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is this anything to worry about?

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  • is this anything to worry about?

    I hope I'm worrying about nothing here, but I am a bit concerned. DS, 26 mos, likes to give his toys "boo boos." He will throw them and say "owww," and I say why did you through the truck and he says "boo boo." Sometimes he will throw every toy in sight and say "owww" for each one. Occassionally when I try to talk with him about this, he'll hit me too and say "owww" or even hit himself, again with the "owww." I think I became more concerned the other day when we were playing with cars on a pretend street, and we made sure to build a fence between the street and the area where the toy dogs were playing so they would not get hurt in the street, and he took one of the dogs, ran it toward the street and hit it with a truck, and said "owww." He's since done this with little people toys too - hitting them with cars in the street.

    Any advice on how I can encourage this behavior to stop? I'm wondering if I'm paying too much attention to it and that's encouraging him? I'm also concerned that this might not be normal behavior even though people in my life tell me "he's just being a boy."


  • #2
    My son's have both done similar things... and I know litle girls who would have a period of similar stuff also. If the toys are getting boo-boo's only, its just like little toddler theatre. Does he seem to enjoy the show? If you are concerned that he is really into destroying things, and will be for life, I would relax! If you are bothered by the throwing of things (as I would be) I guess the only thing you can do is fill you day with activities untill he is over this desire.


    • #3
      I would wonder if this could be a way that he deals with fear/uncertainty/ander etc. Which are emotions that even the best parents cannot remove from his world.

      Is he worried about getting hurt? Has he been hurt lately? This could just be a normal way of him to process fear or anxiety surrounding that kind of thing.

      If you get the Journal of API. The Summer 2008 issue has an article entitiled "Raising Peaceful Children in a Violent World" that I found helpful in understanding this type of behaviour.


      • #4
        also, remember, he learns from YOU! He spends his time with you, and I'm sure you take care of his boo-boos and ouchies. So he wants to do the same! My DS (3 years old) LOVES IT when I get a boo-boo. He examines my hands, and says "you have a boo-boo!! I get the band-aids!!" Then he takes great care in bandaging me. Maybe the next time you get a cut you can let him bandage you?

        My best guess is that the throwing is his just being a kid/boy, and the boo-boo stuff is just him acting out what you do. Sounds to me like you have a compassionate little boy!


        • #5
          i know that him running animals over w/a car sounds alarming, but try to remember at his age, he doesn't have the same perspective as you. he really has no concept that this would, IRL, smear their guts into the ground. he's just experimenting. it sounds like getting hurt is a big deal to him and he's trying to work it out through his play. i think i'd lean towards letting him do it, without interruption. if he's able to work his way through, he will come out on the other side stronger and more confident. but if you intervene and don't allow him to play, he may think he's doing something wrong, or feel stifled by not being able to work through his feelings.


          • #6
            Thanks for all of the great perspective! He does talk about his own boo boos a lot when he has one, so that does make sense. And it is just part of his play.


            • #7
              I was just reading about a similar situation in Playful Parenting. The author gives a really great explanation about why this is okay and how you can play with your child to help him work through his feelings. I'm loving the book and highly recommend it.