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how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    So, we plan to meet with the daycare director because we have had enough... DS is 2.5 years old and very easy going, and on the small size. He gets along with all the kids in the room - but there is this one boy who is noticiably bigger than him who seems to have issues.

    When DS was in the toddler room with him, this boy used to "mess" with him at times like when they sat next to each other, the other boy would put his feet on DS's chair or lean over to touch him or something. We suspect DS got stuck sitting next to him because the other boys would get even angrier and the teachers were trying to avoid all out war or wrestling matches at mealtimes. Which is annoying. And he would randomly push him at times then other times, want to cozy up to him.

    Then he moved up, so DS had 3-4 months without this boy. Now DS moved up, and at first, it seemed mostly fine - DS just avoided him when he could, and there was another boy that this other boy targeted. Well, that boy withdrew from the school as a result, and it appears that he is back to randomly picking at DS. We have witnessed a few incidents - and the teachers immediately correct the other boy. But what concerns us is that nothing the teachers are doing is working. We can psych-analyze all we want (to me, at this age, that is a sign of bad home life where he is not getting attention he wants from the people he wants - because he definitely more likely to gun for DS when DH does the pickup or drop off but when it is me, he ignores DS sometimes and tries to get me to read a book or something or he is sitting somewhere, doing his own thing). But regardless of what the source is, it is clear that the teachers are not able to modify his behaviour and as DS gets older, we don't want to keep having him in a room with a child like this. Part of the problem is that we have seen this child do it on the sly or just subtle (so not like outright punching, kicking or biting) and on occasion it is as big as trying to rip a toy out of DS's hands. The teacher has mentioned she noticed DS avoids this boy and that this boy for some reason has a weird relationship regarding DS so she makes a point not to have them sit together at circle time or meal times, but it is not resolving the issue rest of the time.

    I know 2 is too young to classify as a true bully, but his behaviour is very classic bullying behavoiur, and whatever the teachers are trying is clearly not working. Which we plan to bring up to the daycare director. Because without change, he is definitely headed down the wrong road and we don't want him dragging DS down with him. He is already the cause of one child leaving the school... and we are not willing to tolerate anymore attempts by the teacher to manage it because it is not working. Luckily for us, DS likes the other kids and loves the teachers - and does not seem too bothered by this boy other than when the boy gets into his space.

    I looked up the old thread that KAM/CT-DC posted - and I am not sure shadowing will work or be an option because it is not an anger issue - he does not react under anger or show outright aggression.


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    Cwag-sorry to hear this is still going on! It's so tough-you feel for both kids. At 2, it's so hard to blame the other kid, its not his fault, he's acting out in a natural way asking for help.

    Are there other rooms to move your child to? If so, I'd ask to move your son. You hate to disrupt his schedule, but for a safe, fun environment it's worth it. And insist the center notify you if they move this child to your son's new room.  Be very clear this is the reason why you are asking to move him. (when we moved DS' room we did not specify one of the reasons was the other boy, wish we had so they might not have moved him to DS' new room-again, thankfully the child has left the center.)

    I would want to get a concrete plan from the director on how they are addressing the situation. There are limits to how much they can share with you. But they should be addressing your child's (and all of the children's) safety.

    Are you sure that's the full reason for the other child leaving the center? If so, was it communicated to the director that way?

    Best of luck-it's such a tough situation!

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    Oy. I'm so sorry you're dealing with that.  We had a similar situation with a girl in the class raising all kinds of heck.  It wasn't just DS she was targeting.  Eventually, her parents just pulled her because they were so tired of having the teachers pull them aside at pick up to have them sign incident reports and talk to them about what an awful day the little girl had with the other kids.  We did go through a stretch where she was constantly biting DS (that was fun) and we had a meeting with the teachers and directors because DS started to bite as a result.


    When we met with DS's director, we brought up the word bully and the director shot that down so fast we were both startled (esp since we weren't calling the other child a bully, but mentioning that we were concerned DS was developing some of the same tendencies).  Apparently, they don't want to use that label this young.  I don't know if your director will have that reaction, but ours did.


