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Do you think a 2 year old child can/should be labeled "aggressive" when they have exiboted some active and confrontational behavior?

My son has hurdled a biting phase and has very rarely pushed or hit children when playing. I have pin pointed the most likely times that this might occur (cranky, tired etc...) and I feel I have handled it well socially.
We were recently NOT invited to a 2nd birthday party because of my son's "aggressive" behavior...and I personally think it's total crap.
If he was 5 then I could understand...but don't toddlers push??? Isn't that WHEN they are learning???

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:53 PM on Apr. 27, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (7)
  • Maybe they think he's more aggressive then most. Aggressive is: marked by driving forceful energy or initiative.That doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. You child is just more of a a go-getter then theirs! LOL

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 1:57 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • "Can" they be labled all means...YES they can. But "should" they be labeled that way? HECK NO!
    From my own experience..boys can be real bulldozers,lol...(some, not all)
    I think its really childish of someone not to invite a 2 year old to a party and use that as a reason. If all toddlers were meant to sit with thier hands in thier laps...well then I suppose ALL our toddlers would be labeled as aggressive.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 2:03 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • TheDiva320 - I get that...I just always saw the term "aggressive" as describing a child who intends to hurt...something that is developmentally impossible at this young age!!! He pushed this person's child once to see what would happen (and that was clear to me at the time). Her son is more of an observer...but I think she is now enabling his victimization by making an issue of something so silly...telling me how "he still talks about hos your son pushed him". DUH! It made an impression...move on! It was a little push and he was fine.
    My DS does totally fit the def you used though. He is quite Spirited...I know that! But I believe children need to be around other children of different temperaments to stay balanced!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:06 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • It doesn't matter the age. If a child shows aggressive behaviour then they are aggressive. Some toddlers don't hit and push, whereas others do. It depends on the child and the manner they have discovered to handle situations. If they feel that hitting and pushing gets the reaction they want, they're going to have a greater tendency of repeating that behaviour. Toddlers can be very aggressive. It should never be pinned on "They're learning", because everybody learns how to deal with situations. That doesn't make the mistake we made the first time right. A five year old is still learning and can very much become aggressive. That doesn't mean it's right for them just as much as it isn't right for a toddler. Aggression is aggression, period. Regardless of the age and it should never be written off. It should always be addressed.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 2:20 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Its really hard to say. I myself am having an issue. My son is in a daycare center with kids his age/younger older by a couple months only.. so far in 6 months he's been bit 4 times by 3 different kids, toys and blocks thrown at his face, been pinched and pushed and through all this, he never retaliated as we have been teaching him from very young that it is not ok to hit bite push etc. well this tuesday he seemed to take his breaking point after bite # 3 and started taking it out basically on Us, pulling my hair, kicking, pushing, hitting... and it Really bothers me.. I understand this can be age/phase but now my son has basically learned that its ok in his eyes because it keeps happening to him. I have talked with his teacher and the center's director and this very much is not taken lightely however, I got a call that it happened again today - and I am at a loss for what to do....

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:22 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Well, first, kudos to you for recognizing a challenging phase and addressing it. Not all parents will.

    That said, not every child enters a hitting, pushing, biting phase. Some will. Some won't. It doesn't make them bad, it's just the way they first attempt to deal with "get me what I want" ( a phase all toddlers [and still some adults. LOL!] go through.) On the other hand, some kids really are sensitive and yes, your child pushing another might have made an impression on the kid. His mother is dealing with it in a way she sees fit. I agree kids need to deal with all different kinds of personalities but even at 2 they know if they have someone they just don't want to be with -- and as a parent we shouldn't force the issue.

    I get how you're feeling. Maybe the kid and his mom are over-reacting, but honestly? This is the first of many families that are going to make a choice that just seems silly to you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • (OP)Thank you for your responses...and believe me I've thought of the other side of the argument. I just resent the notion that we somehow let this happen...when we have always discouraged hitting etc...and given him any way to redirect it. He doesn't watch TV and I don't bring him around older children who are play fighting etc...when I have any control over the matter.
    I even did some things that were against my better judgment that allegedly "worked" for other moms (like, "just bite him back"...yeah...all that behavior did was make it worse).
    He is very smart...and I know some of it is a I'm dealing with it differently now. The reality seems to be SOME kids do and SOME kids don't NATURE. This is what Spirited means!!!
    It's crap to me that a mom gets a mellow child and takes credit for them being all "well balanced" when they are just came like that. It's an excuse to look down on other moms.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

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