J.R. asks from West Hills, CA on April 10, 2010
Behavior - West Hills,CA
I am really upset. My two-year old just told his grandfather that he killed a toy robot and he died. He pretended to cry and told his grandfather to bring him back to life. We never let him watch anything with a commercial or violent content.
My son goes to preschool/ daycare and there is a little boy who pretends to turn legos into guns, who has bit, and hit on a regular bases.
The daycare provider sees the problem, but does not want to kick him out. I promise you his behavior is beyond the normal toddler behavior. I am really concerned. I know you may be thinking how do I know he learned this from the boy. But there are no other children or adults in his life that discuss violence. My friends are like minded and do not even let there kids watch sponge bob or any cartoons of the like. Should I find a different preschool?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks, mommas. Ironicallly, I appreciate that the majority of the responses are non- judgemental. :-) I am supporting my home, so not working is not an option. However, I will use this as an opportunity to instill the values that I think are important. I know my response was reactive, but I guess I want to preserve his innocence just a little longer. In reallity, he probably did not conceptualize what he was saying, so using the situation as a teaching moment would probably be beneficial. Thanks again!
C.A. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2010
Yes, immediately, and tell the preschool WHY you are leaving. This other child is probably brain-damaged or abused at home. Children imitate what they see. Good luck.
C.B. answers from Kansas City on April 10, 2010
don't take this personally, but i think there comes a time when all of us anti-gun moms have to accept reality. my son is now 3 1/2, and we have never given him toy guns, let him watch any of "those" shows, play any of "those" video games, etc...however, his two fingers work just fine to "shoot" at bad guys. and yes, i know that he got it from daycare. i was just telling my husband tonight we will probably have to change tactics, and teach responsibility in gun play (NO shooting at people, ever, guns are dangerous, etc)...instead of abstinence. there is a whole real world out there. and we can't protect them from every kid whose mother allows him to play with toy guns and shoot at everything that moves. and yes, eventually they will have to learn about death and dying. at 2 and 3, i don't think either of our boys really understand what they're saying. which is the good news. but we still have to try to curb the behavior and guide their views on these things - that's our job. but honestly, he's in preschool. unless you intend to wrap him in bubble wrap and lock him in his room till he is 18 - well - we really should look at our job as preparing them for real life, not protecting them from it. it might be time to change your tactics a bit too.
9 moms found this helpful
M.S. answers from Philadelphia on April 10, 2010
I don't think you should find another pre school. You could talk to your son and try to explain why you didn't like what he did. It worked for me when my oldest was his age. You never know, he may be play acting for the benefit of attention. I'm not saying he's being bad, just trying to see the different emotions and things that stuff puts us through.
Another thing, whats going to happen when you send him to school? You aren't going to be able to control what he sees, hears at school. You can only hope that the values you gave him shine through.
Hope this helps.
8 moms found this helpful
K.L. answers from Washington DC on April 10, 2010
I don't think at 2 yrs old your son is actually doing this in a violent way. Personally, I think society is a bit too sensitive to these things. I don't think it possible to completely shield him or shelter him from it, but a better approach it to teach him about what is and isn't appropriate.
For example, my husband, father-in-law and friends of ours hunt, so guns and bows are a part of our lives and are in our house (yes, they are put away and not accessible to our son). We will teach our son at an early age (probably around 4) to respect a gun, that its not a toy, etc.
I know a lot of people won't agree with it, but we don't shelter our son from things. Granted, he's only 2, but we feel its better for him to be exposed to things and to learn how to react or behave from us rather than from friends at school.
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on April 10, 2010
This is a good article, by Scholastic, about a related subject and for your future reference:
Next... I don't really see this incident as "violent" per say. Yes, he said he "killed" a robot and he died. But also at this age sometimes, they ask about "what does die mean?" etc. My kids, when between 2-3 years old, simply would ask what "die" means. Or why their pet fish died. Or why the bug they stepped on died etc. AND, they are learning empathy. Your son then "cried" about the robot. At this age, their emotions are not even fully developed... nor their comprehension of abstractness. So he may not FULLY understand the full ramifications of it, like how you would as an adult.
Next, if his classmate is really "violent" AND causes harm to the other children... then the Providers have a obligation to deal with the child and call his parents too.... and/or kick him out. BUT... if this child is just role-playing by himself and NOT causing harm to other kids and is generally behaved... then, they cannot kick him out. Because nothing physically aggressive is being perpetrated on the other kids. And if he is NOT a "bully" then they can't just kick him out because he plays with certain toys.
Next.... boys, do play a certain way and have gender related tendencies toward certain toys or noises or play styles.
Also, at this age... kids hit and bite and what not. So... is this boy obscenely MORE aggressive than the typical 2 year old... or is he doing what other 2 years old do, at this age? Because at this age, kids do get demonstrative of their frustrations or social skills ineptness.
