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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>3 Year Old Boy Hits Throws Toys Constantly
dck 04:56 PM 02-13-2012
I have a 3YO DCB here about 3-5 days a week. He also comes with his 1 YO brother. From the moment he arrives DCB3 hits, throws toys and pushes the other children in the daycare. He is very rough with his brother and seems to have no remorse for his actions.

I have tried the usual time outs, redirection, conversation. He is very verbal and intelligent. However whenever I try to talk to him about inappropriate behaviour he refuses to make eye contact with me and constantly cuts me off saying "I KNOW! IM SORRY!" etc. When he gets off of his time out etc. he will tell me "I wont hit my friends (my brother) etc." Immediately walk over to the same child and hit them in the head, throw a toy at them, or push them down.

After two weeks of this, today I got out of him that he thought it was "Funny" to hurt his friends. I told him asked him if anyone else was laughing. He said "no". I said what happens when you act like that? He cried and said "Nobody wants to play with me". He is also registered in another daycare for when I am unable to take him and Mom says that he is having the same problems at the other daycare (also a family space).

Today after thinking I got thru to him, he left his time out, walked over to his baby brother and slammed his head into the heat register. I had no choice but to completely remove him from the room and into a play pen. He is literally at the point where the second he thinks i can't see him he will smile and then hurt someone. It doesn't matter if he is removed from all friends, toys, priviledges etc. He cries in time out, but immediately goes back to the behaviour.

I'm losing my patience and am getting concerned that the other children are no longer enjoying the daycare.

Michael 05:04 PM 02-13-2012
Welcome to the Forum! I've upgraded your status. You can post freely now.

Here are some more threads on Toy Throwing.
Heidi 06:29 PM 02-13-2012
Wow! Lucky you!

is it possible that he is just totaly overwhelmed by the action/activity/noise level?

If so, is there a way you can give him some space to get away to? His own special space? I would also try to amp up the positive reinforcement, and try to find a way to connect with him. Is there something that he is really into (dinosaurs, tractors, trucks?). Positive messages (gentle hands, Timmy) instead of (hey, buster, don't be so rough), might also help.

Sounds like this might be a challenge!

Also, his smiling face could be misleading, not necessarily a show of know what I mean?
dck 07:44 PM 02-13-2012
hmmm... well... I have a three rooms in the daycare. There is the main playroom, a bedroom that serves as a seperate play room when some kids want to play noisier or more quietly than the majority of the other children, also a seperate infant sleep area, and then an area off to the side that serves as my office.

I have tried placing him in all of these areas with different activities. More or less stimulation does not seem to help. I've also tried having him directly beside me at all times. If I am not firm with him, he has actually gone so far as to cause some serious injuries (bruises on heads from slamming kids into the floor or the wall, one scratched eye from throwing a toy at a toddlers face). I honestly don't think the gentle hands approach is appropriate in his situation. Because he will literally ignore you while and complete the aggressive action while you are saying it.

A lot of the time, he will say Sorry before or while he is hurting someone as well. It seems like he thinks that he can do whatever he likes as long as he is willing to apologize for it. That connection of consequence isnt registering at all. I don't usually think the time out/say you're sorry method works out that great for that particular reason, but some kids really respond to the idea that they have dissappointed the caregiver or hurt their friend. Not this kid. He shows no emotion at all regarding hurting someone's feelings or hurting them physically. He has been expressing lately that he wants "friends" but he says he "thinks its very funny to hit them".

His mother is very distraught and I feel awful having to tell her day after day that he is struggling to control himself. At the same time, I am fiercly protective of the other kids I have here. And I am finding myself getting extremely frustrated and angry that he is continuing to hurt them with no remorse or improvement.
dck 08:03 PM 02-13-2012
I've been thinking some more about the situation.... I noticed his behaviour tends to turn once there are more than one other child his own age here. I think that perhaps it is a way of him "showing off" and trying to get the boys to think he's cool as often the aggression is directed at the younger kids. He almost never behaves like that if the other 3 year and over children are not around. There may also be a little bit of him feeling insecure, not sure of his place in the group.

