Hit me baby one more time
Toddlers can be mean. Really mean… Jude got beaten up in our sing and sign class last week. Ok – perhaps ‘beaten up’ is a bit overboard. But he was hit twice, pushed over and had an instrument thrown at his face at extremely close proximity. Absolutely heartbreaking. Each of these ‘incidents’ resulted in Jude crying very dramatically and the other mums in the group gasped as they occurred. I very nearly walked out of the class and removed us both as I was so upset ad almost crying.
The problem that I have – aside from the fact that my cub has been hurt by another child – is that the mummy of the hitting child didn’t do anything. There was no telling off for the child, no apology for Jude – or me. Just sobbing tears from Jude and massive cuddles and a very upset and angry me.
I know that toddler aggression can rise up from nowhere. I also know that the mother of the little boy doing the hitting is probably distraught that her little boy is doing this. And everyone parents in different ways and has different ways of dealing with how their child acts. I feel like talking to her will probably make her feel better about it too… But while I’m talking to her and she’s not watching her child (which she has to do at all times), he could be beating Jude up again.
In today’s class another little boy – who has never exhibited any aggression – also hit Jude. He hit the child that does all the hitting. It seems like the aggression is spreading pretty rapidly. This session, Jude sat in my lap for the entire session. This is really unusual – he always walks around and gets involved in classes. Another parent commented on how unusual it was for him to be so quiet. On a positive note, it means that he avoided the ‘hitting baby’ for the whole session. The hitting baby carried on hitting others this week – whereas last week it was just Jude. On the downside, I’m slightly worried that he stayed with me because he was afraid of what would happen if he left me. So not only do we have the problem that Jude might become more introverted during the class, but other children have now started hitting too. They have learned the poor behaviour and started doing it. How long will it be before Jude learns this poor behaviour too?
This week the mummy of the hitting child removed him from the room every time he did something. I have done a quick bit of reading online and it suggests that removing the aggressive child from the activity will soon mean that they associate that removal with the hitting and stop doing it. So I guess that’s what the mum is trying to do. But in the meantime, do I allow Jude to a) be scared while he’s in the class or b) be hit and pushed over by an aggressive child?
Such a weird situation that I never expected to find myself in… If anyone has been here too – on either side of the fence – it would be great to hear from you! It’s probably one of the more awkward parts of parenting – at any age; someone is hurting your baby. How do you deal with it?