My Child Is Mean To Others

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Anger issues, Being mean | No Comments
Annie The Nanny

Annie The Nanny

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Annie the Nanny is a professional parenting educator. She writes a weekly advice column for parents who need help with their children's behaviour. Her advice has also been featured on CTV, CBC and in all kinds of print media. For more information about Annie, please go to her 'about' page.

Hi Annie,

I don’t know what to do because my child is mean to others. Today the teacher pulled me aside and told me that my three-year-old son was taking toys away from other kids and that every time this one little girl would make something out of play dough, he would smash it. She said she didn’t think he was doing it maliciously, and I don’t think so either, as it’s just not in his character, but I need to know what to do. I had a long talk with him about it, and he said he wouldn’t do it again. I grounded him from playing games on the computer. Do you know of anything else I should do because I don’t want my kid to be the “bad kid” in class? Thanks Crystal

my child is mean to othersHi Crystal,

First, take a deep breath. An incident or two at the play school doesn’t mean your son is headed for trouble. You’ve let him know you’re not happy and given him a consequence, and that’s all good stuff. At three, you want it to be a direct consequence, so I would only deny him his games for the day of the offence. If he behaves properly at play school for one day, then give them back to him, but for a while, tell him you will be talking to the teacher every day after class. Tell him you will be checking to make sure he has been well behaved; if he has played nicely with the other kids, etc., he gets his computer games back; if he hasn’t, he doesn’t.

He may just have had a bad day, been frustrated, or whatever. Kids also do things quite often just to test where the boundaries are. Yours are clearly defined, and that’s great. I’m sure the play school has their own methods for dealing with the problem too. They probably put him in timeout, which would have sent its own clear message as well. Don’t worry; if he can’t get away with it on either front, it’ll soon stop. For more help with your parenting, please visit my parenting services page.


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