As some of you may know, we share a back garden with a few other houses in our terrace. This, for the most part, works well and means Olivia gets to play with the other children who live there. One of the children is the same age as Olivia and they get on really well, playing with each other and having fun.
However, one of the other children is slightly older at just under 3. Until a few months ago, she was a lovely, gentle little girl who played, hugged and was a joy to be around. Then, one day, everything became “mine”. That’s normal, a part of growing up and learning to share and control your emotions. That’s all good and well. However, when everything that Olivia picks up or is playing with becomes “mine” it is slightly more of a problem. A 15 month old doesn’t understand that the older girl is learning and is dealing with all these new emotions. She comes across as aggressive and scary. That upsets Olivia. At points she has run away as soon as the other girl comes into the garden. That’s not cool.
The mum, to her credit, is generally very good and tells the girl she has done wrong, that the item in question isn’t hers and that she needs to share it and apologise. The majority of the time that works well. When it doesn’t, a tantrum ensues and she is taken away from the situation to calm down.
What concerns me is that she is now getting quite aggressive. Standing on the other toddler, pushing, hitting and being deliberately vicious when her mum isn’t looking. I draw the line at that. I know she doesn’t really know what she is doing but that does not excuse hurting my daughter or the boy next door. I won’t allow my daughter to be a learning tool for someone else’s child.
The question is how do we deal with it. My immediate response so far has been to be firm and sharp with the girl, telling her to stop and move away. I feel her mother should be firmer when it comes to the more serious issues but am not sure if it is appropriate to tell her this. There is no way I will let this girl make my daughter feel unsafe in the garden but at the same time I do not want to make the mother feel alienated in what must be a difficult time for her trying to deal with these issues.
Am I being too over protective? Should Olivia be getting used to getting pushed around? Should I just remove Olivia from the situation, thus spoiling her time in the garden, or should I ask the mother to be firmer with her child? I’m guessing it’s not the last option, which is a shame because I would certainly be firmer with Olivia if she was being physically aggressive to other children. Maybe that’s the wrong course of action. I don’t know, I’ve never done this before.
So how would you deal with such a situation? Please let me know