I've experienced both ends of the spectrum...
The first time he was pushed was at my friend's house. She doesn't practice AP. When her daughter (15 months) pushed my son down, she was verbally reprimanded by her mom, several times, until eventually, she was slapped on the hand, several times. I realize that slapping children's hands is a fairly common disciplinary action, but it is not one that I practice. My son watched everything intently, the pushing and slapping of the hands. He seemed fairly blown away by it all, if possible at his young age. I didn't feel it appropriate to criticize her method of discipline, yet I also didn't want my son subjected to viewing it, yet I also didn't want her pushing him down. Arg, what to do?!?
On the next occasion, he was pushed down by a friend's little boy (about 2 1/2), several times during a play date, at the park. My son was leaning in for a hug two separate times (both of which he just started doing), when both times, he was pushed down. Then again later, he was pushed several times while trying to play with the toddler. He looked at me every time, as if to search my face for an answer to why this was happening, or to check my level of approval or lack thereof. I was, of course, saddened, but again, did not know how to handle it. His mom either didn't see it happen or didn't feel it important enough to deal with.
In none of these situations was he physically hurt or in a position to be, or else I most definitely would have reacted by removing him from the situation. But, what is he learning by being pushed down? Should I be working to avoid these situations, or should I be more effectively dealing with them when they arise? Will he begin hitting now that he has experienced it, and if so, how do I handle that?
Lost in this new toddler phase