So Im thinking what I will do is start him off with some solo activities at first, set up a coloring area etc. something to keep him occupied as the other children arrive. And then see which of the kids approach him naturally. Allow him to play at an activity with only one child at a time for the next bit until he gains some confidence in the relationship and seems like he can handle more dynamics.

What do you think????? Im just hoping I can maintain my cool at this point and not totally lose it, lol
Meyou 03:57 AM 02-14-2012
I'd separate him and keep him separated until he started to listen and stopped hurting. He's old enough to understand what behavior is wrong and right. I would make a separate playspace for him and tell him why he is playing alone. EG hurting friends, throwing toys etc etc.
christinaskids 07:00 AM 02-14-2012
I would keep him seperated most of the day. Tell him its not safe for him to be around other kids when he acts like that. He will get bored soon and want to behave himself.
Heidi 07:19 AM 02-14-2012
I agree with the separation thing, for free play times.

It sounds like you are really trying to solve the puzzle that is this little boy! It would be very tempting to just terminate him, I am sure.

I had a boy years ago that was alot like this. I got him when he was 20 months old, and although I grew to love him, 14 months later I terminated because I felt like I had used up every resource I had. I even tried a bunch of community resources, but everyone kept saying "thats normal behavior-toddlers hit" Ya, they do, but 20 times in and hour. "normal" toddlers (and 3's) dont run into a darkened room, hone in on a baby in and excersaucer, and run their claws against the babies face!

I tried finding patterns of his aggressive behavior, but could not find one. The family and I still keep in touch via Facebook (he is 13 now), but mom and I have never had a heart to heart aboiut how things turned out later. I do know that he ended up in a gifted and talented program (did I say that before? Sorry)

One thing I noticed with N was that when he was alone with me, he was an angel. He was my little helper. I had only him (and my newborn) for a few weeks, and it was heaven. Once other children were there, he became a wild animal. He HATED the structure of a group. Oddly, he was the youngest of 4 children, and they were reasonably sweet kids, if not a bit on the wild side. The other thing I noticed is that he did not know how to play. If he had 2 trucks, he'd just bang them together, even at almost 3. He never "drove" them around, making car noises. He never did puzzles, or blocks, or anything. THe only way he "played" was gross motor stuff.

I ended up getting early childhood to come out and observe him, and luckily, he showed them ALL his behaviors. They took him into the program, and he did HORRIBLY! He regressed in potty training (potty trained himself at 22 months).

Maybe your little guy does need some space of his own, some activities "assigned" to him when the other children arrive, and some floor time with you. Perhaps he needs you to teach him HOW to play, and how to communicate in a positive way.
countrymom 07:20 AM 02-14-2012
guess who gets to be your buddy for the day. I would make him follow you around all day. The problem is that he's going to hurt someone bad, then what. I had a kid who loved to hit too, its a game at home, well I made him sit in a high chair and watch the kids every day (his parents who worked with dh are a piece of work) it took months and months of him in the high chair, following me around and the play pen to finally get that you can't hit the kids. I will guarentee it that he's getting spanked at home or someone is rough houseing with him.
Hunni Bee 04:53 PM 02-14-2012
I'm not usually one for the "term him" bandwagon because im in a situation where I dont have the power to term anyone, so I know that isn't helpful sometimes.

But I've also had a child who constantly hurt other children for his own pleasure. It sounds like you've played with the variables that you can change and the outcome has been the same.

Having your head slammed into a wall or floor or having objects thrown at it is not okay. Your first priority, even over helping this boy through his issues, is to keep everyone safe. You have to figure out whether the other children can be safe from harm while that child is there. If not, then he needs to go.

I'd have a serious talk with the parents, and let them know you're willing to work with them but the hurting of other children must stop. If you think he needs evaluation, etc., let them know that he needs to have that done as soon as possible. I'd give them a timeframe,and tell them that any instances of him seriously hurting another child will result in him needing to picked up for the day. The third instance will result in him being terminated.

I can imagine that you would hate to lose both siblings, but his behavior could produce problems for your daycare, plus it's not fair to the other kids.

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