    We had also met beforehand with other parents from the classroom.  Have you reached out to any of the other parents, specifically the ones whose children were bothered by the other little boy?  Sometimes, it helps to go into the situation armed with the info you get from other parents.  Our director is well aware we all communicate with each other and share information, so when we go into her office (which fortunately we haven't had to do in awhile), she knows we know anything the other parents in the class do.


    Hope that helps and that you get some resolution soon!!

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    Ugh.  I don't like it when parents "collect information from other parents" and then go "armed with info" to the director.  Why?  Because the other parents are not privy to all the information, because of confidentiality.  So which child bit which other child, or hit them, etc. is possibly correct when a parent says it, but it could be incorrect because nobody is told who bit whom.  (or hit, smacked, pinched, etc.)

    Now, I KNOW you know what's going on with your son.  And I'd agree, bullying isn't what a 2 yr old is doing.  BUT what he is doing is unacceptable.  He's doing it because he needs attention, or only gets attention for those negative things from his parents, or because he's pushed around by older siblings, etc.  He doesn't know other ways to get attention in a positive way, so he pushes, takes toys, etc.  And his language isn't there, yet, to say "Can I play with you, DS?"  or to say "I want that toy, can I have it when you're done?" so he pulls toys out of hands (this is VERY common in a 2 yr old room, although we do work hard to help the children learn to ask and then wait for the answer). 

    Do meet with the director, because your son shouldn't feel picked on.  While I won't say a child this age is a bully, I WILL say that sometimes one child does target one or two other children, for whatever reason, and it's hard to deal with.

    Moving your son out of this room might be an option.  But also saying 'I'm concerned about this child's behavior, it's been going on in two rooms directed at my son, and I need it to stop.  So what can you do to help it stop?  What, concretely, will you do?"

    Good luck at your meeting.


  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    I haven't had to deal with this so I may be WAY OFF BASE, but why would your son have to move? Why can't the bad kid be told he has to move? If your son is happy with his teachers and other little friends, why can't the offending family be told, "We need to move BadBoy to another room because he's picking on DS and another kid. Hopefully he'll improve in the other room. If not, BadBoy will have to find another center."

    I'm sure the director would prefer the easier idea of moving the good kid, but really, you're paying a lot of money for these places, your kid should be happy and comfortable, not terrorized by some ill mannered kid because his mother ignores him at home.


  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    Misslily may not have had to deal with this, and I don't have kids at all, but I can't imagine a better solution than moving BadBoy or expelling BadBoy regardless of whether a 2 yo can be called a bully.  Bully-like behavior for attention is UNaccecptable and should not be tolerated...not tolerating it is what unacceptable means.  His parents dropping the ball on giving him positive attention will be that kid's problem forever - it's very sad, but it shouldn't become everyone else's problem as in having the targets of his acting out having to be the ones who change their lives around for him.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    To me it sounds like this boy has some behavioral and social-skills struggles and if your center has not encouraged the family to go through EI, or has not made an EI referral themselves, they are dropping the ball.  The fact that he is not necessarily aggressive/angry, but is unable to understand personal space cues is a keen observation you should share with the director.  While at times a "bad home life" can be acted out upon in school life, these behaviors could also be related to sensory difficulties or developmental delays.  I will tell you, I had "had it" with the "biter" at my daughter's school (who also took toys, food, and invaded personal space) and would have complained more if he hadn't transitioned rooms. I  did assume the parents were to laid back and didn't set limits enough.  Well, DD is now back with him as she has aged up, he has gone through EI and actually has had a sensory processing diagnosis, is going through some specific therapies, and I can honestly say he is much, much more able to manage his behavior.  It is like night and day!  Plus the teachers have more understanding and guidance on his needs and how to manage/redirect him b/c of the diagnosis and psychoeducation that goes along with it.  I actually felt a little guilty for my assumptions about him, but on the flip side, my daughter was getting bitten and that was so innapropriate and not ok.  But, if his parents weren't getting feedback from the school and the encouragement to get these behaviors evaluated, things wouldn't have improved and the struggles in the future, such as in kindergarten, could have been bigger.  Parents like you speaking up are valuable information to the school as well as to this other boy's family.  Plus, it is necessary for your own son's protection, which is the priority - to keep everyone safe.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    Yes, wasmm379, you're right, IF this child's behavior is outside of the norm for a 2 yr old (and obviously we can't tell from a message board) then I do hope the director can encourage the parents to have him evaluated.  And, if there isn't a delay, great, but if there is even an inkling of sensory processing (which might very well be the issue if he pushes and grabs and seems to invade other's space or not have a good sense of his space) it would be so much better to get a handle on it NOW vs waiting for elementary school when he's had so many more failures and frustrations.  Of course, pushing and grabbing is also so darn age-appropriate (not wonderful behavior, just expected) for 2 yr olds that it's hard to tell.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    thanks, everyone! Update:

