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My son is an absolute terror around other kids! With one kid he plays super well, with two or three, he starts getting hitty, won't share, fighting, throwing..etc. It's so hard for me and makes me want to cry all the time I have to come and take him away, discipline him, etc. I have such a hard time. Today it got so bad, I had to take him home!! I don't know what to do, I'm at wits end, and I just don't see how he is going to get it. Time out's don't help, discipline doesn't work, telling him doesn't work(he's only 2). I'm just really really sad, and sitting here at home thinking I need some help. Anyone have ANY IDEAS? please?
I think you're right that he's too young to understand much, but giving a firm "no!" and removing him from the situation is key. At a playgroup we were in at that age, one of the moms had a boy with a similar issue, and she would give him one warning ("no hitting!") and then when he did it again she would take him into the corner and hold him firmly on her lap (with her hands over his arms) until he calmed down, and then let him return to playing. She was very matter-of-fact about it and did it as many times as necessary. On the worst days she would take him home early, as that was all she could do. He outgrew it, especially once he was older and could understand more. It's frustrating and you feel like you're doing something wrong, but this is all very normal behavior for a two-year-old. Just take a deep breath, be ready to respond to it every time in the same way, and he will eventually learn the rules. Hang in there! I'm sure you'll get lots of good ideas here.
I agree with Kaza about it being an age thing and that he is really too young for time outs, discipline or discussion. He will out grow this and as she says, just maintaining the consistant no and removal are really the only way to handle this. I would make him apologize for the hit, or the hurt, or the crying he caused. He will not understand this right away because he really at 2 doesn't understand empathy or sympathy but over time he will learn that it is not acceptable.
My best friend's child was just like this where I had the overly passive kid. It was very hard to get together with her because he was aggressive and she was at her wits end. It was also hard on me to have my son around him because my son was always getting hurt or crying. They have since outgrown this phase and get along well. They are now 5 and it took time. We don't live close so we only see each other more than 5 times a year but at least when we get together we don't have to follow them around breaking up a possible fight.
I noticed that you said he does really well if he is playing with just one child. Perhaps he just gets overwhelmed when he is around too many kids? My daughter was similar only she didn't hit...she would just sit in the corner with her hands over her ears yelling at the other kids to be quiet.
Yes, she did grow out of it, but it took time...loads of time.
Instead of forcing the issue, I played by her rules. Instead of playdates with too many children we stuck to just one on one play until she was ready to play with more. The way I knew she was ready for more kids is when she asked to play with more than just one.
I know it's really tough. Hang in there, they do grow out of it.
Thanks you guys for all your input!! Seriously, I was able to glean a lot of information from each of you, thanks for taking the time to read and respond!
What I have decided to do is take the time to one on one play with my son for ONE straight hour during the day. When I mean one on one, I mean playing like he would with another child. So I can take toys(not deliberatley to make him upset, just as if I were playing with them) and see how reacts, and then I can correct him where I see he is not sharing..etc. He won't hit me that's for sure! But he will get upset and whine if I take his toys. I think this is going to really help, and yes scheduling play dates with other kids is in the process too! I am going to do the one at a time, cause I do think he gets a little overwhelmed with too many, and that's why I have to follow him around to break up potential fights. I think I might be on the right track with this, and I will let you know how it all turns out!
Thanks so much again for the advice. I really really really needed to hear it, and to know that it was ok, and that it is a phase that will pas......the length of it is the only thing that makes me nervous!!LOL!!
Whip the hell out of them.....JUST KIDDING! Nobody get your panties in a wad over it...
I actually agree with Renee....I think it's best to introduce play time with just one or two kids and then go from there. At 2 years old, they are trying to push buttons;) He's so young still.......he'll figure it out.