Two Year Old Plays Too Rough

Updated on February 15, 2010
R.M. asks from Spring Hill, TN
7 answers

My son just turned two. He recently has started throwing things at me, like his toys. It is almost always during play. We will be playing with a toy or he will be showing me something, and he will just suddenly throw it at me, usually at my face. Sometimes I can see that he is getting too worked up, and calm things down a bit, but usually it is out of the blue with no warning. How can I get him to stop doing this? We will be playing happily and then bam, I am in pain. Which leads me to yell, then he cries, turning play time into no fun at all.

He also is constantly flinging his arms, or grabbing too roughly, etc. Even his hugs usually end up with me getting jabbed in the eye or headbutted in the nose. Last week I thought he broke my nose. I don't know how to make him aware of what he is doing, and I don't want to be yelling at him, especially when he is just playing or being sweet, but I am constantly getting hurt. Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Well, I am confident he does not have sensory integration disorder. My sister is a special ed teacher who specializes in ASD's, so even if I was missing the ball on this one, she would see it. Thank you for the suggestion though, I did read up on it just in case.

Like I said, he is being a normal toddler boy, just being rough. He is not agressive, there is a difference. He does not bully other children. He does not bully me, just plays rough. I didn't say his behavior was ok, if I thought it was I wouldn't have asked the question. And I certainly don't throw trucks at my husband.

I have started watching how rough I play with him. I don't think I play rough, but that could be it. My husband is gone a lot, and I do try to do the things Daddy would do so we sometimes wrestle and such. But I'm cutting back on that for now. And I have just been ending playtime and getting (more) firm with him, we'll see how it goes. He is a very athletic little boy, and very active, and I think he is just going to be a more physical child than I am used to. Thanks so much for the helpful suggestions!

More Answers


answers from Clarksville on

My son just turned two years old in December. He's always been sweet, but yes a month ago he just started this... he is playing with a toy and out of the blue he throws it at me. I pick the toy up and tell him "no, you don't throw toys and Momma or any person." Then I get up and leave so he knows when he does this, play time is over. He has been getting better at not throwing toys since I have doing this.

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answers from Huntington on

Does you husband (or other male influences) rough house with him alot? If so, it may be causing some of this. My adopted nephew joined our family when he was 18 months old. His doting dad played with him like a lot of dads can do - rough! I don't know if he was more sensitive to that type of play than others, but he started having behavioral problems, mostly surrounding playing roughly with mom and other kids. When Dad backed off, it almost completely went away. I know dads are so excited to finally have them out of the baby stage and at an age where they can interact with them more, it may be the problem you are experiencing as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

R., this sounds a little like Sensory Integration disorder. Find an Occupational Therapist who specializes in this and get your son evaluated. It's important that you rule this out before just assuming that it's only a behavioral issue.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I understand! My 13 month old DAUGHTER we call her brutus! I have had to work at teaching her to not be rough. When she was even just 6-7 months old, if she grabbed your hair or skin on your neck, oh my did it hurt! Now I sternly look her in the face and say "no" and often will swat her on the hand. If she (or my older daughter who is 28 months) throws things AT ALL, they have a consequence. It just is not acceptable. I also saw on super nanny showing the child soft things and saying how nice it is to touch them and then you touch the child softly and they get a connection between the soft way to touch. Maybe explain to him how you feel when he gives you an "owie." Either way, that kind of roughness in my opinion is not acceptable. It will just carry over to his playmates, grandma and grandpa, etc. Be consistant in your consequence and he will get the picture.

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answers from Boise on

to tell you the truth...i can't answer your question, but i am in there with you!my son will be playing sweetly and then all of a sudden "bam!" he will pull my hair or pinch me or headbutte me. like your son he is not a bully with other kids or anything like that.just letting you know i am struggling with you! let me know if you come up with any great answers!



answers from Raleigh on

I agree with Dawn, it sounds like it could be a Sensory Integration Disorder. You should have him checked out by an Occupational Therapist.



answers from Lexington on

First of all, I would suggest that the instant he throws something at you, you end play time. If he hurts you when he hugs you, he is NOT "just playing or being sweet" If you are "constantly getting hurt" he is not being sweet. Does he do this with his playgroup peers? Does he have playgroup peers? If he does both have a playgroup and act this way with them, I would suggest speaking to a professional; if the behaviour only occurs with you, I suggest looking at how you behave with him and with his father

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