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  #1  
Old 04-17-2014, 11:35 AM
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Default Terming Aggressive 20 Month Old - Is This Fair?

I have a 20 mo DCB, he's been here for 3 months. We struggled in the first couple of weeks, but he has overall fit in to the program well.

The past few weeks he has been hitting and pushing the other kids, we are redirecting him as much as we can, but he is 20 months old, and short of my carrying him around all day, I'm not sure what else to do.

Yesterday at pick up, my favorite DCM of a 13 mo DCB pulled me aside to talk about the aggression she is noticing in the 20 mo. She said at drop off that morning 20mo DCB tackled 13mo dcb and was hitting him on the floor. My husband was with the kids at that point, and he confirmed that this did happen, and both him and DCM had to pull 20mo off of 13mo. DCM of 13mo was sweet about it, but she is concerned about her child being rough housed.

Is it fair to term a 20 month old for aggression? It seems young, but he is a bit of a terror. His mom doesn't seem concerned about the aggression, and said that they do let him rough house with cousins. I think it's a "boys will be boys" attitude. Is there anything else I can do to help him learn to touch nicely? Should I just term and be done with it?

TIA!
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MCC View Post
I have a 20 mo DCB, he's been here for 3 months. We struggled in the first couple of weeks, but he has overall fit in to the program well.

The past few weeks he has been hitting and pushing the other kids, we are redirecting him as much as we can, but he is 20 months old, and short of my carrying him around all day, I'm not sure what else to do.

Yesterday at pick up, my favorite DCM of a 13 mo DCB pulled me aside to talk about the aggression she is noticing in the 20 mo. She said at drop off that morning 20mo DCB tackled 13mo dcb and was hitting him on the floor. My husband was with the kids at that point, and he confirmed that this did happen, and both him and DCM had to pull 20mo off of 13mo. DCM of 13mo was sweet about it, but she is concerned about her child being rough housed.

Is it fair to term a 20 month old for aggression? It seems young, but he is a bit of a terror. His mom doesn't seem concerned about the aggression, and said that they do let him rough house with cousins. I think it's a "boys will be boys" attitude. Is there anything else I can do to help him learn to touch nicely? Should I just term and be done with it?

TIA!
Do you think DCM would take it seriously if you put her on "notice" and did a probation period for a certain amount of time? In this time you could discuss a plan of action with her on how you will both work together on solving this problem. If she is unwilling to problem solve with you, then you will know he'll likely need to be term'd - but if she's willing to problem solve and start working on assisting with correcting this behavior than maybe it can be fixed?
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:43 AM
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If you can replace him quickly I would. Otherwise you may find yourself with the 20mo and not the sweet 13mo. DCM of 13mo will probably leave if this doesn't stop.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:54 AM
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If you can replace him quickly I would. Otherwise you may find yourself with the 20mo and not the sweet 13mo. DCM of 13mo will probably leave if this doesn't stop.
Yes, this is my concern.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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I think a lot of it is his age, personally, so I would try to give him a 'probation' as someone else suggested, and I agree with all the things suggested - an area to play by himself when he is getting aggressive as well as alerting 13m mom that there is a plan in place.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:57 AM
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If you can replace him quickly I would. Otherwise you may find yourself with the 20mo and not the sweet 13mo. DCM of 13mo will probably leave if this doesn't stop.
Agreed. I'd be more concerned with keeping 13mo. A probation period of 2 weeks to see drastic improvement or term. Tell her other parents are concerned for their children and you cannot risk losing multiple children for the sake of one.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:02 PM
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I am not a fan of parents rough-housing with their little kids at home. The roughest kids I have are all kids who parents admit roughhouse with Dad, big brothers, or their dogs! At such a young age, these kids don't understand that they can't do this with eveyrone. They don't understand that they are hurting kids.

I'd sit the mom of 20 month DCB down and tell her you are putting him on probation. That the roughhousing he does outside of daycare is making his behavior unsafe in daycare.

If nothing changes, I would terminate. Before long, a rough 20 month old is a rough 2.5 year old and the older and stronger he gets, the more likely someone will get seriously hurt.

