself and nursery staff when tired. Trying to hit other children at nursery... when he gets tired or frustrated he just becomes very physical.
My friend and I were sitting on the sofa and she put her head round to watch my son and her 2yr old walk up the stairs. My son had previously shown signs of being a bit hitty/pushy he kept saying he wanted the 2yr old to play. They got to the top of the stairs and my son looked at my friend before purposefully pushing her 2 yr old down the entire flight of stairs. Thankfully she was fine apart from a little bit upset.
I was shocked and calmly put him in his room and shut the door as I had no idea what else to do and was too angry to react. He came downstairs after 5 minutes and apologised to his friend and they were fine together afterward.

What on earth do I do?
Is this normal? Should I be worried?

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 09-Nov-15 04:31:26

Well it's not abnormal. At 3 he won't understand the danger he put the child in.

However I would never leave my 2 year old to climb stairs with only a 3 year old for company.

Children this small need to be watched at all times.

NerrSnerr Mon 09-Nov-15 05:07:12

I think it's normal. I don't think a 3 year old and 2 year old should be playing on the stairs together, sound like a recipe for disaster.

teacher54321 Mon 09-Nov-15 06:11:33

I'm not an EY specialist but I do teach this age group. I would say that it was very unusual behaviour, to deliberately push another child down a whole flight of stairs. No helpful advice I'm afraid, but if I was your friend I would have taken my child away and wouldn't be coming back to your house anytime soon. You must be beside yourself, I hope nursery have some suggestions to help improve his behaviour.

VocationalGoat Mon 09-Nov-15 06:14:14

Chalk it up to a lesson learned OP. They are far too young to be playing together upstsairs unsupervised (a loose watchful eye doesn't count) because simply put, at that age, unpredictable stuff happens. Honestly, they can get into all sorts.

VocationalGoat Mon 09-Nov-15 06:18:13

Sorry...I agree with teacher. It's unusually aggressive. sad

Doublebubblebubble Mon 09-Nov-15 06:27:33

That sounds very very aggressive to me too. Having said that - and I don't mean to offend you op - but what are a 2 &3 year old doing climbing a flight of stairs by themselves and potentially being left to play upstairs by themselves without there being a gate (???) to close behind them. I get that a 3 year old may want a little more independence at that age but the 2year old is far far far too young to just be "supervised" by someone not much older and especially when you know that your ds has been/is aggressive. I think that he should definitely be supervised better from now on. X good luck x

WanderingTrolley1 Mon 09-Nov-15 06:32:38

Why were they allowed on the stairs?!

I would be very concerned about your boy's behaviour.

AllOfTheCoffee Mon 09-Nov-15 06:33:15

When mine were a bit older than that the oldest threw the youngest off the bunk bed.

She's 13 now and hasn't showed any signs of becoming a serial killer just yet.

teacher54321 Mon 09-Nov-15 06:39:04

There's a big difference between a bunk bed and a flight of stairs.

Artandco Mon 09-Nov-15 06:58:15

I wouldn't have let a 2 and 3 year old play upstairs alone tbh

ArmchairTraveller Mon 09-Nov-15 07:09:00

You should have been monitoring him more closely if you know that he's going through an aggressive phase with other children.
What do you do? Don't sit on your arse whilst he's in a potentially dangerous situation with another child. Watch him and be pre-emptive, next time it might be a very nasty outcome.
Is it normal? I'd agree with teacher.
My DS has Aspergers, and when he was younger, I had to helicopter round him a lot of the time because he didn't understand social interactions and was aggressive to others. Over the years, with support, he learned.
I'm not suggesting at all that your child has any additional needs, just that if I'd let mine climb the sitairs with another child and he was annoyed by them, he'd have shoved them too. So I was there to stop that sort of thing, and to talk to him about what he should do.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 09-Nov-15 07:10:42

I don't think ALL three year old's are the same. Mine would never have pushed another child down a staircase but many would....I'm not judging either as "better" or even "normal"

3 is very small and some children of this age have poor impulse control. TOTALLY think they should never have been on the stairs alone.

megletthesecond Mon 09-Nov-15 07:14:09

Pretty normal. They can do some daft things left unsupervised.

