13 month old gets hit/picked on by other kids

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by WantsALittle1, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. WantsALittle1

    WantsALittle1 Well-Known Member

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    Our daughter is very gentle and tentative at heart. While she has a bold personality with us (think screaming for attention and defiance for her own amusement), she is not used to being around other kids.

    We are trying to socialize her, as she's always been home with either me or a nanny because she was premature and we wanted to keep her out of daycare. When I take her around other kids, she seems to get hit and picked on. I have had her around kids in the 14-18 month age range, and each time, DD would be sitting playing with a toy and the other kid would come up and take it out of her hands. DD would just sit there looking puzzled and reach for another toy, which the kid would then come and take from her again. This happens until DD has no toys left, at which time she goes over to the other kids' pile of toys and tries to get one. In all cases, the other kid hits her when she does this. DD looks so hurt and confused by this behavior, because she never hits. We have taught her to hold out her hand if she wants something, and then we give it to her. I watch her try this with other kids and, you guessed it, she gets hit.

    We can't just accept that this is 'normal' behavior that she needs to get used to. It's not normal for us, and it's not normal for DD. Her default is to be gentle and non-aggressive, as is ours, and we love her for exactly who she is. DH and I were both bullied throughout school because we are on the nerdy side :), and have vowed that we will home school DD rather than put her in a situation where she will have to endure what we endured. We want her to be her gentle self, and this behavior disturbs me. She is too young to understand why other kids behave this way otherwise we would happily try to explain it to her and allow her to keep playing with them.

    I have tried correcting the other kids, but when another kid's mom is watching you correct their child, it doesn't work out well. My cousin's daughter threw a bat at DD's head and when I said "we don't throw the bat at AJ, we give it to her nicely" (then demonstrated) I got an earful from my cousin even though her daughter got the message, was not offended, and happily demonstrated how kindly she could hand the bat over :)

    Edit: We would homeschool her if she were being bullied and we could not resolve the issue, please hold off on the accusations of projecting :) Dealing with a fragile pregnant woman here
     
  2. WantingOurs

    WantingOurs Well-Known Member

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    Oh goodness. I've experienced similar situations!

    A (former) friend of mine had a holiday gathering, which I attended with my son. When I got there, her daughter was pushing my son around, literally shoving him into a wall with a child's shopping cart. What did her mother do? Absolutely nothing. In fact, she found it entertaining. She laughed. I had to correct her. I went over for another holiday party of hers, but unfortunately it was the same thing all over again. Her daughter pushing kids, hitting, even yelling and screaming at them. Again, all she did was laugh. I have since declined invites from her.

    Are these children ignored? Do they struggle with communicating (words/hand gestures)?

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It is so tough watching children be harmed by another.
     
  3. _Vicky_

    _Vicky_ Mum to twins

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    Hate to say it but it is the 'norm' at 14 months your LO wot be into territorial 'mine' bahabiour yet but she will believe me. If it's really theta much of an issue maybe try mixing her with younger babies not toddlers once you approach 18 months it's all about what's mine is my own and what's yours is fair game!!

    It's a minefield the politics of teaching behaviours but I personally keep persisting with other LOs too as it's modelling good behaviour for your daughter.

    Xxx
     
  4. _Vicky_

    _Vicky_ Mum to twins

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    The parents not correcting the behaviour is irresponsible but I have to say all the behaviour your friends LO has displayed my boys have too at some point. They are not ignored or do they struggle with communication they are just toddlers. I think it's dangerous territory to assume that toddlers behaving badly= bad parenting or some kind of issue with the child
     
  5. seoj

    seoj Our family of four...

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    I do think part of it is your LO's age- my LO was very similar at that age. She kinda just played on her own- and if another kid snagged a toy she's look puzzled then move onto something else. Most of my friends kids are a bit older- and very much in the "I see it I want it so it's mine" stage-- which, yea, is a very common stage for *most* kids (to one extent or another)- it's just basic problem solving tbh.

