How to de-sensitize an aggressive toddler?

Javeia - posted on 11/06/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My three year old son likes to prove his dominance over any child he comes in contact with regardless of age he must prove that he is better. Anything sets off this behavior, for instance, if one little boy stuck his foot out, my son will believe it is an invitation to kicking duel to the death. :-/

He is a very sweet boy and always uses his manners if he bumps into someone, apologizes if he hits, and so on but I don't want him to have to even start off bumping, and hitting. I am usually hauling my screaming son off to the nearest bathroom for time out, stern talking to, or taking away something yet with no results

I have done so much, monitoring how I or his father plays with him, no more toy guns, limiting television to only certain shows. I really don't want my son to be the kid no one wants to play with because they are afraid my son may eat them j/k lol. Any suggestions?

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Amanda - posted on 11/07/2012

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I eased up on my son. Boys will be boys. They will pull and push and as long the child and their parent aren't concerned I let him get a little physical. We talk about where to draw the line, he's 5 now, he knows not to kick, hit, or throw things, but otherwise I let him go. I ended up to the point where it was not only too much work for me, but I realized he would not be able to learn how to interact with other children if I'm constantly moderating. If he did do something I could not allow (such as kicking, hitting, or throwing) then I would go to him and tell him he couldn't do that or he'd get a time out. When I gave him a warning he was, and still is, more likely to comply and modify his behavior. He did have to learn that mommy was serious though and that I would follow through, whether it was time out or leaving the park. Normally after time-out I would ask him why he got in trouble, when he couldn't answer me or was too excited then I would tell him why he got in trouble and tell him "Don't (do whatever action) again." And he would run off to play. I think both he and I got to the point where we were both overwhelmed at parks because I wanted more than he could give in the way of self-control and when I let go a little he improved remarkably. Anyway, I don't know if it will work for you and your little one, but I hope it helps. Good luck. :)

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Beatrice - posted on 11/09/2012

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are there any structured activities that you can get him into that might channel his aggression? Maybe an activity where there are other young kids that are under the supervision of someone who is not you... I've found that my two and a half year old kind of stops listening to me after a while but is extremely aware of other adults' reactions to her behavior...I wonder if that, combined with a structured activity would help him learn to socialize in a more appropriate way?

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