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How to deal with aggressive behaviour from another child towards my DS?

(4 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Tue 30-Jun-09 15:40:24

Hi, just looking for some advice on how to handle this one. DS (20 months) has a big cousin who has just turned 2 and she is totally obsessed with pushing him, pulling him over, generally being really rough with him. When they are in the same room (which isn't too often really, maybe every few months) she just goes for him. DS was at her birthday party at the weekend and she pulled him over deliberately twice, he hit his head off the table and then whacked it off the floor. DS was in tears and the parents didn't say anything! All the cousin gets is 'He isn't a toy' but she doesn't get told off in any way. DS saw his cousin the next day again for another family occasion and again, cousin pulled him over several times despite me & DH trying to keep DS away from her. I think her mum (my SIL) knows her DD is doing wrong as she came up to me to apologise afterwards but I just said 'oh it's OK' but inside I was fuming. Not so much at the cousin as she is so young but at her parents who do fark all to stop this behaviour. It's now got to the stage where my DS seems scared of his cousin and ducks his head when she is near!

It's been going on for months now (she has previously pulled his hair, tried to bite him, twisted his arm etc) and I think her big brother (age 6) is her role model as he is really rough with her so it's probably just familiar behaviour to her. I said to DH that we would have to say something if cousin does this again but I'm not sure what I'd say or how to handle it? I feel I can't tell the cousin off as she's not my child but I don't want her parents feeling criticised either? They do seem very lax though and their kids get away with jumping all over our furniture, being rude, throwing things at each other etc (eg, I saw older brother throw toys at babies at the weekend party, nothing was said to him).

What would you do?

GBR Tue 30-Jun-09 15:52:35

I would pick your DS up when the cousin approaches, saying 'no you can't play with him if you're not going to be very gentle' (or words to that effect).

I have no worries about asking other kids to be gentle / move away / not poke my DD in the eye like that, etc etc!! I would also expect other parents to do it if my DS did it to somebody else too. They have to learn somehow, you can tell them gently so nobody takes offence.

I also would not let somebody else's kids jump on my furniture, or throw things while they're in my house. You're perfectly entitled to reinforce your house rules in your own house.

I'm a right old killjoy, aren't I?!!

giveloveachance Tue 30-Jun-09 15:56:56

Next time don't say 'OH IT'S OK' cos it is not!!! Your SIL could be your ally on this one, she could have a word with her dd about this - especially as it seems to be behaviour learnt from her older brother..

And, YOU and your DH CAN and SHOULD tell the little girl off too, your DS needs to see you stand up for him. you can say, no (cousin) that's not nice, please don't pull ds's hair, or ds wont come and play with you. look, you have made him cry, please come and say sorry and give him a hug. you dont have to say it in an angry voice or anything, more of an encouraging statement.

a nanny friend of mine is good at spotting the hitting just before it happens and intervenes by saying...xx cuddles, give zz a cuddle, - she does this with plenty of cooing and encouragement - it works for her!

MummyDragon Tue 30-Jun-09 17:26:31

Of course you can, and should, tell the cousin off.

I like the sound of heading off the bad behaviour before it happens. But, if that fails, tell the cousin off. She is old enough not to behave in that way.

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