I am good friends with someone who has a little girl two weeks older than my son. They arehave both abouta 2 1/2. They have been playing together since they were born. She (my friends daughter) was always a hitter and a pincher and he (my son) was always bigger and clumsy. I am not sure how the aggression started but since I can remember she has ALWAYS been wild, i.e. throwing toys...never playing with one thing, without going to pick up something else moments later, not focusing on what is said to her. And always aggressive, hitting, biting, pinching, pulling hair. My son likes playing with her because I always ask him if he wants to play with her and he says yes. He even asks to go play with her. However every time he sees her she pulls his hair, bites, hits, kicks and or pushes him. My friend has stopped her daughter in the act and made her say "sorry," to whoever she was attacking. It used to start over toys or if someone didn't share with her. Now it seems to have weaned slightly with other children but not with my son. She still goes after him and when you mention her name now he will say "she bite me." Or, "She pull my hair."
I hate seeing him hurt and crying so I have started to talk to her when she does these things. But I will not always be there to defend him. I do not want him to hit back because hr is too young to understand when to defend himself. Buy I tell him to tell her ,"no that's not nice I don't want to play with you." But when it happens he just turns and crys and looks for me. We used to be together three to four days a week. But now we only see them once a week at a mommy and me class for an hour. I feel Like I am losing my friend because she doesn't want to keep yelling at her daughter.
So I guess how do I not lose my friend and how do I teach my two year old to stand up for himself without hitting?!?!
That's such a tough situation, but your son is more important than your friend. Unless her daughter has a developmental disorder that affects her behavior, I'd say your friend is lazy in the discipline department. I know you don't want to lose your friend, but if she won't discipline her daughter, she's going to find out that she doesn't have any friends left pretty soon.
You could try saying something to her gently. Tell her you miss spending time with her, but your son is tired of getting beat up. Let her know that if it doesn't change, then you won't be seeing her any more.
I honestly think it's a stage... and your friend is just gonna have to learn a better way to deal with her child. I know my twin boys are 1 1/2 years old now and are learning about aggressive behavior like this and defending themselves (against each other!) but I've had to learn different ways to deal with this and adjust it some so they are learning it's wrong. What works one day, doesn't always work the next... so I have to sometimes be more stern or monitor them more closely to make sure they aren't attacking each other. Unfortunately, some kids are just more aggressive than others when they are learning and interacting in social situations. I'd say, within the year she will hopefully outgrow this behavior and you can get your friend back :)
When I had my daughter, a lot of my friends dwindled because my world became about my child and if they didn't have kids, they didn't understand why I put her before everything. So now my friends are mostly other Mommies, and I still find myself being closer to the mothers who have similar parenting styles to me. Not because I'm against other forms of parenting, but because our kids get along so much better because the environment is the same. I don't like sending my kids to a playdate where they have no rules, or where the other parents use more physical forms of punishment, and my kids are exposed to it. I also don't like pushover parents, where the kids get whatever they want just by whining. So by that, I only have about 10 friends, but I am close with all of them, and our kids are all close.
I tell you that because I think it's normal to feel conflicted when someone who has been your friend longer than you've had kids, has a different parenting technique. You're never sure what the boundaries are. Why don't you try talking to your friend. See if she just needs some encouragement and advice on how to handle her very spirited daughter, or if she would mind if you stepped in when you see her picking on your son. Likewise, tell her she is welcome to give you advice on how to "toughen up" your son so he can defend himself in a positive way. I like to culture my kids' strengths, and gently re-guide their faults. My daughter is the sweetest thing, but she can get so frustrated with herself when she can't figure something out. So I try to teach her (she's 21 months) how to take a breath and calm down, and patiently try again. My stepson (he's almost 4) is extremely high energy and loud and really lacks in manners (not for my lack of teaching) so he needs a more forceful disciplinary approach (times outs, no toys, the occasional spank, etc). Every child needs different attentions, it's just a matter of figuring them out.
I think I rambled a bit, but I hope I helped some! Both you and your friend's kids are still young, so they are still learning who they are and how to socialize with others. They'll both have personality changes in the next couple of years, so just bear with it!
unfortunately, my son is the spirited kid in these situations so i understand the embarrassment and guilt your friend must feel when he little girl acts aggressively. we tried saying no hit and punishing by taking away a toy but that made him hit more or go into a full tantrum. but have since come up with a method that works...First, we know what triggers his bad behavior (over-tired, over-stimulation) and try to avoid or remove him from situation like this. Second, if he does hit or push we gently take his hand and say 'gentle touches' while moving his hand in a petting motion and giving kisses and/or hugs. Because it is impossible to avoid triggering aggression in ten 2 year olds at once, his daycare providers use this second approach. Now when i drop my son off at daycare him and his friends hug hello and pet each others heads. it's super cute :)
maybe your friend would be cool with you disciplining her daughter with this gentle redirection?
Lol, I had to laugh at this b/c this is exactly what I teach my boys when they hit or bite. I show them nice, gentle petting motions and we say "Nice" real softly... well they say "Niiiiiiiiiiii" while petting gently. It looks like they are petting each others like dogs, but it totally works to redirect the aggressive behavior :)
I am having the same problem, but it is my sister's son. My son is nine months younger and loves his cousin. Ever since my son was able to walk, my nephew has been hurting him. Along with the violence, he has to same problem with focusing or sitting still for any amount of time. We are now starting to think he may have a problem with ADD or something along those lines. But he is only 2 1/2 and is to young to be tested .I know it would not go over well if you tried to tell your friend that you thought her daughter had a problem. You can try to sit her down and explain that you are scared your son is going to get seriously hurt. But the only thing you can do for now is to always keep them closely supervised and hope that her mother realizes there is a problem. Good luck