can a 2yr old be a bully?

Heather - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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my son (at christmas dinner) was pickin on this other 2 yr old boy turning a light on and off, and gettin in his face sayin "I turned off the light" and "i turned on the light." this other boy is afraid of the dark, (it was only like 3pm so it wasnt dark.) and started crying. i made my son say sorry and hug the little boy but i still think i have a bully on my hands.

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Heather - posted on 01/13/2010

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I don't think a 2yr old can be a bully only because, when they're two they're learning social behaviors, what happens when I do this? or that? What is ok and what is not? Just keep doing what you're doing and if he gets older and it's still a problem ask for help! Good Luck

Jane - posted on 01/04/2010

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if you sit him down and talk w/him he can be just fine. timeouts, explain that he can't treat people that way, would he want you to treat him that way, nobody wants to play with someone who isn't nice, etc. he's probably picking it up from another kid who is older or a tv show.
he can only be a bully if you don't teach him that it's not okay.

Heather - posted on 01/04/2010

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Toddlers just want to get a good reaction from others. Weather it's a positive one or a negative one. He's 2. He doesnt realize what is happening. He just likes the reaction that he is creating. Just keep guiding and teaching him. He will learn by your examples.

Christy - posted on 01/03/2010

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2 year olds can be bullies but you handled your situation great! i agree with the other moms that say the kids don't realize that they're being bullies and that they're just testing their abilities and boundaries but that in some cases they can be very mean while doing it. it sounds like you're doing a really good job of showing him what isn't acceptable. keep up the way you're going and you shouldn't have a bully on your hands later =).

Tela - posted on 01/03/2010

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Yes they can i have a 2yr old daughter and she is a big bully , she has her 10 yr old sister & her friends terrifyed when she comes in the room cause she bully's them all i try to sit her down2 play nice that works all of ten min them she's right bk to being mean so i truly understand your situation , we have to keep working at it there only two lol

Heather - posted on 01/03/2010

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thanks tessa! since that happened, ive just been worried that im gonna a future trouble maker on my hands! lol!

Tessa - posted on 01/03/2010

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I'm not sure that at 2 he really understands he's "being a bully." My son used to push other kids. It was just his way of communicating to them that he didn't want them so close. If you son isn't afraid of the dark then he probably doesn't understand why this boy is, or even that he is! It's great that you helped him see that he wasn't being nice and apologize. That was such a great response! From that he can learn empathy. You don't have a bully. You just have a toddler that's learning what's acceptable and what's not.

Julie - posted on 01/03/2010

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I think it's normal for kids that age to go through an agressive period - at least that's my experience. My older son who is now 7 was very agressive around the age of 2.5 to 3.5. My husband and I were beside ourselves not really knowing what to do about it.

For us, we chose time-in. We would put him on our lap and tell him that we loved him, but we didn't like his behaviour. It worked for us. He grew out of it, and now he's the least agressive 7 year old we know. He's very loving and kind. I think because we approached the situation with loving and kindness, he learned to deal with things the same way.

So I don't think he's a bully, just going through a phase. Good luck Heather...

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even though they are little they can be bullies, the best thing is like what you did, tell him the behaviour is not ok, tell him what is ok, make him say sorry. Welcome to the terrible 2s (I was a preschool teacher with 16 2 year olds a day)

Maureen - posted on 01/03/2010

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I hate it when my kids are mean to others. You handled it perfectly by having your son apologize. This sounds like normal behavior for a 2 year old. Two year olds are bundles of impulses, and when they figure out they can actually have an effect on the world, they like to try it out. They're finding a little slice of independence. It takes time for them to develop their personalities and interpersonal skills, and they'll look to their parents for guidance. Tell him that what he's doing is not ok, and as long as you're consistent, he'll get the message. Again, he's very young yet. The way he is now is not necessarily be the way he is when he is school aged. No worries!

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