It does not matter if the child watches cartoons or not. A child, especially at 2-3 years old... does certain things that crops up per their age juncture.
BUT if this boy is flagrantly aggressive and a "bully" and ALL THE OTHER kids are super well behaved and on point, then maybe in comparison this kid seems bad.
Next, if you think the boy should be kicked out.... then did you write the school a letter of your concern? Do OTHER parents complain about this boy too???? If so, then there would be a consensus.... about this boy.
Next, as your son get older and proceeds onto other grade levels... there will inevitably be many other kids from different cultures/interests/social levels and play styles... some being more physical or active than others. Some blatantly are punks/bullies... others just more verbally precocious etc. So... you can find another school for him. Or... you talk to the school Director/staff and see what can be done or if this child is a "problem" truly. But also in conjunction with that... teach your child about life's varying scenarios/social skills/how to communicate etc....age appropriately.
You cannot keep changing schools, just because there are different kids from different backgrounds/cultures/interests/toys or not.
I am not siding with you or the other. But just bringing up some various things that also count or not. I have 2 kids... and things like this do happen. Use your best judgment about how to handle it... and ALSO use these moments as "teaching moments" for your son... in explaining life/things.
Just some thoughts.
All the best,
5 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Victoria on April 10, 2010
Unless you are planning on homeschooling, your son will always be around those with different beliefs that could influence him. For instance, we live in the country & death is pretty much a daily occurence. Our cats leave us gifts daily.....snakes, frogs, lizards, rabbitts, squirrels etc. I asked my son what happens to animals when they die & was told, "the big black birdies eat them" My son is very affectionate & not what i would call violent, but granny allowed him to watch sponge bob, which I hate, & his dad competition shoots, so he plays with guns. We have taught gun safety, which means no pointing or shooting at people or animals. My son bit a kid in daycare twice, & I put a stop to it, but later found out that the kid was continously harrassing my son & since he didn't have the verbal skills, decided to stop the kid himself. My point here is that there are circumstances that are not always in our control that can influence our kids whether we choose it or not. My son who has been exposed to all these things, has talked about killing the monsters in his room, also cried when the roly poly bug he picked up & was playing with died. So, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just reinforce how you feel & what your family beliefs are. Hope this helps you. :D Oh. my son is just about to turn 4.
4 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on April 10, 2010
My sister was surprised that her son was able to turn anything into a weapon. Like you she had really made every effort to shield her son from anything related to violence. He still used anything as a weapon.
I remember years ago The Reporter John Stossel was doing a report about boys and girls. He was devastated and shocked one night when at dinner his son made a gun out of a slice of bread! He chewed it into the shape and pointed the "bread gun" at his beloved sister. '
He also said they gave their son baby dolls and the daughter trucks, but the kids on their own were always more interested in the more traditional roles and toys. .
After speaking with professionals, they explained that this is just a natural instinct for most children to be drawn to girls wanting to play in a maternal style and boys wanting to play in a more aggressive way. It does not mean that the girls cannot be strong and the boys cannot be sensitive, but there is no way to control it one way or the other. The Child development experts told him that even on strict controlled studies this would happen.
Just continue to teach your son empathy. To explain the difference between real life and fantasy.
I used to watch all videos and cartoons with my daughter. I would ask her "is this real?" She would say "mom this is a cartoon, dinosaurs can't talk!"
Or "Little Bear is just a story. This story is just teaching us lessons"..
2 moms found this helpful
L.B. answers from Stationed Overseas on April 10, 2010
My belief is that you will always run into people that don't necessarily share your beliefs and you and your children need to know how to handle that. If you like the preschool and your son is more or less happy there I wouldn't move him. In my opinion it's easier simply to deal with your son and teach him that the stuff he's learning about violence is not nice and he shouldn't do those kinds of things.
As he gets older he's going to bring home all kinds of behaviours and attitudes from school. You're obviously not going to change schools every time he brings home a behaviour you don't like. You have to figure out how to handle those behaviours.
For myself and my daughter I discipline those behaviours the same as anything else she does. She's basically on a three strikes you're out system. She gets 3 warnings and then a timeout. Unless the behaviour is particularly dangerous or nasty in which case she might get a timeout without warning, but that's a judgement call on my part and I only use that in extreme cases.
I would say have a short talk with your little one about violence and tell him it's not nice and he shouldn't play like that. Just tell him that in your house you play nicely and think happy thoughts. If it continues use your usual method for discipline and move on.
Hope that helps.
2 moms found this helpful
K.M. answers from Orlando on April 10, 2010
I have 4 boys and they could not be any more different from each other if they were strangers. One thing they all had in common was playing boy roles at this age. This is normal. You can't shield him from the world. The only thing you can do is teach him good values and pray for the best.
2 moms found this helpful