20 months is not too young to start learning "hands are not for hitting."
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:06 PM
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How to I phrase this to DCM without breaking her heart?
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MCC View Post
I have a 20 mo DCB, he's been here for 3 months. We struggled in the first couple of weeks, but he has overall fit in to the program well.

The past few weeks he has been hitting and pushing the other kids, we are redirecting him as much as we can, but he is 20 months old, and short of my carrying him around all day, I'm not sure what else to do.

Yesterday at pick up, my favorite DCM of a 13 mo DCB pulled me aside to talk about the aggression she is noticing in the 20 mo. She said at drop off that morning 20mo DCB tackled 13mo dcb and was hitting him on the floor. My husband was with the kids at that point, and he confirmed that this did happen, and both him and DCM had to pull 20mo off of 13mo. DCM of 13mo was sweet about it, but she is concerned about her child being rough housed.

Is it fair to term a 20 month old for aggression? It seems young, but he is a bit of a terror. His mom doesn't seem concerned about the aggression, and said that they do let him rough house with cousins. I think it's a "boys will be boys" attitude. Is there anything else I can do to help him learn to touch nicely? Should I just term and be done with it?

TIA!
I would let dcm of 13 mo dcb know that you are creating an action plan. She has a valid concern, even if it's only based on what she saw. Then I would create a plan where you are intervening ahead of his aggression if possible. If he does hit keep reminding him "hands are not for hitting etc" and if need be I would separate him to an area where he can see the others, but can't play with them. Every time he hits or hurts someone take him to his own playspace. I wouldn't make it seem like a bad thing as he is too young for time out but eventually he will make the connection that if you hit or hurt you do not get to join the fun. Help him practice gentle touching with you, stuffed animals and doll babies. It's typical of some children his age to be aggressive in their play. I don't know that you need to term yet without trying a plan first. Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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I would let dcm of 13 mo dcb know that you are creating an action plan. She has a valid concern, even if it's only based on what she saw. Then I would create a plan where you are intervening ahead of his aggression if possible. If he does hit keep reminding him "hands are not for hitting etc" and if need be I would separate him to an area where he can see the others, but can't play with them. Every time he hits or hurts someone take him to his own playspace. I wouldn't make it seem like a bad thing as he is too young for time out but eventually he will make the connection that if you hit or hurt you do not get to join the fun. Help him practice gentle touching with you, stuffed animals and doll babies. It's typical of some children his age to be aggressive in their play. I don't know that you need to term yet without trying a plan first. Good luck!
I told DCM of 13mo we are working on a solution.

I really don't have anywhere to separate him to, other than another room with my assistant.

He uses his body to push the babies around, he will just go sit next to them and start leaning on them until we grab him. He bangs his head against other kids, he hits, and when we take things away that he is hitting with, he has extreme meltdowns. It's exhausting. Is this normal "boy" behavior? I honestly have never dealt with a child this aggressive at this age.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:05 PM
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I told DCM of 13mo we are working on a solution.

He uses his body to push the babies around, he will just go sit next to them and start leaning on them until we grab him. He bangs his head against other kids, he hits, and when we take things away that he is hitting with, he has extreme meltdowns. It's exhausting. Is this normal "boy" behavior? I honestly have never dealt with a child this aggressive at this age.
I have a 2.5 year old right now who wasn't so bad when he was 2, but now he's doing things like you described above.

He wrestles at home all the time.

His parents think throwing toys "hard" (in their words) are typical behaviors and to be expected.

There really has to be reinforcing done at home or else nothing is going to change. My 2.5 year old only has a few more weeks here, so I'm not going to make a big deal out of it, but if he was staying longer, I'd have a heart to heart with the mom.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by llpa View Post
I would let dcm of 13 mo dcb know that you are creating an action plan. She has a valid concern, even if it's only based on what she saw. Then I would create a plan where you are intervening ahead of his aggression if possible. If he does hit keep reminding him "hands are not for hitting etc" and if need be I would separate him to an area where he can see the others, but can't play with them. Every time he hits or hurts someone take him to his own playspace. I wouldn't make it seem like a bad thing as he is too young for time out but eventually he will make the connection that if you hit or hurt you do not get to join the fun. Help him practice gentle touching with you, stuffed animals and doll babies. It's typical of some children his age to be aggressive in their play. I don't know that you need to term yet without trying a plan first. Good luck!
I agree that I would start with this. Let mom of aggressive DCB know this is the PLAN. If this plan doesn't work, he will go bye-bye because you have parents who are concerned about their children, as are you. If with sitting back and watching them play he's becoming aggressive without a trigger, like he's just a rough player, then you need to have mom step in at home and push gentle hands or he's just not fit for your group. I have a little DCB who's delayed quite a bit, like a year behind where he should be, and he just doesn't understand his power and how it hurts people. He will roll on someone and pin them down not realizing they can't get up. He will mow someone down walking by them and not realize he does it. He doesn't go around hitting people or hurting them on purpose, but he doesn't understand social interaction well.
If all this DCB sees with interaction with others (or his cousins) is violence and "rough housing" then all he will every mimic is violence and rough housing.

