Thursday, March 10, 2011

Does Not Play Well With Others

A is totally awesome in many ways, he's super cute, makes jokes, loves to laugh, gives the best hugs, learns things at an amazing speed, is full of energy and quite impressive with a ball, and the list goes on.... However, he is going through a difficult phase right now, where he can be quite aggressive towards other kids. It can take  A a while to decide he's comfortable with other children, and to actually start acting nice towards them.
For instance, we went to a birthday party this past weekend. When we got to the party, A stuck close to me for a while, went to look for some toys, and decided that whatever he picked was his. When another little kid woule come near, he would yell out "a moi" (mine). That's not very nice, but if that were the only thing he did, I wouldn't complain. I just keep telling him that he needs to share, that the children want to play "with" him, but, for now, he doesn't seem to care.
 The bigger problem is that if the other child persists, A is not afraid to take the battle to another level. Of course, if he becomes physical, I intervene and take him out of the situation until he has calmed down.
What is bizarre is that after an hour and a half at the party, his mood turned around, he started playing basketball, dancing with the other kids, and he actually sought out the birthday girl to give her some of his stickers! So what can I do to speed up the "warm up" time?

I should mention that A does not act like that with his best bud at his sitter's; they share stuff all day long and get along famously,they say "thank you" to each other every time they give each other things, they even hug a lot,so I know that A's not completely antisocial.  I have also observed that he is better in one-on-one situations with another child than in a group situation, and he is much better if  he feels like he knows the other child (he's usually better on the second play date).

I have to admit that being the mother of a "sometimes aggressive" child bothers me a bit. SleepyPapa says I'm just embarrassed because I'm "that mom" that other parents look at wierd. That's probably true. Maybe I should rejoice that he's not a wimp! But it can be tiring to constantly have to monitor what he's doing so that he doesn't take out some innocent little girl... I don't know if it's a boy thing, and  it's probably just a phase he's going through. My guess is that as long as we continue to work on it, A will eventually understand that it's more fun to play with the other kids than to fight them. I just hope our friends don't stop inviting us over in the meantime!

Did your child ever go through an aggressive phase? How did you deal with it? What worked for you?


  1. my experience is that this bahvior is a classic and i am surprised you say you were the only one at the party with that sort of pb. are all the other kids in collective daycare/kidergarten?

  2. There were two little girls at the party, they played next to each other without a problem. One of them stays home but goes to a "halte-garderie" type thing two hours a day. I don't know about the other one. I run into the same thing at MyGym (gymboree type place)or the library, all the other kids are much more mellow, they usually end up letting him have his way (and he's no dummy, he sees that the intimidation works.. ahah!) if I didn't have to tell him it's bad, I would sometimes be tempted to laugh.(should I admit to that?)

  3. Did I ever tell you the story where M was playing in the champs de Mars, a kid dumped some sand in her hair, she smiled at him continued to play and when it was time to go (about 30 mn later) she got up, dumped her bucket, entirely filled with sand, on the kid's head, waved bye bye and left, I was shaking with laughter for 10mn and the other mothers were appaled!!!