He’s such a sweet boy. He really is. It’s just … unfortunately he’s developed a rather annoying and sometimes alienating habit on the playground. Face-grabbing. And occasionally he bites.
Most of the time, he doesn’t do it unprovoked. Toy or territory infringement, for example, will turn him into a complete barbarian, and considering his 17-month-old perspective, I understand where he’s coming from. His elders can say things like “¡es mío!” and he’ll more or less relinquish and babble, “Bueno, I won’t touch your mini shopping cart even though it looks like the coolest thing on earth.”
There are times, though, when out of the blue he’ll toddle up to a child (usually a girl) and grab her face as if he truly wants to rip it off or see her cry. It’s terrible. Why, my son, do you do this?
Is it something you picked up from other kids on the playground? Is it because of the “rough-and-tumble” games you play with dad? Is it television, even though we don’t have one? Is it society?
I scoured the Internet and referenced my library of how-to-tame-your-tiger (I mean toddler) books. Here’s what I discovered: It’s normal. While the sight of seeing my little angel doing devilish things makes me cringe, I have to remind myself that -- like so many things in my parenting life -- it’s not personal.
So I can stop stressing on the playground, here are my five solutions to curbing playground violence:
It’s all really a matter of getting to know him so I can learn how best to discipline him, my gentle (if not occasionally untamed) little tiger.
Image via K. Emily Bond