Best Ways to Resolve Conflict Between Toddler Siblings...
This morning I took my two-year-old daughter to an open gym class in our town and watched her gleefully run around the space, bounce on trampolines, and try out mini-balance beams. I felt so much pride witnessing her exploration; the smile on her face was worth the price of admission. Then out of nowhere, another toddler ran up to her and pushed her onto the ground. Our perfect morning was shattered by this unexpected conflict.
In that moment, of course, my instinct was to defend my sweet girl. But it was a 25-pound assailant who had assaulted her so what could I really do? It isn't my job to reprimand someone else's child. Clearly, it was the parent I would square off against. I waited to see how this offending kiddo's mom would react.
Unfortunately, I soon realized I was dealing with a parent who didn't care that her tot had acted too aggressively toward mine. "Don't push," was the apathetic reminder uttered by the mom. That was it.
My daughter was crying, but I didn't want to overreact. I assured her it was okay and since the other child had already run off, we continued playing. Then, believe it or not minutes later, the same child came over and pushed my daughter again. This time anger boiled up inside me as the mom, or perhaps caregiver, did nothing.
"Come on honey, let's not play near this girl who keeps pushing," I said loudly, ushering my tyke away from the mini-bully. "Some kids don't know how to behave," I continued at an unnecessarily exaggerated volume.
We did not have any more problems, but the incident got me thinking. What is a parent's role when conflict occurs between toddlers?
Number one, our role is to make sure our kiddos are safe. Then, I think it's important to let little ones work out the issue with minimal parental intervention. For instance, if the little girl's mother had asked her to apologize to my daughter and she offered me an apology, I would not have gotten upset. Obviously these things happen with almost all.
Upon reflection, I feel I also should have handled the situation differently. Rather than acting in a passive aggressive fashion, I could have addressed the other parent directly. I wish I'd said something like, "Your daughter has pushed mine twice. Please don't allow this to happen again."
Unfortunately, confronting someone I've never met before is not exactly in my comfort zone. But as a mom, I will have to deal with situations like these in the future.
It seems that staying calm and setting the right example for my kids is paramount. Also, these types of scenarios act as teaching moments for our little ones. I did remind my daughter that pushing is naughty and completely unacceptable.
Courtesy: Melissa Willets, blogs.babycenter.com