    we met with one of the administrators yesterday. It was interesting because when I told the director why I wanted to talk to her, instead of asking me to schedule for another day, she pulled in one of the staff. So DH and i had a long discussion. Since we had seen the incidents ourselves, it wss no question on who the other child was. They said the administration only became aware of this issue when the new teacher took over a few weeks ago - she was new to being the lead teacher (the previous teacher left suddenly and without indicating there were issues to the administration). The new teacher alerted them then, and she also knew we had concerns back then because I had asked specifically about DS and the other child. So I know she was not surprised we were coming in since we caught a few more incidents.

    So we told her what we have seen and she was surprised at what we reported - like how the boy was likely to push in a calculated manner when DH is there but with me, he would ignore DS most of the time and try to engage with me directly by bringing a book or something if I stay in the room. She was also surprised that it was as far back as the old room regarding the incidents and she said that the boy's behaviour is inappropiate for his age and that they are meeting with the mother to discuss it (the other mother was meeting with the director next door by coincidence of timing). 

    In the meanwhile, while they get him evaluated for medical issues like hearing and such and continue to observe via camera and teacher, they plan to have an aide shadow him during transitions like potty/diaper times (meal times and circle time and nap time are not an issue but the free and loose times are like free play and playground) and continue to develop a behaviour plan for him.

    She said if they were planning to move anyone, it will be the other boy but they need to first understand what is causing him to behave this way and have been observing that room for a few weeks now. It sounded like they felt it may have a medical condition could be a factor like hearing issues. She agreed that it was not appropiate for this age and did not realize DS was impacted to this level where he talks about it, and where we have noticed the patterns of incidents.

    So it was good that they acknowledged there is a legitimate concern, and that they are working on it. And we will be making sure we touch base over DS's situation. I know the behaviour evulation plan is between the school and the other mother and that is how it should be, but I am glad to see they are taking it seriously and are acknowledging that it is a problem affecting both children. And that they will be keeping an extra set of eyes on it and working up ways to tackle it. And we all agreed it has to be addressed now because each month that goes by sets in behaviour patterns that will be even more difficult to break or modify

    it was a long talk and this was a very condensed version of what we talked about (she took a lot of notes on what we said).

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    CT-DC - the pushing he was doing showed how aware he is of his size... he would like bump shoulders with just enough force to jolt another child but never to where the other child falls. DH called it like those cheap shots of claiming turf between players of opposing teams in sports. Or block their way to some place. So our issue was never the physical safety for DS but the impact it has psychologically because we could tell it bothered him. Although the time he ripped the toythat DS was playing with from DS when we came to pick up early startled everyone... But that time, i could not tell if he did that because he wanted the toy and knew we were DS's parents or if he was trying to get DS to us but in a completely inappropiate and overbearing manner. But most of the time, it is like he is doing these body or shoulder bumps to jolt the other child but not knock them over or cause them to lose balance.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: how to deal with bullying behaviour in a 2 year old room...

    cwagner, I'm so happy the meeting went well, sounds like the directors are really on top of this, great! and that the teacher is on top of it, too, and if the parents will agree to have him evaluated, then there will be answers soon.  With answers come better and different ways of managing his behavior to keep him from lashing out and also help him learn not to do it, which isn't an overnight solution but will solve things considerably.