View Full Version : Too old for this aggression???

07-20-2011, 08:47 PM
Hello all.... I have in my care a 5 y/o boy and his 2 y/o sister. You may be familiar with this family, as I have mentioned them a lot, lol. I have a bit of a love-hate thing going, because his sister is (most of the time) a dream to care for, and I feel like I have a great relationship with the parents (who are wonderful clients). I am not, however, a big fan of him. We got off to a rocky start, due to his behaviour with my own 3 (now 4) y/o daughter. That got better, but in general I just think I don't really like this kid. I feel awful saying that, and I do not believe that affects my care of him, but that is the ugly truth.

I have noticed recently an increase in the number of "accidents" that are occurring during play, which involve someone getting hurt. As in "I was just running and I accidentally knocked him/her down". "I was just playing with this toy and it ACCIDENTALLY hit him/her in the head". And so on. This past weekend, his sister ended up with a dislocated elbow, "somehow". Based on what I have heard and seen during the last couple days, I believe (but don't know for sure) that it occurred while they were playing. My husband has seen him playing as well, and observed him get a look on his face that said clearly he was meaning exactly what he was doing (if that makes any sense).

We have talked a lot about how to handle YOUNGER children who are hitting, biting and being generally aggressive. How do we do this when the child is old enough to know better (he'll be 6 in the fall!!), old enough to know how to hide it (waits until my back is turned or some such thing) and old enough to be attempting to cover/excuse his own behaviour (then it becomes my word against his)??

I brought this up with a parent today, because I caught him (out of the corner of my eye) pulling on his sister's arms. Yes, the barely healed, dislocated one, too!! It was very clear that he was yanking on them purposefully, whether he was maliciously trying to hurt her, or not. Not an hour later he hit someone else with a Nerf gun. Tried to pass it off as an "accident" again. But this time it was my 10 y/o son, who said "No it wasn't, you walked up to me and slugged me with it!!". He immediately burst into tears, and I pulled out the STERN VOICE (lol) and let him know in no uncertain terms that he will not be welcome to play at our home if he is going to continue to hurt children. And that he has no right to bring out the tears when he is the one making those choices.

So what else do I do? Is this a deal breaker for you all? I feel like this kid has potential. It's too bad he is ridiculously spoiled, and therefore unsure of what to do when it doesn't go how he plans it. I am torn....

07-21-2011, 06:22 AM
Now that he has been "caught" you might be able to make some progress by not giving him the benefit of the doubt. As in he has caused you to distrust him because you have seen him be the one that did the hurting and then lie about it. Since you are pretty sure that he is the instigator what about doing a form of timeout. Everytime there is a complaint, put him somewhere - different than your usual time out spot and a spot just he uses. Ask him to think about whether it was an accident or not. Not playing safely is in itself an infraction that warrants punishment/redirection of sorts and tell him that. So from now on everytime he "forgets" to be careful he will have to sit and think about why he didn't play safely. By using the words forgets and safely you are not in a sense punishing him for the infraction as much as you are calling his impulsiveness into question and making him step back for a minute. If that doesn't work after a bit you may have to decide if the safety of the others is more important not to mention your reputation if he starts hurting the other children and blaming it on you.