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ds 3yr old pushing other children
ongoing and dont know what to do

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#1 talia08

Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

Hi for about the last 5 months ds has been pushing other toddlers/children his own age/younger/older in play settings/park and at daycare. It seems to be compulsive, he sometimes looks like he is going in to play with other children but then gives them a good push. Ive been reinforcing to him no pushing, pushing hurts, we dont push and try to give him positive reinforcement for his good behaviour. I asked day care what to do about it when they mentioned he was doing it. They said just to verbalise no pushing.
Im finding I dont really want to take him out where we are with other children at the moment, I feel a bit like I cant control him. In all other aspects I have no concerns about his development or behaviour and there are no issues at home etc to bring this on.
He does have a 13 month old sibling and he does push him as well but he seems a little more controlled around him now.
Anyway if anyone else has experienced this I am interested in how you deal with it, how long does it last, its getting me down at the moment. Any books to read etc?

#2 MissingInAction

Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

I'd personally be focussing more on developing his positive behaviour skills... he's getting plenty of attention for his neg choices (pushing) but maybe needs a bit more obvious umm... "training" in the positive dept?  For example, you say he pushes his 13mth old sibling... instead of focussing on "not pushing" the sibling, teach him how to LOVE his sibling, CARE FOR his sibling, give him the emotional/social tools to make good choices original.gif

#3 talia08

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

thanks, I did mention I was giving him positive reinforcement  and he gets plenty of how to love and care for his brother, but always good to remember to keep focusing on it. Its more the compulsive nature of the pushing of other children that I am finding difficult to deal with in social situations. Thanks for taking the time to reply

#4 Jess1308

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

Try not to stress, it seems like a normal phase to go through, persevere with what you are doing it will shift original.gif

#5 50ftqueenie

Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

You could try ignoring him and giving your attention to the child that has been pushed.
Next time he pushes another child, attend to that child first, ask them if they are ok give them a little bit of fuss and then say to your DS "that wasn't very nice, you could have hurt X". He might apologise, but don't force one out. They are only worth something if the child means it.   Then move on and don't discuss it any further. This way he gets the message that pushing other people isn't nice, but he doesn't get a lot of attention for doing it.

It may not work, it's hard to give advice without knowing your child, but it's worth a try.

#6 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

Is your child just three or almost four?
If just three, the comments above are good.
If almost four, he is old enough to start to demonstrate impulse control, or learn that his behaviour has a consequence. Take him to the park. If he pushes someone, tell him that he cannot be trusted at the park so it is home time, now. And leave immediately.
I don't think verbal instruction alone is adequate, especially for dangerous behaviours.

#7 Shirley Sue

Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

I tend to agree with AntiBourgeoisie.

Prior to going to the park, play date etc. I would have a discussion about appropriate ways to play with him. I would warn him that if he hurts another child that you will be coming straight home- no ifs, no buts. I would then stick to this.

I would also praise him when he does play nicely with others.

You could also do some role playing at home and read some story books on the subject.

#8 beabea

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:17 AM

I'd personally be focussing more on developing his positive behaviour skills...

I was going to say this. It doesn't mean positive reinforcement, it means that when he pushes, instead of telling him what NOT to do, you tell him WHAT TO DO. (Although you can do both if you like.)

So if he pushes, you can say, "No pushing! What do we do instead of pushing?" And if he struggles to provide a suitable answer you make some suggestions. Then you refuse to let him move on until he tries again and gets it right this time. Ideally, he should try again with the same child, but if this is impossible, you can either try again with a different child or role-play it with him yourself.

Take him to the park. If he pushes someone, tell him that he cannot be trusted at the park so it is home time, now. And leave immediately.

Be careful with this advice. Before you use it, you need to try and determine why your child is pushing. (Actually, it would be good to do this regardless - an essential first step for any behavioural issue. In my try-again method, giving an alternative to DS involved first trying to establish why he had pushed that particular child on that particular occasion.)

I made the mistake of thinking the leave-immediately response was The Way To Handle Park Misbehaviour and wondered why things were getting worse, not better. Then I realised DS was acting up because he'd had enough and was ready to leave the park. Taking him home immediately was actually rewarding his poor behaviour!

I started using the teach-and-try-again technique above for the specific behaviour he'd just displayed, then if I wasn't convinced we'd got to the base of it I would use essentially the same technique to solve the root problem: I'd ask if there was something bothering him in the background, for example, was he hungry or tired and wanted to go home? (I think an angry "Do you want to go home RIGHT NOW?" was the question that revealed the flaw in my approach - to my surprise, I got a relieved and enthusiastic, "Yes!" followed by a kid pelting gratefully to the car).

So I would get him to reflect on why he'd been nasty and once he understood his own behaviour better I required him try again - to go back and play nicely for at least a few minutes and then come and tell me politely that he was ready to leave. The problem cleared up very quickly. (But you have to be prepared for some odd looks when you say, "That's it, young man! You need to go out into that park and take ten more turns on the slippery slide and maybe make a sandcastle with some of your new friends! And if I see any more of that behaviour, I'll make it twenty slides and two sandcastles!")

Edited by beabea, 12 January 2013 - 12:23 PM.

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