Is he with you FT? What happened at drop-off that this took place? I suspect if nothing is triggering his violent behavior that it's a learned behavior he needs to unlearn. Teaching gentle hands was one of my FIRST things with my DS at 8mos when I had a 6mo old DCG. Then when he was 10 mos we got an 8mo old DCB and so on. We had to use gentle hands with our friends or be moved away. He was very mobile from an early age so it was tough but he's a very good boy now. His aggression peaked around 18-20 mos and he was biting one DCB in particular and it was rough but his WAS triggered and we had to interfere before that trigger went off.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:20 PM
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It's not a "boy" behavior. I have a little girl that does it. She started at about 15 months, she's 18 months now. Dad is a wrestling coach. I talked to them, and they enrolled her full time so that dad wouldn't have to take her with him to wrestling practice. She's gotten much better since then, but it's still an issue. Luckily, she's the smallest one in care so it's not as big of a danger.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:49 PM
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It's not a "boy" behavior. I have a little girl that does it. She started at about 15 months, she's 18 months now. Dad is a wrestling coach. I talked to them, and they enrolled her full time so that dad wouldn't have to take her with him to wrestling practice. She's gotten much better since then, but it's still an issue. Luckily, she's the smallest one in care so it's not as big of a danger.
I don't think it's a boy behavior either but it IS a 20 month old behavior.

I would be concerned about the 13 month old but not because I was afraid they are going to leave but because mom is concerned about her child.

I understand that she actually witnessed this but I also think she needs to understand that 99.9% of toddlers learn via physical interaction and that rough and gentle have NO meaning to a child under age 2.

They need to be taught this.

I would definitely have a discussion with the 20 month old's parents but I would not classify this as any more than normal.

A group of toddlers ARE going to be physical. A group of toddlers ARE going to push, pull, hit, and try to "fight" for what they want/need in whatever manner they know and right now at 13 and 20 months, all they know is physical. Communication skills are just emerging at that age and impulse control is virtually nil so having the right expectations about what will and won't happen is necessary for a parent when they enroll their child in GROUP care.

How many little ones do you have?

I mean no disrespect to your DH but was he actually watching the toddlers or was he doing multiple things at once so his eyes weren't actually on the 20 month old? Sometimes, that is the problem... honestly you really do have to have your eyes on a toddler at ALL times or provide them with an environment that doesn't allow for them to be physical with others.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:54 PM
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I don't think it's a boy behavior either but it IS a 20 month old behavior.

I would be concerned about the 13 month old but not because I was afraid they are going to leave but because mom is concerned about her child.

I understand that she actually witnessed this but I also think she needs to understand that 99.9% of toddlers learn via physical interaction and that rough and gentle have NO meaning to a child under age 2.

They need to be taught this.

I would definitely have a discussion with the 20 month old's parents but I would not classify this as any more than normal.

A group of toddlers ARE going to be physical. A group of toddlers ARE going to push, pull, hit, and try to "fight" for what they want/need in whatever manner they know and right now at 13 and 20 months, all they know is physical. Communication skills are just emerging at that age and impulse control is virtually nil so having the right expectations about what will and won't happen is necessary for a parent when they enroll their child in GROUP care.

How many little ones do you have?

I mean no disrespect to your DH but was he actually watching the toddlers or was he doing multiple things at once so his eyes weren't actually on the 20 month old? Sometimes, that is the problem... honestly you really do have to have your eyes on a toddler at ALL times or provide them with an environment that doesn't allow for them to be physical with others.


