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Old 01-23-2019, 09:13 AM
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Pestle Pestle is offline
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Default Shoving, or: I Don't Own Enough Gates for This

Over the last week, my infant who is becoming a toddler has started casually shoving. Not unexpected behavior. However, my toddler who is becoming a preschooler, who was outgrowing that behavior, has returned to it, and the infant's older sibling is shoving, too. My other regular kid is out on vacation, so the dynamic has gotten really out of whack.

The oldest child, the sibling, is someone who immediately resorts to howling when he encounters a challenge of any type. I have been working with him all throughout each day to say out loud what the problem is and try to address it himself. But when he experiences a consequence or is in a situation he doesn't like that cannot be changed, he starts all out howling. That I can cope with. He has to stay by himself until he settles down. The younger sibling is not only shoving everybody else, but also me! She is also trying to "participate" in activities by rushing in and throwing everything to the floor. At each instance, she is immediately removed from the group, where she rolls around and howls, because either it's genetic or she is picking it up from her brother.

And my other little guy is headbutting and body checking everybody. So I am spending my day shuffling kids from one side of a gate to another, and unsuccessfully attempting to get them to participate in scheduled activities. Put down a puzzle? The infant comes up, swipes all the pieces off the table, gets head butted by the middle kid, and everybody is sobbing. Coloring? The infant swipes her crayons from the table, lunges for the middle kids crayons, the middle kid shows the table into the infants belly, and everybody is sobbing. I put the middle kid into a playpen. The older kid immediately runs straight into the infant to knock her over. Now everybody is sobbing. So the infant Hass to participate in activities from the other side of the gate. Now the older kid is snapping his teeth and pretending to bite in the middle kid, so the middle kid show of the older kid. Repeat. Ad infinitum. Without a non-participatory child here to follow the schedule, I am at a loss of what to do on a chilly rainy day other than allow free play with gates between everybody and just move from one child to another to work with each one individually.

Tell me "This too shall pass." Also, send more gates!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:35 AM
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rosieteddy rosieteddy is offline
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Could you do more activities at the table.I had booster seats that had a strap for safety.When my group got this way I would put everyone at the table.One activitie was a large box filled with special things.Small puzzles ,string beads ,multiple mr potato heads just to mention a few.Set a timer and let them swith or choose something not used yet.I always sat next to the littlest.Also everyone got their own crayons .Each sept new ones were bought I used smaller plastc boxes that way the ones who liked breaking crayons only had their own to break.I also had a "clubhouse"extra large playspace the kind with a gate.I put activity things around the sides nonremovable .Things like the infant music toys soft rings ect.Often the older kids had a turn to get away from the littles.Finally I had an oval rug we would put music on every one would pick a pull toy and march around the rug to the music.No running was tolerated.If all this didn't help I had a pack and play for the youngest child.My rocking chair was between the "clubhouse"and pack and play.I found to keep them busy was the key.Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:45 AM
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Pestle Pestle is offline
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Unfortunately, all three of them started using the tables as battering rams yesterday and it has escalated today. I just brought them all to the tables to eat, and the little one immediately grabbed a chair and ran with it to slam into the middle one with it.

She is seated at her own table and so far so good. At the larger table, I told the older one to sit at the far end of it so I could put as much space between him and the middle one as possible. Howling ensued. He took a break until he agreed to sit at the far end of it.

Every kid gets their own crayons. However, the little one is not at a point where she is digging into an activity herself; she is seeing what has interest for the other kids, and trying to scatter what they are doing. So she will definitely be isolated from the others whenever possible until this stops.

They won't settle down to be read to and they won't give me their attention long enough to do circle time or any other physical activity. It isn't universal; this morning I got them to settle down long enough to have a snack and listen to a story, and yesterday I was able to get them playing some action songs with me while we were outside instead of just fighting over the toys and outdoor spaces. This dynamic has always been the tendency with these particular children, but until this week things have gone pretty well with my regular schedule and approach. I think it is a perfect storm of temperament and developmental stages, or possibly they are all a little possessed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:56 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is offline
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Oh Pestle, I'm exhausted just reading about your group. But I can also empathize because my group seems to be bordering on out of control lately. I know one factor for us, is that we haven't been able to spend much time outside. And that's been a challenge for us. Kids want and need to move. They're still using their bodies to move but in very inappropriate ways, plus being so close in proximity to each other for 9-10 hr. days is wearing thin on everybody!
Hopefully someone can offer you some helpful suggestions because my brain and body are exhausted from my own delightful group. Worst part is I've lost my sense of humor and I think laughter helps us make the best of our days. I don't want to laugh, I just want it to be 5:00 every day.
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