Gentle parents battle with toddler violence

Drawing of children fighting, licenced by Creative Commons from Wikimedia

Drawing of children fighting, licenced by Creative Commons from Wikimedia

Today toddlers did battle and horrified mummies apologised.

I met with a fellow mum to talk about a project and our two were not friendly.

My friend was mortified when her child bopped W on the head. This was probably revenge from when she stole said child’s croissant last week. It was best served cold.

Toddler X received a good talking to from mum, who is one of the most gentle and caring parents I know.

I aspire to her calm and gentle approach.

Unfortunately W is equally keen to lash out in frustration, anger, tiredness or whatever reason she feels this is the required response.

I always say “gentle and kind”, “that hurts mummy, be kind to mummy”.

Sometimes I say this through gritted teeth as she has lashed away with her talons (nails clipped once a week).

The incident resulted in a discussion about small children and their propensity for violence.

My own thought is their reaction is basic primitive instinct rather than learned behaviour.

Neither child today experiences violence of any kind in the home, yet they hit.

Young in the natural world fight for food, their place in animal society, supremacy, for dominance.

Was what W and Toddler X doing any different? I suggested.

No matter how calm and patient you are with children there will still be difficult times when they react.

As parents we need to teach them calmness and how to have an internal dialogue with themselves when annoyed.

Or do what I do when someone really annoys me and vent to understanding friends.

Violence is never the answer. I look forward to the day when W realises this.