Overreacting

By | 23rd July 2009

One of our concerns with Oscar’s behaviour is how he reacts to threat or attack. My last post about his reaction to his castle being broken is an example of how he can react verbally, but he can also react physically.

The other day, one of his friends bit him quite hard on the shoulder. A lot of toddlers go through a biting stage, and indeed Oscar did a while back. Cue the over-the-top retaliation; Oscar pushed him to the floor and dragged him along the (fortunately smooth) floor by his hair all the while wagging his finger at him and castigating him “Naughty X, you do NOT bite Oscar”.

It’s difficult to know exactly how to tackle this. I can’t let Oscar become a bully, and I want him to learn how to deal with such problems more effectively. On the other hand, Oscar is potentially a prime target for bullying himself and I want him to be able to stand up for himself.

As usual, I find myself conflicted by Oscar’s real age and his often better comprehension. Part of me thinks he’s only a toddler and there’s only so much I can do to teach him emotional maturity at this age; the other part of me thinks we should at least try to get him to understand the issues involved. He shows so much understanding of other areas, but I never quite feel like I’m getting through when I try to explain why he shouldn’t bite/pinch/lick me/mummy/$child. I hope it will come in time, and we won’t miss our chance.

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