    As my LO got older though- around 18mos- she really understand what it meant when another kid snagged her toy-- With my friends daughter who's 18mos older, when she snags a toy now (which still happens a bit)- my LO will scream at her. Thus- my friends daughter gives it right back to keep her from screaming! haha. I figure hey, least she's getting her point across ;) My friend has always stepped in and told her daughter not to snag toys and give them back- so she full well knows. She's just a bit stubborn at times ;) My LO will have occasions she tries to take a toy- I always tell her to take turns and redirect her to another toy- but it's harder when it's "her" stuff another kid is touching- bit easier when at a park or play group. She does well overall though (I think).

    I absolutely agree that it's our JOB as parents to help our LO's learn proper behavior in any situation. It takes time, yes, and some kids push limits more than others- but still. I can't believe your cousin gave you an ear full over you correcting something SHE should have... personally, if a parent doesn't step in, then hey- I will. I'll be polite about if of course- but I don't want my LO thinking that behavior is Ok.
     
  6. WantingOurs

    WantingOurs Well-Known Member

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    The parents not correcting the behaviour is irresponsible but I have to say all the behaviour your friends LO has displayed my boys have too at some point. They are not ignored or do they struggle with communication they are just toddlers. I think it's dangerous territory to assume that toddlers behaving badly= bad parenting or some kind of issue with the child[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for pointing that out. That is a great point. I agree. Bad behavior does not mean bad parenting.
     
  7. WantsALittle1

    WantsALittle1 Well-Known Member

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    WantingOurs, I have had similar questions to yours and as Vicky said I know that can come across as offensive because a lot of it is developmental, but I don't think we mean it that way at all. It's not bad parenting, just maybe a different parenting style? We have all witnessed our children doing things that are out of character and need to be corrected, for sure! Our DD likes to grab kitty's tail, and that got her a paw to the face yesterday!

    I correct my daughter immediately when she strays on anything, and I don't skimp on sternness despite the fact that she's so young. Though some may say a 13 month old doesn't understand "no," ours does. I feel like some parents are more apt to think "oh it's normal" and dismiss it whereas other parents think that it may be normal, but still is not okay. I know that is the situation with my cousin. When her daughter threw the bat at DD, and I said "we don't throw the bat" my cousin yelled "SHE WASN'T BEING MALICIOUS!"

    My response? Of COURSE she wasn't being malicious, but that doesn't mean the behavior is okay. My cousin and I had talked the day before about how she hates disciplining her kids. I think it shows! I think kids frankly crave guidance because they aren't trying to hurt anyone, they are just testing the bounds of their reality. If there was a kid who was hitting other kids at school chronically, I would truthfully assume that the behavior was not being negatively reinforced at home because if it were, in all likelihood it would not continue unless the kid did indeed have a behavior problem. In the case of my cousin, she has three very rough-housy boys, and I think her daughter learned the behavior from watching the boys. I was told by my cousin "well you just didn't have siblings so you don't understand" and again, don't think it's true. Not all siblings pick on each other. My husband and his brother are best, best, best friends.

    Vicky, I definitely want to model correctly for other people's kids and I want to correct those kids too, but it's so hard when the other parent disagrees with what you've observed. More often than not, I get a "he/she didn't do anything wrong!" look from the other parent when their child has done a behavior that we would not allow DD to do without correcting it.

    And seoj, I was honestly hoping that DD would do something similar and basically stand up for herself via words or taking the toy back, but she doesn't. She just sits there and looks hurt :(
     
  8. seoj

    seoj Our family of four...

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    She may not now- but she certainly may at some point ;) Like I said- my LO was exactly the same for several months-- it wasn't till she was a bit older that she just "got it" and decided to make it known she didn't like it. :haha:

    As for other parents (friends included) I only step in as needed- IF I know they are ok with it. My bestie and I have no issues "parenting" each other kids- within acceptable limits of course. But even then- there is a line I do not cross- as some people can really take things personally when it comes to parenting. I think we all do what works for us- which may not be the same- I do wish all parents would set clear limits and/or boundaries with their kids though. But- I'm not that parent, they are.
     
  9. hattiehippo

    hattiehippo Well-Known Member

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    Gosh I don't want to sound mean but your LO is very young and I'm really hoping that there's not going to be big surprises for you with her behaviour when she gets to 2+.

