View Full Version : 1-year-old Bully

12-11-2013, 11:40 AM
Wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this, because I'm at my wits' end!

I have 3 1-year-olds: 1 of my own (13 months), 1 boy (17 months) and 1 girl (16 months). My daughter and the little guy get along great. Of course there's the occasional tussle over a toy, but generally they will play side-by-side with different toys, or share a large toy just fine. He's also pretty gentle with her-he'll rub her back or pat her head or give hugs on his own. They're both pretty agreeable kids.

My 16 month old dcg, however, is a completely different ballgame. I have never met a one-year-old who is such a bully. She rips toys out of the other babies' hands CONSTANTLY, even if she was playing with something else when they picked it up, she pushes them in the face, sits on them in order to get them out of the way, hits them with toys and legos, picks up plastic bins that hold legos and things and whacks them on the head with them, the list goes on.

She also SCREAMS pretty much all day. Whenever I have to restrain her-whether it be to the stroller, the highchair, a playpen, the giant playpen-type baby area of my playroom, she will start this ear-splitting shriek and will not stop. She'll do it in their faces too, when she tries to grab their toy and they try to hold on to it. She's essentially either shrieking or hitting, or both at the same time.

I've tried everything I can think of. Whenever she hurts another child or takes something from them, I give it back to the original owner (which can be difficult as she has an iron grip), and say something like "we cannot take toys away from our friends." or "we need to share" etc, and I always try to redirect with another toy or activity to distract her. This may work for 30 seconds, until she's bullying them again. Sometimes she seems to do it not for a toy, but just to make them upset. She'll push them down with no provocation, sit on them and then just sit there, not moving or playing with a toy or trying to get anything, just seemingly enjoying the fact that she is causing them distress.

I've already increased her naps, because the aggression tends to get worse when she starts to get tired. I've done my best to speak to the parents, and do so most nights at pickup, but they are clueless. It doesn't help that she has a 3-year-old sister who I also watch who is even worse. Argumentative, aggressive, has no concept of sharing, etc. I am VERY strict with her and she spends alot of time in time-out for aggressive behaviour. Her sister is obviously learning the behaviour, and I think that at home if she wants any toys or attention, this is the only way she knows how to get it. The problem is, of course, that you can't put a 1-year-old in timeout.

The parents are completely in denial, but that's a whole different post-if I could afford to terminate care I would, but they are 2 full-time spots, and there are more providers than children here-it would be extremely difficult to replace them.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to curb this behaviour while they are in my home? I will continue to be as direct and firm with the parents as I can, but as it stands now, they don't seem to care/know how to fix it, and I unfortunately need the income. I need something else to try...any ideas?

5 Little Monkeys
12-11-2013, 12:20 PM
Sounds like you are doing a great job!! I think for the most part, you are just going to have too continue with what you are doing and hopefully the 1 year old "gets it" soon. She is 1 so she doesn't know what is socially acceptable yet which is what we need to teach them. She is definitely learning from her sister and some of that you can't stop but at least while in your care, they need to learn your rules.

The only thing I can suggest is a different approach for the 3 year old. I had one who was always in time out and she just didn't care anymore. I now take away toys if she is misbehaving and offer a reward if she is good all day. I have green and pink chairs and she loves the pink ones so if it's been a good day with no time outs she gets to sit on the pink chair for afternoon snack or lunch on the days she leaves early. The timeouts decreased A LOT and the misbehaviour is usually fixed with just a comment or look from me. She needed something more visual to be the consequence.

12-11-2013, 01:26 PM
I agree that the three year old should be given rewards for good behavior. I find that rewards ( mostly in the form of praise from the caregiver, with others such as the chair example) are FAR more effective than time outs or other forms of punishment. For the little one - when you are in the process of taking away a toy from her and giving it to its "owner" offer lots of praise for "sharing". I know it's not REAL sharing but it will be a way of teaching her that sharing is good. This has worked for some of mine who are not natural "sharers".

12-11-2013, 04:51 PM
I'm really concentrating on positive attention ! Because of the same thing ! Dcg who is 2 is immune to time out but lives to 'help ' and just beams when I thank her !! I give her a wet one and she spends most of her free play time 'cleaning ' . She doesn't play well with the other kids and steps in to aggravate them more than join play ( we are working on this )
One is pretty young and I think your right , she's picking up her sisters behaviour !!!
Sounds like your handling her behaviour the right way !!!