Toddler Violence

So I had no idea just how violent toddlers can be towards one another.  And over the smallest things.  I think maybe it’s in our human nature to react physically whenever someone does something we don’t like.

Whether this is true or not, I don’t like it.

We took our son to one of those indoor playgrounds – it’s pretty great it has a bouncy floor, a giant fully padded climbing contraption, and a roller rink.  We had taken him once before and he had a blast and best part, he got really tuckered and took a great nap!  We went on Friday and it was packed with daycare kids.  Three different providers brought their kids that morning and it was a little crazy.

Toddlers are a little crazy.

So my son goes to play in a little play house they have and this kid stands at the door and pushes him.  Our son then physically moved him out of the way and stepped into the play house.  The kid pushed him again and our son pushed him back and that was the end of that.

We step in, do the ‘gentle’ thing and they both go along playing as though nothing had happened.

Our son was then climbing up the play structure and there was a kid blocking the way.  Our son pushes him out of the way and the little boy starts crying.  Nice. Because we can’t get up there quickly to stop the violence the other boy pushes him back (good for him, I guess? I don’t even know) and what does my son do – he kicks him!  WTF dude!?

I could go on because really, it just went on.  And not just with our son.  When my husband and I started to watch other kids we could see the violence everywhere.  Kids hitting, kicking, smacking, poking, pushing.

Now I think it goes without saying that we don’t model this behaviour in our home, and I’m pretty sure a lot of the parents of those kids don’t either.  So where does this come from? And what’s a parent to do?

I guess just keep reinforcing ‘gentle’ and ‘be nice’ and all that and just hope that our little ones don’t turn into sociopathic bullies – or be bullied.

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