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AIBU?

Other children attacking my toddler

81 replies

ChangeCat · 19/07/2017 10:34

She seems to attract bullies! Playgrounds, the beach, soft play... they think I'm not looking then push her over, refuse to let her on equipment or throw sand or water in her face. Last week a boy threw a rock at her, I told him off but she was scared by then and wanted to leave.

She's sociable (if a bit shy) and approaches them expecting a friendly reaction. She doesn't push in or take things, she waits her turn for the slide etc. They sometimes play with her a bit then try to hurt her Angry At the top of the slide the bigger kids try to push her out of the way so they can go first!

She's just two and these children are usually 3-4 year olds. They seem really aggressive for no reason!

How do I stop this and give her confidence?

OP posts:
Cutesbabasmummy · 19/07/2017 10:38

Sadly I think this is normal. MY DS is 2 and never pushes, hits or is mean to other children - nursery have commented on this. But I took him to soft play at the weekend and some bugger kids had pushed one of those huge wobbly inverse triangles over towards him and he pushed it back - to be fair it had nearly squished him. The other kids said "You are a horrible naughty little boy!" My DS was about to cry as it was said quite aggressively. Being a tiger mum I said "Excuse me but you do not talk to other people like that. it's not nice is it?" They left with their non supervising parents shortly afterwards!

Cutesbabasmummy · 19/07/2017 10:38

Bigger! Nor bugger!!!!

rascallyrascal · 19/07/2017 10:42

No, bugger was right! My eldest got shoved down the slide the other day. Landed face down halfway down and had blood pouring from his nose. No reason for it, at least the kids mum was raging and took him home after a telling off!

ChasedByBees · 19/07/2017 10:44

I remember having stern words with some older boys (about 4-5) who looked like they were about to push my toddler off the top of a climbing frame. Apparently it was a pirate ship and anyone else had to go over the side. At least that's what he was screaming in her face.

Some children are just horrible at these places. I sill watch carefully.

Coffeetasteslikeshit · 19/07/2017 10:45

You can't change the other children's behaviour, so you will need to stick by her side for a bit and teach her how to deal with things.

The other children aren't bullies either, they are just children.

Spudlet · 19/07/2017 10:46

Ds had an older little girl (still very young herself mind you) go through a phase of wanting whatever he was playing with at playgroup, and simply snatching it from him. So I developed the habit of watching like a hawk and saying firmly 'No other child, ds is playing with that. You can have a turn when he's he's finished.' With my best taking no shit face on. Then making a point of passing the toy to her when ds had done, and thanking her for waiting so patiently. It was kind of annoying but I've noticed she's less ready to pinch things off ds now, so it was worth it.

It's just a phase they all go through to a certain extent I think, it's just horrible when your dc is on the receiving end! But at least we'll be ready should our dc turn into little buggers in a year or so...

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 19/07/2017 10:47

Completely normal for places where there are lots of children, they're not born knowing how to socialise so need to learn. Some get it early and some don't. I also think it's easy to be a bit precious about your 2 year old when 4 year olds are involved but won't be long until yours is 4 and you might be quite shocked at how thuggish they can beWink

Groupie123 · 19/07/2017 10:48

I would tell the children off right in front of their parents and then yell at the parents if they shout back.

Zebrasinpyjamas · 19/07/2017 10:53

Clearly throwing rocks is wrong. If no parent is forthcoming, I'd tell a child to stop if they hit my dc or move my child away before (if possible).

Pushing past her on the slide is not intentionally bullying by a three year old. They are just entirely focused on what they are doing and push people aside in the same way they would any other object. (I'm not saying this is right). In the playground or at soft play, I used to stay close to my two yo (not so much now he's three). I'd nicely but firmly police turn taking. Eg. 'No mini zebra wait for the boy in front of you to go down the slide' When it was his turn, I'd tell any children (if they were not waiting properly) that it was ds turn and they would be next and to wait. Generally they would do it. The problem was generally caused by being oblivious to smaller children rather than malice.

To encourage her social skills, can you try to direct her to similar aged children in those places instead?

WhamBamThankyouGeorge · 19/07/2017 10:54

Mine too. Makes me so sad...

snoopypoodle · 19/07/2017 10:56

I know what you mean OP.

