My 15 month old son plays with our friends' 13 month old and 3 1/2 year old daughters. They live two doors away so this is frequent. I'm in a quandry because the older girl has some bad behavior toward the babies (pushing them down, grabbing their toys away, getting in their way while they are playing so that they have to stop what they are doing, etc.). Her parents don't believe in discipline - rather they try to talk things out with her (does this actually work with 2 and 3 year olds? or do they need simpler firm boundaries? - I don't know). I've rarely seen them talk to her about these bad behaviors but when they do it doesn't seem to work. She's not completely out of control and thus not unbearable. I just don't like this behavior and don't want my son to learn to behave like her.
There's no way I'm going to sit down with my friends and tell them I don't like that aspect of their parenting - that's too difficult for me. Any advice on how to deal with the 3 1/2 year old directly? She has always ignored me when I've asked her to share, move out of the way or say she's sorry, etc. Has anyone else had this situation? What did you do and did it work?
I Don't Know What To Tell You If You Don't Want To Confront The Parents(i Don't Blame You Though I Don't Know If I Could Either)!! I Would Keep Making Her Follow Your Rules When She Is At Your House Though!! Has Your Child Picked Up On Her Bad Behavior? He Is Going To Face Being Around Other Kids At School Who Aren't Behaving Eventually( Or If He Is In Daycare), But I Don't Know If I Could Deal W/ That At My Own House. Good Luck!!!
Thanks, Apemberton. He's too young to have picked up anything specific from her. He's still learning how to share himself. No doubt he'll be around other badly behaved kids at pre-school, on the playground, etc. I would hope that pre-school teachers would have some discipline for badly behaved kids. And I realize I'm going to have to deal with bad behavior he picks up elsewhere. I'm just learning how to deal with this with good friends' children. It wouldn't bother me if the parents weren't friends. I'd just sit the girl down and tell her how to behave nicely. The kids are usually outside but often at our friends' house, so it's not really my house rules over there.
That Sucks. We Have No Kids, But Family & Friends That Have Kids Who Aren't Made To Mind. Like You Said They Aren't Too Bad, But I Know We Don't Want Them Exposed To Bad Behavior More Than They Have To Be!!! I Know It Is Going To Be A Sticky Situation When It Comes Up. Maybe It Is Just A Stage The Little Girl Is Going Through!!! Sorry I Don't Have Any Better Advice!!!
Hi Betts- I understand your situation and feel for you. As a former preschool and toddler teacher, I can say from experience that a 3 1/2 yr old should begin to understand/have boundaries and rules. Many times they "test the limits" to find out which rules are consistent with everyone. Once you think they understand one rule, something else happens and they "test" it all over again!
When you are over your house and she starts to do something, let her know that the rule here is... no pushing, no taking toys etc... Ask her look at you when you are telling her this and then have her repeat it so that everyone will understand what has been said. If she doesn't listen, don't be afraid to let her know you don't like it (I(or insert your son's name) don't like it when you push the babies down. I'm afraid it will hurt them... ) Remember at your house it is your rules. If she does it again, then you could say, "You are pushing them again. I'm going to ask that you play over here for awhile away from the babies." "When you can remember to be gentle, you can come back over here to play again." I have two boys myself (6yrs and 2yrs) and take care of another 2yr old. Trust me, the two yr olds do understand and will begin to remember the consequences. One of my favorite sayings as a teacher was "That may be". If they 3 1/2 yr old replys to one of your rules by saying.."well, at my house we......" You can say "That may be, but here we....." She will get the picture after telling her that enough times.
As for when you play over there, I would still try to separate them if needed. When the older girl does something mean/hurtful, then you can just say outloud (and direct it to your son) "Oh it's looks like we might be in (older girls name) way. Let's move over here to play." If you direct it to your son, then it might not come off so snappy/mean sounding. Hopefully your friend will overhear you and "see" what is happening. Maybe she too will help to redirect her older one.
Remember that it's your child and you don't want him to get hurt. Even though it might look like he is not picking up on these behaviors, toddlers are sponges that soak up EVERYTHING around them! For a younger child these behaviors sound developmentally "appropriate" menaing that the little ones are learning how to play with each other. For an older toddler/preschooler, they are still learning to be social, but should start to understand rules. Maybe she is jealous of the babies getting so much attention. You could always try to have her "help" them out... bring them a book, "read" them a book, find a toy, build with the blocks.