    It's really easy for a 13 month old to just sit and apparently be a 'calm' or 'good' baby. They're not at the stage of wanting everything to be theirs or at hitting, pushing or kicking other kids when they can't get their own way. With the best and firmest parenting ever it is still normal for slightly older toddlers than yours to snatch things, hit, throw things etc. I'd be more concerned about a child who did none of this tbh as its an important developmental stage in them understanding that they are a seperate person who can decide things for themselves.

    Also as much as you think you're right about how you expect kids to behave, other parents will also think they're right too and their opinions are as valid as yours. Toddlers do behave in ways other people consider to be extreme and of course good behaviour needs to be modelled but also they don't understand the consequences of their actions yet and really aren't malicious in the way older children or adults can be.
     
  10. Larkspur

    Larkspur Well-Known Member

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    This may be an unnecessarily long-winded post but I just want to give you a perspective on why some parents don't immediately discipline their young children for things like snatching etc, which you might find of interest if your aim is to raise a child who is resilient against bullying.

    For a start, I would echo that your baby is perhaps not yet going through the 'mine' stage that other children are experimenting with, and that makes it easy for her to be a 'good' baby. I put 'good' in inverted commas because I think it's easy to align the terms 'obedient' and 'good', and I don't think that's necessarily a good thing.

    Right now, your baby doesn't understand concepts of empathy and thought for others. All she's really interested in is earning your approval and avoiding your disapproval (or "negative reinforcement", as you put it). I agree that it's good to reinforce positive behaviour, like sharing, but to a degree I think kids have to work out natural consequences of negative behaviour, and that discouraging certain behaviours through negative reinforcement only creates a child who is obedient, not empathetic.

    By that I mean that they have to go through the process of learning that it's not nice to snatch because it feels bad when you have your things snatched, and not because mum says it's naughty to snatch. Do you see where I'm going with this?

    Creating obedient children who look to authority or rules to protect them can create children who are ripe to be bullied. If they don't have the experience of working things out with other kids on their own (learning that having things snatched feels bad, and that other kids will react negatively if you snatch their things), they don't learn to stand up for themselves, and they don't go through the empathetic process.

    My approach to this kind of thing is to observe, interact and give words to their experience. "Jane took your toy. That feels bad, doesn't it." "Jane, Jimmy looks sad because you took his toy. Could you give it back to him? You don't want to give it back? You want the toy too? Could you find another toy to share with Jimmy?" "Jimmy, is there another toy you would like?" etc. It's encouraging kids to go through a process rather than obey a rule handed down.

    Does this make sense to you?
     
  11. Destiny08

    Destiny08 Well-Known Member

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  12. WantsALittle1

    WantsALittle1 Well-Known Member

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    It's not about maliciousness at all...It's about allowing a behavior to continue rather than correcting it consistently and firmly, regardless of the motivation.

    Not all older toddlers hit/take things. The majority do, but I was never like my peers, DH was never like his peers, and there's no reason we should assume that DD will be like her peers and use hitting/taking to get what she wants. I was never that kind of kid. I was taught to use words before the age of 2 and we're trying to teach DD the same thing which is why it's so hard for us that most of her peers use physical means when she is trying to communicate in other ways.
     
  13. WantsALittle1

    WantsALittle1 Well-Known Member

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    Larkspur: Great points, all. What's hard for me is that I was tossed into daycare at 6 weeks old and was completely immersed in a rather freely-governed social environment with other kids. For some reason the reality that I assimilated from that environment (though my home life was a bit broken, which could have contributed) I was a target for bullies from a very young age. By high school, I was suicidal from the bullying, isolation, and friendlessness. DH was also bullied, though he had friends. We tried DD in daycare to help with her socialization and it didn't go well. The provider actually told us she wouldn't be able to handle her more than 2 days a week because she required so much individual attention from the adults. She was never mean to other kids. If anything she was reserved and basically would scream at the top of her lungs until one of the grown ups picked her up and carried her around. She never behaved like that at home, and always preferred to be on the ground playing alone. It's like she was scared of the kids or something.

    We absolutely do NOT want to raise an 'obedient' child who simply takes rules as rules. Our daughter is very secure and independent, and she is a free spirit. She is a problem-solver and a charmer. She loves people and that's what makes me sad about all this. Grown ups love her. Older kiddos love her. Children her age just do not for some reason and she knows it and I believe it hurts her. There has only been one baby, actually a NICU cohort of hers, with whom she got along and who was really a good match for her personality. We've moved away from that little girl and have been trying to fill the void ever since!

