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Q:

How do I handle my toddler's aggression towards other children?

Hi everyone,

I am a first-time mom and I am struggling with my toddler's aggression towards other children. My son is 2 years old and he often hits, pushes and bites other children during playtime. I am really concerned as this behavior could harm other children and I don't want my son to be known as the bully.

I have tried to talk to him about how he should behave with other children and the importance of being kind, but it seems like he doesn't understand what I am saying. I have also tried timeouts and taking away toys as a consequence, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I am at a loss and I need some guidance on how I can handle this behavior. Has anyone gone through a similar situation with their toddler? What worked for you? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

All Replies

ericka.pfeffer

Hello everyone,

I can understand the distress that comes with having a toddler who is aggressive towards other children. My daughter was also quite aggressive towards her peers when she was a toddler.

What I found helpful in managing her behavior was being vigilant and watching out for triggers. I found that my daughter tended to get aggressive when she was feeling overwhelmed or tired. So, I made sure to schedule playtime when she was well-rested and not already overstimulated.

I also tried to find activities that would help to burn off her energy in a positive way, like outdoor play or dance classes. Additionally, I found that playdates with just one or two other children worked better than larger groups where she may have become over-stimulated.

In dealing with the aggression itself, I found that modeling the behavior I wanted to see worked well. Whenever my daughter was playing nicely with another child, I made sure to praise her and reinforce that positive behavior. I also talked to her about why hitting and pushing were not acceptable behaviors.

Overall, I found that it took time and patience to manage my daughter's aggression towards other children, but with consistency and a proactive approach, we were able to move past that stage.

Hope this helps!

ccassin

Hi there,

I can relate to your situation with your toddler's aggression towards other children. My son was also quite aggressive towards other children when he was around 2 years old.

What worked for me was being consistent with my approach. When my son would hit or push another child, I would immediately remove him from the situation and explain to him why his behavior was not acceptable. I found that timeouts worked well for my son and after a few times of being consistently taken away from the situation, he eventually learned that his behavior was not okay.

Another approach that worked for me was to model good behavior. I made sure to show my son how to be kind and gentle with others, and praised him when he exhibited positive behavior towards other children.

It may take some time for your son to understand and change his behavior, but consistency and positive reinforcement can go a long way. Hang in there, and I hope this helps.

tillman.vincent

Hello everyone,

I can understand the concern that comes with having a toddler who is aggressive towards other children. My daughter also went through a phase where she was hitting and pushing other kids when she was around 2 years old.

What worked well for us was creating a routine and establishing clear boundaries. This helped my daughter to know what was expected of her, and helped us to maintain a sense of calm and consistency. We established clear rules such as "always be gentle" and "use your words instead of hitting" and reminded her of these rules often.

It’s also important to give your child some space and time to let out their energy so that they don't become too agitated. We found that outdoor activities like running around, jumping on a trampoline, or playing catch in the yard really helped.

Finally, praising positive behavior is crucial. Every time my daughter played nicely with another child, we praised her and gave her a high five. We tried to reinforce positive behaviors and eventually, she learned how to play well with others.

It takes time, patience and persistence, but with a combination of routine, positive reinforcement, and time for play, your child will learn to channel their energy and play more gently with others.

I hope this helps!

veum.solon

Hello,

As a mom of two, I understand how challenging it can be to handle a toddler's aggression towards other children. Both of my children went through phases where they were aggressive towards their peers, particularly when they were around 2-3 years old.

One thing that worked for me was helping my children to develop their social skills. I arranged playdates with one or two other children at a time, and during these playdates, I would encourage my children to engage in activities together that they enjoyed. This gave them a chance to learn how to share, take turns, and work together towards a common goal. I also modeled good behavior, and praised them when they were kind and gentle towards their friends.

In addition, I made sure to give my children plenty of positive reinforcement when they exhibited good behavior. Every time they shared or played together nicely, I would encourage them with words of praise or a small reward, like a high-five or a sticker.

It's important to remember that this is a phase that many children go through, and with time and patience, your child will learn how to behave appropriately with others. Just be consistent in your approach, and try to stay calm and patient, even when it's frustrating.

Hope this helps!

breana.mohr

Hi there,

I completely understand the concern you're feeling about your toddler's aggression towards other children. My son also went through a phase where he would hit and push other children at around 2 and a half years old.

One thing that really helped us was trying to figure out what was triggering my son's aggressive behavior. We realized that he would behave more aggressively when he was feeling stressed, anxious or overstimulated. We started keeping an eye on him during those times and doing things to help calm him down, like reading a book, going for a walk or offering him a quiet space to play on his own.

We also talked to him a lot about his behavior and read books together that talked about emotions and getting along with others. This helped him to start recognizing his own feelings and develop empathy for others. We modeled good behavior for him and always praised him whenever he was gentle or kind to others.

It's important to remember that this phase will pass and to try not to get too discouraged. Your child is still learning and developing social skills and will get better with time. Just try to stay positive, be patient and consistent with your approach.

Hope this helps!

anthony04

Hello,

I understand your situation, as I went through something similar with my daughter when she was a toddler. She used to hit and push other kids at daycare and it was really worrisome.

What really helped me was talking to the daycare provider and trying to work together to come up with a solution. The daycare provider was experienced and had gone through many such cases before. She suggested that we use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior, and I found that it worked really well.

Whenever my daughter was kind or gentle with another child, I made sure to praise her and reward her with something small like a sticker or a high five. This helped to reinforce positive behavior and slowly but surely, my daughter's aggressive behavior diminished.

I also found that using distractions helped as well. Whenever I sensed that my daughter was getting agitated or about to behave aggressively, I would try to distract her with a new activity or toy to channel her energy into something positive.

Overall, it's really important to be consistent and work together with your daycare provider or anyone else involved in your child's daily care. It may take time, but eventually your child will learn what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

I hope this helps!

fabiola54

Hello everyone,

I can totally relate to the situation you're facing with your toddler's aggression towards other children. I had the same experience when my son was around 3 years old, and it was really concerning.

What worked for us was creating a structured and predictable environment at home. We established regular routines for meals, playtime and rest, which helped to reduce stress and anxiety, and to create a sense of order in our son's life. We also aimed to minimize exposure to situations that might trigger his aggressive behavior and instead encouraged quieter play or creative activities that helped to channel his energy into a positive outlet.

I also found that practicing patience was key in managing my son's behavior. I tried not to react negatively to his aggression or become angry myself but to rather take a step back and try to understand why he was behaving that way.

Finally, using positive reinforcement was highly effective, we used praise, encouraging words and small rewards which helped to reinforce good behavior and encouraged him to continue being gentle and kind towards others.

It takes time, patience, and a lot of practice, but your child will eventually learn how to play nicely with others, just remain consistent and keep reinforcing positive behaviors.

Hope this helps.

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