Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toddler Tuesday (on Thursday): Dragon Play Date

Maybe it's his age. Maybe it's his personality. Maybe it's because he's a boy. Maybe it's the influence of some kids he's no longer allowed to be around.

Whatever the reason, we've been concerned with how aggressive our little guy has become when playmates come to our home.

His cousin visited on Tuesday.

Beforehand, Max vowed to share his toys, be a good boy, and not hit anyone.  When they arrived, Max immediately shared a prized Tonka dump truck. I was so proud.

After a long bit of dashing around the house pushing yellow trucks, the squeals of joy were interrupted by a whimper from Caleb and a "He's okay!" from Max.

Um. Not okay.

They played well for a while and then we'd hear a cry again. After each out-of-sight altercation, Max hugged Caleb and apologized.

Finally, Caleb pointed at him and said, "I'm not hugging him again."

It's so hard not to laugh at moments like these.

Is it bad to hope a playmate will haul off and wallop my child to teach him a lesson? Then again, I think my child would laugh. He could be tackled, hit, and kicked and think it was a game.

But Caleb didn't hit him.  (And he says, "Yes, Ma'am" to his mom. How adorable is that?)

After Max pushed Caleb off his trike, I told him he'd have to take a nap. Hesitating only long enough to request milk, he immediately crawled into bed.

While he slept, Caleb--a year older and not requiring naps--regrouped. He must have developed the idea while watching Dinosaur Train.

Max woke up and wanted Caleb to join him in his play room. I encouraged him to ask Caleb nicely.  He walked in the tv room where Caleb happily nestled in Max's chair. Instead of asking him to play, Max told him to get out of his chair. Ugh.  Then he asked him nicely to play.

Caleb surprised us all with terrible roar!

Max responded with cries and real tears.

While comforting my hysterical child, I said, "He's just talking like a dinosaur.  You roar, too." I said to Caleb, "You're a dinosaur, aren't you?"

Caleb slowly shook his head. "I'm a dragon."

The power must have made him giddy because he roared at Max several more times before they left. Sweet revenge.

So...does anyone have suggestions for getting an almost three-year-old to "play nice"?


  1. I am not sure there is a right or a wrong. When my son was a toddler I repeatedly told him he HAD TO BE NICE because he was bigger. I learned to regret that as I felt other kids took advantage of his gentle nature. It was a relief when he finally stood up for himself. My advice is this too shall pass, the apple doesn't fall from the tree.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I don't want him to be victimized. However, I don't want him to be a bully, either.

    This parenting gig is hard.