3yr old son frustrated, constantly hit by peer

Cecilia - posted on 12/02/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Okay so I recently enrolled my son in a daycare. Every once in a while the caregiver would tell me he'd have behavior problems and I was shocked because he doesn't do those things at home and he knows better. A month into being there he started acting that way at home. I had a talk with him and asked why acted that way and he told me everybody else at the daycare did it. It didn't matter that I had never allowed those things at home and that he knew it wouldn't get him what he wanted with me.

My greatest concern is that for the past 2 months he has gotten really stingy and has been telling me he pokes one of his peers in the eye and hits her. I would talk to him about it and he would say he knew he shouldn't do that. And a week back he hit me in my face because I wouldn't let him have something, that hadn't happened since the age of 1.

Now his playmate is a girl and much smaller than him. He has a pretty big sense of justice when it comes to not hitting girls (has never hit one back or snatched something from them) and kids smaller than him or up to age 5 he considers babies. If he ever sees anyone hit a girl he is up in arms so I could not for the life of me think of a reason why he would hit this girl. He seemed to like playing with her and still does.

He finally told me last week that she hits him in the face, pushes him throws his coloring page on the floor or rips it. I talked to the provider and she says that they sometimes may fight over a toy because they're learning to share that she stops it and talks to them. I let her know my concerns and she said that she's always there to put something to a halt and that they're just learning how to share and they don't know how to deal with it. But he never mentions fighting with another child or them taking anything away.

The issue is my son has had no issue before with sharing or giving before. It has been proven that this boy will literary give the shirt off his back when a lady on the bus told him she liked his shirt. On occasions he would ask to see something and take it before a response or take it without asking but once he was told it wasn't his or it wasn't his turn he'd back off. He had gotten better at that. Now he gets so mean, fake cries and makes nasty faces when asked to share something or can't get what he wants from someone.

He tells me more frequently about it, almost everyday . Before he sounded bothered that he hit someone. Now its a non-nonchalant thing. I ask him about his day and he says. "Me and __ we fight." "____ hit face again. I say why do that ___" "I poke ___ in eye". While it may not happen everyday it must happen enough and be regular enough to be on his mind like that. And he is getting frustrated with it.

What can I do about this? Finding a daycare that works with me has been pretty difficult is there some way to work this out w/out pulling him from there? If there is another option that wouldn't lead to me having to halt things until I find another daycare that would be wonderful.

And what can I do as far as him I went through a smaller version of a lot of those things kids start to do but right now he knows its wrong, that it can hurt people or feelings and he shouldn't do it. Telling about the consequences of his actions doesn't seem to work anymore he does things in your face stares you down and then gets sad when he gets in trouble. And half the time now he whines and points instead of asking for what he wants. He ignore others(myself included) when they tell him something and even put his hands to his ears(another something he picked up). I'm trying to talk to him and calm him as much as I can with things too.

On a side note when he was younger I used to let him rough house with me and my friends but once he started he would get too overzealous so I stopped all rough play. He'd be sorry after someone got hurt but instinct seemed to take over before that point and these grown people would be hurt. It seems he instinctively picks the most vital points to hit at the right strength i.e. pressure points and nerves. Best example to use would be when he was 1 he found some type of pressure point around the knee joint that freezes movement and when you try to move you end up dropping to the ground instead. (And no he doesn't watch any shows with fighting, not even Tom & Jerry at this point.) If he gets too frustrated with this situation or becomes okay with hitting this little girl or someone else could get hurt. Especially since I can't get him to listen at times now.

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Michelle - posted on 12/08/2014

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Sounds you are both going through some rough patches. I'm going to suggest counseling because maybe he has some issues that need to get out and he doesn't know how to convey them. The counselor might also be able to help you on how to read his behavior and communicate with him.

I like how you're trying positive reenforcement with the reward system. Maybe when he misbehaves, don't react to him. Simply put him in a time out and ignore him. If he is trying to get more attention from you, and he is getting it when he misbehaves, then he will feel that is like a reward.

Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2014

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Sorry you are going through this.

A couple of things: I think, sometimes when children see a certain behavior, they want to try it to see what reaction they will get. If you never allowed it home before, then don't allow it now, either. Explain to him the consequences if he doesn't follow through.

Please remember, he is still a young child learning how to act/react in his environment. You could role-play some situations with him. If others are picking on him, teach him what he could/should do. Give him alternatives. And if he does well, praise and reward him for doing the right thing (especially in the beginning). Whatever you do, be consistent, though. With time, he will learn.

Good luck!

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Cecilia - posted on 12/19/2014

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Thank you for your response I definitely will take him for counseling. He does have a lot that he he needs to get out. I can't coax it all out but I got enough out to know he's not ever going back ever. So basically case closed on this one.

Cecilia - posted on 12/08/2014

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As far as staying there with him I usually only have him there when I my sister or I can't be with him. When I would pick him up from the house he'd be difficult, making horrible whining, raking noises, holding on to the banister while I try to carry him down the steps, pretending he can't get his shoes or coat on, running from me when I try to put his back pack on telling me he won't go and that he'll watch t.v. instead. It like there is nothing I can do to get him in line. As soon as I get him out the house and the door closes he stops, looks at me and asks if he's in trouble. The daycare provider tells me he wont listen most of the time there with her either.

@Michelle, I did try that I told him to go tell the daycare provider and to walk away and let the little girl know he won't play with her if she's going to hit him. The provider let me know after I brought the issue up that the two don't like to sit together but that probably because she's throwing/ripping his stuff and hitting him at times and I did tell him to move away. From what he started off telling me he was talking about it to the girl and to the provider anyway but nothing really came from it. I'm not sure what else to tell him cause I know he's looking up at me and telling me this and hoping I know how to fix it. Also to comfort him a bit when we say prayers I pray or have him pray for there to be a way for him and the little girl to get along/stop fighting. He gets so excited about the idea but the thing is that I figure that any daycare can have, a hitter, snatcher, or biter but what more can be done?

It's getting pretty bad he told me last week that he got so mad that he tried to steal some candy out their kitchen. He knows how I feel about that and he knows its no good. That whole day he was upset and scrunching up up his face and wouldn't talk to me or tell what was wrong until I sat him down with some hot cocoa and he loosened up. He was particularly upset with himself. He said that God was mad at him and I'd be disappointed too. (When disusing behaviors or simply w/ him bible study we go over bible scriptures. Stealing was what one of those scriptures covered.) I know I have to be consistent but he's starting to do things he's knows is wrong because he's discontent and he knows the consequences so at the time he doesn't really care. I'll even ask him if some things are worth getting into trouble which usually works but now he'll look me in the eye and do it anyway or try and hide what he's doing. And now he's started lying for the sake of lying even if it's something that will directly get him in trouble and he didn't do anything wrong in the first place.

I don't know maybe he just needs more attention when I'm home. Which I do try take time to stop my hw/study and cuddle with him, play some games, read a story, make him a treat but he acts up so much now its like I'm dashing to do something with him before he does something and gets in trouble. It really didn't use to be like this. I have this reward chart set up for him and got out my old sticker collection and bought some new nifty ones for him too. But every time he does something good my sister or I will literally dash across he room to get the stickers from their drawer before he does something where we can't give him one.

I know kids pick up things or may get a bit babyish when they go to daycare. but it seems like everything I ever taught him is unraveling now even down to the talking and reading aspects. I understand that kids will do what kids will do at times regardless and he could definitely be worse but I don't know how much he'll pick up or loose during this period. I really don't know what to do because all this seems like such a jump from where he used to be.

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