Appleicecream Mon 09-Nov-15 09:00:21

I know I should've been behind them, obviously I completely regret that. My friend was watching and they were fine right until it happened. I just never thought he would ever do this!

ragged Mon 09-Nov-15 09:10:18

A 2.5yo boy once pushed my 2yo boy down the stairs. I put it down as "within normal". Sorry about your stress.

I'll get flamed for saying this. Ime, 2-3yo boys are especially impulsive and physical in their impulsiveness. I think there's a physiological drive in most boys towards trying to establish physical dominance, especially towards other boys, and this is about the age when that brain bias in boys emerges.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 09-Nov-15 09:39:16

It's ok's certainly not "unusually aggressive" as one poster said.

3 year olds do stupid shit....they fall in dog crap, they inhale buttons, they wander into deep water and sometimes they push one another over. Unfortunately this was at the top of the stairs. No damage no harm.

BathshebaDarkstone Mon 09-Nov-15 09:48:00

Time outs apparently don't work, they certainly never have for me. I'd have taken his favourite toy away for the rest of the day and kept them in separate rooms while the 2 year old was there. DS is still aggressive to his 8 year old DSis when he's overtired, he's 4.

Appleicecream Mon 09-Nov-15 10:47:26

Thank you very much, a mixed bag of opinion but I appreciate it. ragged that's interesting, if this your opinion or is there research behind this?

Artandco Mon 09-Nov-15 10:55:37

Ragged - you do know that's total rubbish don't you? A girl can equally become like that. I have two boys and majority of their friends are boys and none have become more physical at a certain age. I haven't seen any of them push for dominance either and we have always taught them everyone is equal and therefore they shouldn't be dominant over others as a child

Fugghetaboutit Mon 09-Nov-15 11:02:31

Ragged - bullshit. some boys are aggressive just as some girls are 'bossy'.

My ds is 3 and is a very gentle, kind boy. Kisses and cuddles everything. Lots of empathy. He would never intentionally hurt anyone unless they hit him first.

Op - I would sit down with your son and explain why what he did was wrong - how it would hurt the girl. Put him in her shoes. Empathy needs to be taught. Look up The Danish Way book and FB for good tips on this.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 09-Nov-15 11:29:10

I agree about it not being a "boy" trait. What an awful society we live in where one sex is lumbered with the label of naturally sometimes violent.


It's as bad as saying being "bitchy" is a natural girl trait.

Indantherene Mon 09-Nov-15 11:44:57

Each of my older 3 Dc pushed the next youngest sibling down the stairs (from halfway) at about 3 yo. Eldest is a girl. They don't understand the consequences of their actions and it's just an impulse.
They are in their 20s now, and haven't done it since grin

VocationalGoat Mon 09-Nov-15 11:46:12

Look OP, my friend's son was super difficult and unusually aggressive at that age. He is going on 6 now and a perfectly lovely child. I think boys particularly can be full on. Flame away peeps. They establish boundaries and piss on their territory, to a degree. Not all, but some. Kids of both genders do! But you know, you just have to keep an eye on them, keep the little ones out of danger is all. They find it without looking too hard!

I didn't mean to generate bad feeling by saying your child's behaviour was unusually aggressive. Yes, I do think his behaviour was. But I'm not writing your little one off as some yob. Not at all. He's 3. These are tough years, they really are.
What fuggetaboutit said- this is a golden opportunity to teach empathy. How would he feel about it were the shoe on the other foot? He did say sorry and that's big. I applaud the little guy for that because he obviously has insight into his momentary display of bad behaviour. Sorry is huge, in my book. That's great.
I used to talk about good choices and bad choices with DC1 when he was small. I found that really helped him to think before he acted.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 09-Nov-15 12:34:41

Goat so on the one hand you say "boys particularly can be full on" but then you say "They piss on their territory but both genders do."

Which is it? It's bullshit anyway. Gender defining to make children's weirdness somehow more explicable is bullshit.

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