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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Understanding Do and Don’t
twirlerzmom 07:38 AM 02-13-2019
DCB is 3 1/2 yrs. I’ve had problems with him creating weapons out of everything and now “smashing” with a closed fist. All the kids were breaking toys lately to the point oof where I had to involve the parents and asked their help in reinforcing rules of no throwing, smashing or kicking the toys. That helped for the most part. But now this particular child continues to make a closed fist and smash it into anything and everything saying “smash smash”. We’ve repeated over and over we do NOT smash. He says ok and dos it again. One time he cocked his fist back in a punching manner, told another boy to “look out I’m going to smash!” Today he also was putting stickers on his project but covering his name. I said don’t cover your name because I won’t know whose bag it is. He said ok and proceeded to take off all stickers that were in the correct place and put them on the space with his name. I again said don’t cover your name. Do put them here instead. Again said ok and continued covering his name. Mom noticed similar things at home but figured it was typical 3 yr old behavior.

Have any of you experienced this? If so what do you do to correct it and make him understand the difference between do and don’t?
Blackcat31 07:52 AM 02-13-2019
I think alot of it is normal behavior for a 3 yr old. Not acceptable in some environments but normal.

The smashing/hitting/throwing so common now days especially due to the "gaming" culture....and especially with young fathers.

At this age, he clearly doesn't understand the impact his behavior has on others or what it feels like to be "smashed" as developmentally that type of perspective thinking comes a bit later on.... but you can still continue to remind him that when he smashes others, it's unkind and hurts.

If you've told him a million times and he's still not grasping it, why not try a different approach and maybe set up some type of activity where the kids can choose an appropriate or non-appropriate response to the issue.

I would also try to refrain from saying "don't" as in "Don't do that" or "Don't do this" and change up the words used. For example instead of saying "Don't put your stickers over your name." say "You can out your stickers here or here. Now we can still see your name".

Give him the options you want him to have but options that result in a "DO" verses a don't.

If he is smashing with the blocks you can say "Stop. You can build a tower or you can build a castle. Which one are you going to build?"

If he says to another kid “look out I’m going to smash!” you can instead say "Billy, you can play nicely with Johnny in the car area or you can play with Jimmy in the housekeeping area. Which area are you going to play in?"

Sometimes the more focus/attention you put on not doing something makes the child want to do it even more. I also think language and the words we use for kids makes a difference too....

There are so many ways to get from A to B and not all are the same.
ColorfulSunburst 10:29 AM 02-13-2019
I avoid the word "don't" as much as possible.
If a child hits/smashes/whatever... I say "gentle hands, please". Then I touch him gently and ask him to touch my hands gentle as well as the hit child. Rinse and repeat.
if I see a child going to hit someone I say "gentle hands" instead "don't do it".
Mom2Two 10:36 AM 02-13-2019
At 3.5 he can totally learn to not be aggressive. Personally I would not allow the behavior and would start attaching consequences. If you've told him 100 times and he's not listening...well what's in it for him? If there's no follow through, he doesn't seem like the type to care.

Do and don't aren't helpful though. Say it in the desired behavior way: He needs to play nicely to be allowed to play with others.

You're going to lose clients if you are all soft on aggression. I wouldn't keep my daughter there. Which kind of client do you want to attract?
Pestle 12:18 PM 02-13-2019
I have a 3.5yo with an immature male parent who's a gamer. DCB turns every toy into a gun. I say, "Oh, bummer. There are no guns allowed in Miss Pestle's house. Since this is a gun, it goes away now." I usually have to repeat once or twice per free play session. With the lessons on trays, he turns them into Power Rangers or Rescue Bots or what-have-you and smashes them into each other. Those trays also go away during structured play.
twirlerzmom 11:40 AM 02-15-2019
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'm trying the words "red light-stop" since all my kids understand what that means.
Tags:destructive behavior, rules
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