Anonymous asks:

Help with a young bully, a 2 1/2 year old with bullying behavior

We have a 2 1/2 year old boy.  For 90% of the time, he is sweet and playful.  However, he hits and pushes others, both children and adults.  Also, he throws objects (an older brother's game pieces that the little one grabbed), and has injured several adults, one who got two broken front teeth and needed dental surgery, and just missed getting someone in the eye; he claimed he was playing catch although we explained that he should use a soft ball.  He has friends, playdates, goes to sleepovers, attends preschool for a few hours per week, is athletic, and is academically advanced: he speaks in full sentences, has a large vocabulary, knows all his letters and numbers, and even reads.  We make sure he is not hungry nor tired, we read to him and play games, make him feel loved, give him quiet play time, have a bedtime schedule, make sure he has physical activity, and we discipline him with words and reasoning, not hitting, with taking things away, and with time-outs.  His siblings are afraid of him, and so are some others, but not everyone; his friends do not care if he shoves and think it is fun, but the kids on the playground or indoor play areas do not like it when he shoves.  And we don't like it either.  What can we do with a child so young?  Help, please!
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Preparing my child for preschool, Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Jan 20, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

You are doing all the right things with your son.  Congratulations for recognizing he is bright but his behavior is causing concern.  First, speak with your pediatrician.  Ask about a developmental evaluation.  The benefit to you all would be an assessment of his physical being and his psyche. Second, I would consider that at 21/2 years old it will take constant attention to the routines you are providing and discipline that is reasonable but firm.  Finally, for the moment, keep yourself around when there are play dates and take frequent breaks with the children to settle down.  At some point a visit to child and adolescent psychiatrist for you as parents, may be helpful in raising him for the next year.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (1)

creatorofgo... writes:
So, your boy has caused lots of trouble for others when he throws and hits. But, ask him why he likes to play catch with adults. And why does he use hard objects that can injure others. Tell him that if this keeps going on everyone will be afraid of him. They will not play with him.
> 60 days ago

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