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Almost 3yr old that hurts other kids...

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  • Almost 3yr old that hurts other kids...

    I have an almost 3 yr old son (He will be 3 in Jan) and he is a well behaved child when he is alone. He is very loving and polite and LOVES to play with other kids. I have been at my wits end though in the last 2 months or so. We had a daughter that was born back in May and is now 5 months old. He is fantastic with her and has never shown any jealousy signs. What started was at daycare (He is there for 4-5hrs on mondays and fridays) he began hitting or pushing the other toddlers without being provoked. He never had any issues with these kids before up until 2 months ago. My daycare lady told me that he hit a girl in the face with a plastic shovel, she was just standing there. Now its to the point when another child is near him, and not provoking it, he will just shove them onto the ground. When he does this he will appologize right away and say he is sorry then give hugs, when I take him aside I ask him why he pushed and he says because "Im not listening to mamma", I ask him if pushing is nice and he says "no, its not nice", I tell him that he cant push people because it is not nice to hurt other people and that he wont be able to visit with the other kids if he isnt going to be nice to them. He just acts as though he isnt listening to me when I say this to him. I really wonder if he is doing this to get attention from me. I have caught him looking right at me when he walks over to another kid to push them. I am so nervous and embarrassed when we go over to someones house or have them at ours because he could hurt their child. I dont want people to think that he is a horrible child because he really is such a sweet kid. He was always such a loving and friendly little boy and was always so easy to watch, people used to compliment me on how good he was. Now I am seeing this slipping away and I really dont know what to do. I have tried spending alone time with just him and I, going for a walk to the park I even have him in swimming lessons just him and I.....I always praise him when he is being good, or listening well, saying please and thank-you but I just dont know if it is something he is missing from me or something that I am missing??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  • #2
    A new baby can be SO HARD on your current kids, even if they don't show it. You said that you suspect he might be doing this to get attention from you and this is definitely likely, especially if you've been spending less time with him as a result of the new baby. If you enrolled him in day care soon after his sister was born or even conceived he could view her as the cause of this. If he doesn't like day care this could be his way of acting out (although you said that he does it at people's houses too).

    I would say try giving him more attention and see if the problem goes away. Spend as much time as possible with him (it can be hard when you have another to take care of too but it's worth the extra effort). If he wants to be carried, carry him. If he wants to play a game, play the game while your daughter is in a carrier. If he says "mom" answer right away and give him your full attention during conversations.

    There was another post on here about married couples that basically said that you need to give your spouse sympathy and support and make it known that it is always available. If these things become scarce than the spouse may start to take all that he/she can get at any opportunity. I believe the same is true with kids; if he doesn't feel like he's getting enough attention he may start resorting to desperate measures to get it. If he knows he can have all the attention he wants whenever he wants it, he might not want as much of it, sort of like a starving man will eat an entire feast but an overfed one will not want so much food.


    • #3
      That must be so hard! the boy you know as loving and kind acting out like that!
      Interesting that his answer was "Because I'm not listening to momma". Sounds like he knows very well how you feel about what he does and does it to get the attention.
      Do you think shifting the attention away from the hitting to more positive things might help? Something like: yes, we know hitting's not on, but I saw you play very nicely with xy before, so I know you can do it (preferably not the person he hit later)...
      Or even better praise him for playing nicely before anything happens.
      I'm just brainstorming here, let me know if this is BS.

      good luck



      • #4
        Thank you so much for replying ladies! itsallthereforyou** He has been at this daycare (its a home daycare) since he was a year old. He loves going there and playing with the kids. He was in there mon to fri when I was on lite duties from work when I was pregnant (Im a paramedic and had to come off the trucks) and he was really good, no issues at all. He was there until I went on mat leave at the end of March (this was a month before my due date) I kept him in daycare just half days mondays and fridays from 7am-1230pm so he has time to play and have lunch with the kids, he still currently goes at these times ( I thought that maybe he would like to go out and play with the kids and have fun) I am trying my best to spend as much time with him as possible as I am hoping that in time he will understand that he is not being replaced and is still my little boy (or big boy as he says lol) The lady that does his daycare even said she would watch my daughter so that I can spend a little more time with him as well so I am thinking about doing that. Its just that daycare can be so expensive and being on EI makes it hard at this time. I was really sad this past thurs as we went to a friends house to play (there were 4 moms all together, all with kids the same age as my son) and he took a toy from one of the girls, she got upset and her mom walked over to my son and her daughter and said "what did we talk about on the way here? I told you that if Jacob is being mean to you that you need to say No to him" I was so upset to think that someone had to lecture their kid about being around my son!!! It made me feel soooo bad, not for myself, but for Jacob. Hes so little and so sweet and to hear some talk about him like he is a horrible kid just broke my heart. I am hoping with everything that it is just a phase and will change in the next while. I dont want to be the person no one wants to bring their kids around because they are scared of my son.

        antje***I am trying to shift his attention from the hitting and stuff, sometimes I can catch him before he does something. As well I am trying to praise him more when he plays well or listens well. He seems to play well with most kids, I have noticed that there are 2 kids in particular that he likes to "pick" on. Both are girls...Do you think he picks on them because he can get a rise out of them?? One of the girls seems to be really sensative and cries anytime he touches her, this is the one that he seems to pick on the most, hitting her, pushing her, throwing things at her ect...she is the daughter of a friend of mine as well they are at the same daycare so they see each other at least 3 times a week. (this is also the one that the mother lectures to her about my son) Im almost a my wits end. This whole thing makes me really sad.....