    As far as empathy and understanding, I don't think those necessarily have to come from social play experiences with peers. We teach her those lessons every day and she gets them. We explain every single behavior correction to her as if she understands, because we believe that deep down she does.
     
  14. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Well-Known Member

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    I would socialize her with younger babies. 13 months is really still an infant.
     
  15. _Vicky_

    _Vicky_ Mum to twins

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    Totally this!!!!!!! Without wanting to sound patronising even though it does sound like this I can't think of a better way of putting it that - you just wait.

    The way kids learn boundaries is by over stepping them and being corrected it's part of a usual development pattern. I echo the above to get some peace before the chaos of rebellion starts mix her with babies around a year and at that same stage x
     
  16. _Vicky_

    _Vicky_ Mum to twins

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    Also regarding empathy and such at 13 months she is still only just working out she is her own person not part of you. Friends, caring about whether she is liked by her peers or not are years away as is playing with others she will be barely into parallel play yet :)
     
  17. hattiehippo

    hattiehippo Well-Known Member

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    Again I don't mean to sound rude but other Children her age don't 'love her' like grown ups or older kids do because kids that young, including your child, do not understand empathy for others or have the ability to give your daughter their undivided attention. They are all about themselves and their own world.

    It does sound like you are projecting a lot of your own childhood experiences onto your LO and she really is her own person. What happened to you isn't automatically going to happen to her but not socialising her isn't going to help her learn social skills and how to deal with kids her own age who don't just do what she wants or give her attention.
     
  18. WantsALittle1

    WantsALittle1 Well-Known Member

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    We are socializing her... As someone else suggested, maybe it's just not best to socialize her with older kids. Maybe she should be socializing with babies. I don't think there is anything positive that comes of her socializing with children who hit, and being hit by them. That's not teaching her anything useful or good about the world. Again, there is no reason to assume that she is going to be a hitter--I was not one as a toddler, nor was DH. Did we experiment with hitting once or twice? Yes, but it only took once or twice, and being corrected firmly by parents, before we stopped doing it. Literally my mom and godmother can only recall a couple of instances where I hit someone, and I got in trouble for it. Our moms say that the behavior was absolutely not tolerated, and that it only happened a few *isolated* times. I don't want my daughter around children who have adopted hitting as a way of coping with the world or their feelings. The three kids I mentioned hit her multiple times during each play date, to the point where the parents stopped correcting their children after the 5th or 6th time and I was left to do it. We just are not like that. It would not be tolerated. There would be time outs (yes, time outs even for a 13 month old--we do them and she understands what they are), and we'd be watching DD like a hawk if she were doing that.

    And as far as projecting, that does hurt my feelings. I am trying to protect my daughter from going through what I went through as a child because my parents were unable to protect me from it.
     
  19. needhope

    needhope Mother of 1

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    My only point i think would be that if you tried to stop a toddler from socialising with any children who hit then it might rule out an awful lot of lovely children for her to play with. Those children (like my own who is 16 months and has been known to hit when he is frustrated or over exciting) are not bad children,my own lo is extremely sociable, affectionate and interested in playing with other children but unfortunately occasionally their impulses get the better of them. I do not allow it and he is told not to do it and given time out if necessary but i dont think it means he is going to grow up hitting other kids it is just a part of his development and as a parent i need to do what i can to guide his behaviour and provide a good role model by trying to remain calm with him and teaching him to display his feelings in a different way.


    Even with the best intentions in the world our children dont always behave as we want them too :) x
     
  20. hattiehippo

    hattiehippo Well-Known Member

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    I think we all want to protect our children from going through the same bad experiences we did as kids. I can think of lots I wouldn't want my son to have to deal with but I can't keep him safe with me forever and I think it's vital he learns how to get on with kids his age. His life will not all be about his relationhip with me and his dad and he is not us even though he has a lot of similar personality traits.

    I'm sorry if you found the word projecting hurtful but your posts read like that. In my mind a 13 month old is still too small to know what her true personality is or will be - she may well be a kind, gentle free spirit as she grows up but she could equally turn out to be determined with a huge temper who defies you despite timeouts etc.
     

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