Bish bash bosh

Fonz appears to be living up to his early nickname of “Bruiser” at nursery.

Last week the nursery staff told me that he’s been picking on one particular child. She’s younger than him, not even walking yet, and she always has a comforter blanket with her. Fonz repeatedly swipes her blanket or dives on top of her. Apparently this is not something she enjoys.

To be honest I wasn’t overly concerned about it. Fonz is quite boisterous, and he and Ez often play tug of war with their blankets at home. I just figured it was a game, admittedly one-sided but meant in good humour. I thought the nursery staff putting him in time out (he’s not even 18 months for goodness sake!) was a little overdramatic.

But today when I collected the twins, I was informed that Fonz has spent the whole day “beating up” other children.

Is this normal, boisterous play taken too seriously by the staff? Or should I be more concerned? I don’t want Fonz to earn himself an undeserved reputation. At home when the twins get too rough with each other I remind them of the need for ‘gentle touches’ and they demonstrate they understand what I mean.

I’m torn as to whether I need to tackle it or I should just let it play out – I’m sure it’s a phase. This too shall pass?!

13 comments to Bish bash bosh

  • Kat

    Personally, I wouldn’t interpret his actions in that way especially considering his age. Some children need bigger outlets for their energy and the nursery may find he benefits from more outdoors time or even shifting into the next group (I’m assuming there is a division around 2). Happy to talk more specifics if you’d like x

  • Bev

    I have a 2 year old daughter who has “just” about moved away from similar behaviour. She used to push, grab, pull hair (a personal favourite of hers!) to children same size and especially smaller. She has now identified that she is a “big girl” (so she keeps telling me) and wants to now protect these individuals. Also, the understanding of she shouldn’t carry out such actions is sinking in.
    My now 6 year old was similar (not as bad, may I add) and he grew out of it by 2. They all go through this to some degree and I am just about not having to apologise to other mums each time I take her out!
    Time out at nursery is harsh and I never liked it when my son experienced it. I suppose the nurseries have to have a consistent rule. I am sure he will turn a corner in a few months. He is simply expressing himself…

  • Young Mummy

    Thanks Kat. As we’re moving I think I’ll wait until he starts at the new nursery (where he’ll be doing less days anyway). We’re looking at a place that I think would be much better suited to him – plenty of outdoor space etc. His best friend at nursery is nearly two, so I think they bounce off each other a lot.

  • Goodness, time out does seem a little drastic!
    He sounds perfectly normal to me – full of life, knows what he wants and determined to get it.
    Eighteen months is still so very little in the scheme of things, he’s just a baby really.
    His world revolves firmly around him and it will take a while before he truly understands how his actions impact on others; even then he may not care ( my girls still fight at four).
    I have noticed with twins that they have very little spatial awareness and frequently invade what is called personal space. I spent the whole two weeks on holiday apologising and explaining this to poor, unsuspecting folks in the pool as my girls went right up to their faces to talk to them and often hugged them and sat on them..’blush’. It would seem that they are SO used to being so close to each other it doesn’t occur to them not to do it to others. Play time seemed an extension of that when they were small.
    “I roll on/jump over/lick/hit/hug my sibling so I can do it to everyone”.
    It will take time, it is just another development stage!
    Just a thought, if he is spending the day ‘beating up’ other children what are the staff doing to distract or occupy him?

    • Young Mummy

      I hadn’t thought of the fact that twins have less concept of personal space, but it makes a lot of sense. I am not happy with them using time out, so I’m going to speak to them about it at nursery.

      To be fair, when Fonz has something in his head it is all but impossible to distract him (believe me, I’ve tried every trick in the book!). But I do think that during the winter they don’t go outside nearly enough which would help him run off some energy.

  • Oh I have the same problem with V and no later than today I was told he has “beaten up” some of the kids at school and funny enough they don’t like it… I am also very confused as to how I should react. It is a very topical post for me too. I am going to write one too and hopefully get some help. I dont know you but I had this urge to protect him and show the world that he really is a good boy… Deep down I am sure it will sort itself out but I want to know what I can do to help. Really not easy this mummy business!

    • Young Mummy

      That’s totally it – I feel extremely protective of him. I know he isn’t vicious and his actions are being misinterpreted. But it’s hard to find the voice to express my feelings.

  • We are on the other side of this at present. I seem to have to fill in a form at nursery every single evening for some child or another having bitten my 20 month old daughter. I have no idea how I would approach this behaviour as a mother of the other child but I guess in my own home, if Lara pulls my hair or tries to bite me, I sit her on the sofa, explain what whe has done wrong and try and help her chill out a bit – I think that’s what they do with the toddlers at her nursery too. You can’t discipline a child this young but you can try and explain their actions to them.

    • Young Mummy

      Oh dear, poor Lara. We have the same approach at home. Having spoken to them at nursery they miscommunicated how they dealt with the problem, and actually did a very similar thing – sat down with Fonz to try to get him to calm down and explained that what he’d done was wrong. So not as bad as I’d feared.

  • Hey there YM!

    I have one each of these children :) Dd1 was (and is!) a very gentle natured child who regularly got pushed, walked on, walloped, etc… by the other children. It never occurred to her to push back and it’s only been in the last few months (she’s 3 now) that’s she’s ever even tried to push her little sister. her little sis on the other hand… Holy cow! What a little bruiser! She’s the sweetest, happiest, child, but regularly comes up and gives her sister a push or a smack. We also use the “gentle, gentle” approach and remind her to be nice, that they are sisters and love each other which generally results in the tiny one stroking dd1 like a cat and saying “Niiiiice! Niiiiiice!” or else chasing her round to hug her :) It’s just a stage they go through. All my friends kids went through it (Lil was their target;p) and grew out of it and anna (who is now 20mos) should grow out of it as well. I’d say your boy will too. 18mos is way too young for time out. I can’t remember where it was, but I read recently that they’re understanding of punishment doesn’t happen til they’re around 3 or so. Until then, they’re just being “sent away” for reasons they don’t understand. Don’t know if any of that helps, just thought I’d let you know that you’re not alone :)

    • Young Mummy

      Oh yes, there’s a lot of stroking that goes on here too!! I spoke to nursery about the use of time out and it would seem that there had been a misunderstanding and they didn’t mean “time out” – they meant they’d sat him down to get him to calm down. I feel much happier now that’s clear, as I totally agree that he’s way too young for use of “time out”

  • So hard isn’t it, all you can do is go with your gut instinct and make sure nursery are doing what you wish not the other way round. I haven’t been over to yours for what seems like ages so it was lovely to see how big the twins have gotten, just gorgeous and loved your 24 hour montage. Must pop back sooner next time :)

    • Young Mummy

      Welcome back. I’ve missed you! *quickly runs around tidying up and putting on the kettle*. I haven’t been posting as often as work has been rather interfering with my blogging time (damn that need to actually earn money – gah!). But I seem to be getting into a slightly better rhythm so I promise not to neglect the blog quite so much. And now I must head over to yours for a catch up, too…

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