My DS (2) was recently at a play centre and he was stood with another boy around 4/5 I'd say and they were both throwing the stray plastic balls back into the ball pit and giggling. All of a sudden the boy turned around and punched DS in the face! DS burst out crying out of shock and confusion, I went into tiger mum mode and started stalking towards them and as soon as other boy saw me he did a bee line for his DM who was sat at the other end of the play centre completely ignoring what her DC was doing!
I think it's the unsupervising parents that give me the rage more than anything Angry

Also there's a boy at the playgroup we go to and he's constantly looking to taunt, push, snatch or ruin something for another child, his DM is off doing f knows what half the time and doesn't see it, a lot of the mums silently give themselves "the look" when he's up to it again.
He will spot his "target" and "slyly" look around for anyone taking notice first before pushing them, snatching their toy or knocking over their block towers etc. I don't understand it as he is probably the oldest child there (5/6) and I've seen toddlers who are better behaved.

missyB1 · 19/07/2017 10:57

At this age you just have to supervise closely and be ready to intervene. Unfortunately not all children have good social skills, and some parents don't bother to supervise even when they know their child can be physically aggressive, they excuse it by saying "it's normal kid behaviour".

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 19/07/2017 10:57

I would tell the children off right in front of their parents and then yell at the parents if they shout back

Yes do this if you want a full on row,great example in front of kids!

squishysquirmy · 19/07/2017 11:00

Your poor DD!
What were the other parents doing?
I agree that it is normal for young kids to sometimes push and snatch and stuff, but I haven't seen many 3-4 year olds deliberately try to hurt a smaller one for no reason. Smaller toddlers often go through a biting/hurting phase though, which is Blush while it lasts.
Also, that's why we watch our kids (the other parents, not you). If they're playing nicely, you hang back a bit but keep an eye on them and if it looks like they are beginning to get too rough/nasty to a small child, you intervene! Yes, it might not always be possible to get there in time but if my dd had thrown a rock at a smaller child, I would be mortified! The other parent wouldn't get a chance to tell her off, because I would already be coming down on her like a ton of bricks and probably taking her away from the playground as punishment. They are only kids but they don't learn to stop being thuggish by getting away with it.

Groupie123 · 19/07/2017 11:00

@DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen - it is great example. My kids are never going to be encouraged not to stand up for themselves.

ChangeCat · 19/07/2017 11:02

I do tell them off. Some run crying to their mums, others laugh, some back off then return as soon as I look away. DD is very forgiving and will play with them again when they're nice, only to get hurt again.

One boy even chased her to me and hit her while she clung to my leg, I had to pull him off and pick her up! His mum saw the whole thing and just gave him a tub of strawberries to distract him Confused

It's difficult because I want her to feel safe playing, not have to leave because she's being attacked.

OP posts:
squishysquirmy · 19/07/2017 11:03

I don't see anything wrong with telling another child off (in a proportionate way - stern voice rather than screaming in their face) if they are hurting others, or acting dangerously. If it was my dd who was doing it and I didn't see, I would want another parent to intervene and let me know what was happening.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 19/07/2017 11:05

Is she one of the youngest there? Perhaps you should try another play area if lots of the children are older?

ChangeCat · 19/07/2017 11:07

Groupie how do you teach them you stand up for themselves?

She doesn't bite or hit but is inquisitive. If another child has an interesting toy she stands nearby watching, the child seems to see that as a threat. Other times she's picked up a toy (e.g. a spade lying in the sand) and been attacked because it's not hers!

OP posts:
paxillin · 19/07/2017 11:08

Children older than your own always look really alarming. Try and find a play area full of really small ones, she'll be one of the 4 year olds soon enough.

ineedwine99 · 19/07/2017 11:10

No advice but so sorry for your poor daughter. Hope she's ok OP, I know i'd be raging if another child hurt mine and their parents didn't tell them off

ChangeCat · 19/07/2017 11:10

She's not the youngest but she's bolder than most of the ones her age, she runs around by herself and climbs independently. I watch closely but can't always get there in time. She seems to initiate play with older children, who then turn nasty.

OP posts:
ppeatfruit · 19/07/2017 11:15

At 2 yrs old they HAVE to be followed round in a playground where there a lot of bigger kids. You can't just leave them to get on with it, even if you're watching them from a distance , it just takes a second to be pushed (even if its accidentally) off a slide or hit by a swing etc.

I used to have to follow my dd1 around around at toddler group to stop her pulling other little girls' pony tails!

Afterthenight · 19/07/2017 11:15

I always had this issue with dd who has additional needs. She was always an easy target for other kids.

She's been trapped at the top of soft play, pushed, hit, you name it.

The one time she got too rough playing with a friend and made a friend cry i made her come out of the play area and put her shoes on and apologise to the other child. Not hard is it!

squishysquirmy · 19/07/2017 11:16

I disagree that small toddlers should be kept separate from 4 year olds in case the 4 year olds turn nasty. It is good for children of different ages to mix, I think, and good for the older ones to learn how to be gentle around smaller ones.
Its a shame that the other parents are letting their kids get away with it (distracting with strawberries and no tellingoff???). I suspect that they are storing up trouble for themselves in the future - dealing with a 4 year old is much easier than trying to restrain a violent 7 year old, or 10 year old...

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