We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not My Child Monday: Giving Hugs Instead of Shoves

For all your "Not Me Monday" needs, visit MckMama. I figured it's been a while since my last confession. This post might be a tough one for me to write for many reasons. Notice that I'm focusing on this being not MY child.

You see, my child-- my sweet, adorable, cute, and did I say sweet child is NOT a bully. She did NOT have to have time out every day last week at her sitter's homes. She did NOT have to have time-out in Kids' Club (like Sunday School at our church) yesterday. She is NOT taking toys away from other kids. NOT pushing kids. Not sneaking up to them and hitting or kicking them when she thinks an adult isn't looking. Nope, NOT this cute little girl...
...in her mommy's cute German outfit (made by my awesome seamstress grandma who is teaching me to sew). Sidenote: I'll have to find a picture of me in this outfit next time I'm home. And yes, it is supposed to be that short! :-)

Anyway, so about this NOT bullying thing. I never thought I'd have a child who was such a bully. We don't see much of this at home, but we're pretty sure that's because Cate is an only child right now. We do see her temper on a pretty regular basis, and even a bit of defiance sometimes, but nothing that really warrants a time out at home.

We know it's just a phase (hopefully), but still. It's embarrassing. I hate hearing how my normally sweet girl had to have time out. I hate asking her why she had to be in time out and hearing her say "I push." I guess it's good that she knows what she's doing. But really, how do we get her to stop?

So I did NOT go to our local bookstore this weekend and seek the bookseller's help in locating some books about sharing, being nice, and not being a bully. I did NOT come home with these two books: They were the books with the fewest words on each page (good for an almost two-year-old's short attention span). We've also NOT been talking to Cate all weekend about being nice and giving hugs instead of shoves. Another sidenote: I tried Family Christian first thinking they would have great resources and struck out big time. The books were all very wordy. Anyway...

We're also trying to praise Cate a lot for good behavior and trying to over-emphasize when she is doing something nice for someone else (like when she gave her buddy, Tanner, a hug at church today or went up to Baby Graham and nicely touched him instead of pushing him-- her normal reaction to babies). And when she does do something not nice, we are NOT starting to take away some of the things she likes, like these:
(yes, they are rubber penguins...I found them on sale at JoAnn's last week and she has been carrying all 11 of them around in a mini-tote bag ever since). She earns them back when she is doing something nice.

Oh these terrible two's may NOT be the death of me. And seriously, if you have any other suggestions for dealing with toddler bullying, particularly when your child is the bully, I'm open to advice-- I'm NOT starting to get a little desparate.



jmberrygirl said...

I have not lived with a two-year-old, but I know that some people try to observe the FULL situation. If you seriously doubt that she's a bully, volunteer to sit in on the class one week and see if somebody's taking the toys from her before she becomes aggressive. It's not unheard of, and if she's not one to cry or verbalize her discomfort with other children, she could be trying to defend herself. Just a thought. I'm certainly no expert.

Rob, Mikala and Anna Polca said...

It is so nice to hear (and maybe this will help) that it is not only my child. We deal with this on a daily basis with Anna...and it seems to be getting worse each day. Anna sits in time out at her the sitter's, and the Sunday School teacher calls her a "bully". Hmm...if you find ANYTHING that works, let me know. :)

harmonysong said...

uh ohh!! Good luck! I think you are doing the right things, if that's any consolation to you..

Confessions From A Working Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Confessions From A Working Mom said...

OK, sorry for the erroneous comment... I made an aggregious misspelling... so let's try this again...

First, that dress (don't you love putting your old clothes on Cate? I have a few of my old outfits for G, they bring back so many memories!)-- or rather, the shortness of the dress-- somehow remind me of Cindy Brady. It's too cute!

G is also *NOT* a bully. She's only 16 months old, but already, she knows when she's smarter/faster/stronger than her peers and she really lets them have it! I'll have to check out those books you got for Cate.

Confessions From A Working Mom

Anonymous said...

I wish I could help...Grace sometimes hits, but it is usually ME she is hitting! I haven't heard about her hitting other kids. I think the books, praising the positive, and losing things she likes are all good strategies. I think you are going to have to ride this one out...I doubt with such nice parents she is going to grow up a bully. This is a learning process and she WILL LEARN. Hang in there. It will get better.