I have the same issues here, at times. It's frustrating to me that I can't multi-task. Honestly, sometimes, it's very boring to sit there actually watching them play, just to intervene in case of trouble. But, I do know it's part of the job.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:00 PM
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I don't think it's a boy behavior either but it IS a 20 month old behavior.

I would be concerned about the 13 month old but not because I was afraid they are going to leave but because mom is concerned about her child.

I understand that she actually witnessed this but I also think she needs to understand that 99.9% of toddlers learn via physical interaction and that rough and gentle have NO meaning to a child under age 2.

They need to be taught this.

I would definitely have a discussion with the 20 month old's parents but I would not classify this as any more than normal.

A group of toddlers ARE going to be physical. A group of toddlers ARE going to push, pull, hit, and try to "fight" for what they want/need in whatever manner they know and right now at 13 and 20 months, all they know is physical. Communication skills are just emerging at that age and impulse control is virtually nil so having the right expectations about what will and won't happen is necessary for a parent when they enroll their child in GROUP care.

How many little ones do you have?

I mean no disrespect to your DH but was he actually watching the toddlers or was he doing multiple things at once so his eyes weren't actually on the 20 month old? Sometimes, that is the problem... honestly you really do have to have your eyes on a toddler at ALL times or provide them with an environment that doesn't allow for them to be physical with others.
While this is true, there are certainly children that take it to such an extreme that they have to have an extra caregiver or be the only/youngest/smallest in the group etc. For me, this is the same child that's been climbing out of the playpen since her 1st birthday, and she's out as fast as you can put her in. Some kids are just on the extreme side of physical. I do have a smaller baby in care, but she's almost a full year younger and happy to hang out in the baby corral, which my 18 month old has zero interest in. In the non baby corral group, this X-games kid is the smallest.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I don't think it's a boy behavior either but it IS a 20 month old behavior.

I would be concerned about the 13 month old but not because I was afraid they are going to leave but because mom is concerned about her child.

I understand that she actually witnessed this but I also think she needs to understand that 99.9% of toddlers learn via physical interaction and that rough and gentle have NO meaning to a child under age 2.

They need to be taught this.

I would definitely have a discussion with the 20 month old's parents but I would not classify this as any more than normal.

A group of toddlers ARE going to be physical. A group of toddlers ARE going to push, pull, hit, and try to "fight" for what they want/need in whatever manner they know and right now at 13 and 20 months, all they know is physical. Communication skills are just emerging at that age and impulse control is virtually nil so having the right expectations about what will and won't happen is necessary for a parent when they enroll their child in GROUP care.

How many little ones do you have?

I mean no disrespect to your DH but was he actually watching the toddlers or was he doing multiple things at once so his eyes weren't actually on the 20 month old? Sometimes, that is the problem... honestly you really do have to have your eyes on a toddler at ALL times or provide them with an environment that doesn't allow for them to be physical with others.

Thank you for this response.

He doesn't seem to be doing this b/c he wants a toy or wants something at all. He will be clear across the room from 13 mo and just charge at him and bring him to the ground. I really feel like this is something that is being encouraged at home.

I have 7 kids under 3.5, so they are all little. I also have a full time assistant. At drop off yesterday there was a 3.5 year old (my DD), a 3 yo, 20mo DCB and 13 mo DCB had just arrived. When DCM dropped 13mo over the gate to the playroom, 20 mo old charged at him and took him to the ground.

My H is great with the kids, but he does scroll through the internet on occasion, or get side tracked playing something with the 3 year olds and forgets he needs to hawk eye the toddlers. However, yesterday he was talking to DCM while she was dropping off her kid, so I feel like he was pretty much right there when it happened.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:31 AM
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Agreed. Pediatricians usually perpetuate the whole "boys will be boys" myth. I bet they come back with "it's a phase, he'll grow our of it" or something where the pediatrician implies it's a problem with your program. Be prepared for them to withdraw soon. I'm hoping he recommends a behavior assessment or an early intervention assessment, but I'm not holding my breath. If he doesn't, you can make these recommendations yourself. Now, whether or not they take your recommendation is a different story. You can only do so much. They have to meet you half way.
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