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Boys will be boys or should I worry?

My son will be 4 in August. He is a sweet boy. A late in life baby with older a bit spoiled and VERY willfull...gets that from me! Anyway we took him to the park yesterday. He loves to run and climb on the equipment. But after we were there for a bit he started to roar at other kids and chase them. One little girl was climbing up a ladder and he was up top and I saw him put his foot out as if to step on the top of her head. I was freaked out! I have never seen him behave this way. I don't want him a social outcast because he is a bully. Like I said very uncharacteristic of him..what should I do? He loves other kids and usually get along pretty well. I told him at the time to be nice and stepping on people was unacceptable behavior but is that enough? I don't want him going off to school and being a behavior problem and not having friends because he is mean.


Asked by salexander at 10:13 AM on Apr. 9, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 26 (28,366 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • Well my oldest is 23 and a boy and I really never saw the aggression in him that I do in this one. They have different dads. My current DH is loud and obnoxious and I think Will is picking up on this. I think there is the source of my problem. He has been laid off since the second week in Jan, he NEEDS to go back to work!

    Answer by salexander at 10:19 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • its a boys being boys thing, just tell him its unacceptable...sorry to say but a lot more weird and unacceptable stuff is going to happen in the years to come.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:14 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • That's not a boys will be boys thing and it really rubs me the wrong way when some folks say that. That's unacceptable and you just have to let him know that and if he does it again there must be some kind of punishment. What you said to him is enough unless it happens again.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:16 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • I have a very kind and reserved child but when she was 3 she poked a boy in the eye. I asked her why and she said because he was looking at me. I was so worried. The I realized she had an issue with space. Unless she knows you don't invade it. Maybe your son is feeling he wants the kids to notice him and play with him and roaring at them or hurting them is his way of trying to get their attention. Just ask him how would you feel if someone did this to you, it would hurt right or it would anger you right? Tell him the other kids won't want to play with him if continues to hurt them. Then see what happens.

    Answer by MAMAMISTY33 at 10:37 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • I know some 3 yr old girls that did that. I think it is a phase. I had seen that the mom would just tell her to cut it out, she's not a bear. I would have just let her play, they aren't hurting anyone.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:43 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • You saw him do it once, and you told him not to and why. For now, that is enough. If you see this kind of behavior continue, then you need to really get serious about it. All kids make mistakes, get a little out of control etc. This is how they learn! Hopefully, this was a good learning opportunity :-)

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:48 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Sounds like he his getting his personality from his dad. You are on the right track though. Keep telling him what is acceptable and what isn't. He is old enough to know when something can hurt someone. If he continues then he doesn't get to be around kids or go to the park until he can learn to be nice. It is part being a boy but that doesn't make it ok for him to do. Have you thought about putting him in karate? They will teach him self control. Is he in any sports where the energy can be worn out of him?

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:57 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Sounds like he was using his imagination and pretending he was a dragon or a lion or dinosaur! Some kids are just more rambunctious than others and it really sounds like he was playing not being mean. I think just guide him to the proper behavior and not over worry about it.


    Answer by goaliemom93 at 11:17 AM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • I think you did fine. Most kids will do things that are not acceptable from time to time. You did fine by telling him what he did was not ok and why. As a one time incident, I would not stress about him growing up to be a bully. If it becomes the start of a pattern, cross that bridge when you come to it.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:21 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • I really dislike the 'boys will be boys' attitude, because to me, it's a pass for lower standards. I even hear this coming from so called educators and it drives me wild. He sounds like a normal, rambunctious kid to me.

    My Miss Munky is the same way as your son, she has to spend all her time with me, so other kids are a novelty. She roughs it up with her older siblings at home.

    She got her heart broken when a little boy she was playing with suddenly hit her. I got to him before his mother did, got in his face and said "NO! That was NOT NICE! Go to your mother!", exact same thing I do to her, except she goes to her room. If she does it again, I swat her butt. It doesn't take much, they do not like having mommy's disapproval (or Jamma's in our case). I think it works for us because we're a very openly affectionate family.

    Answer by MizKizzy at 12:53 PM on Apr. 9, 2009