Monday, May 16, 2011


I have a confession:  As much as I'd like to say my children are well behaved angels, Pumpkin has started pinching.

I want to put a stop to this immediately, but I'm really not having success.  He's mainly pinching his brother but the daycare teachers mentioned to me that the last time he was there, he was pinching.  Also, when I was picking him up at the gym babysitting area a little girl that was sitting right next to him suddenly started crying.  I am horrified to think that he might have pinched her.  I didn't see anything happen, but now I don't trust him near other kids.

Yesterday I pulled out the playpen and decided that whenever he pinched or hit (yes he is smacking and head butting his brother as well as pinching) I would tell him NO! and put him in time out for 2 minutes.  I realize that Munchkin sometimes instigates the pinch by grabbing something out of Pumpkins hands or minor taunting (we'll have to work on this too) but the pinching has got to stop! He was in time out about 5 times yesterday afternoon!  He quickly learned how to say and sign sorry but the pinching continued.  I'm holding my breath today- He has only had one, um... episode today, and I immediately did our time-out routine.

I am terrified to send him to daycare or the gym babysitting.  I'm afraid we're gonna get labeled pinchers and get blacklisted from the gym.  Or worse, the other parents will judge my apparent inability to control my child's behavior.

Pumpkin is an otherwise easy child.  He eats what I feed him, sleeps well and is happy, cute, and  lovable.  I'm not sure what when wrong in this department.

What have you done to put a stop to aggressive behavior?  It's to late for me to prevent the initial occurrence, unfortunately, but I need to do something to prevent it from reoccurring!



KO said...

Have you tried pinching him back, so he realises that it hurt???? or Maybe taking away something he enjoys for the day? Sounds like he's not understand or caring about the time out consequense... Maybe he needs harsher punishments to get the point across that its unexceptable behavior.... I once baby sat a little girl. She would put herself in a timeout... I'd asked her why and she would tell me- " Well i'm getting ready to be bad, so i'm gonna get it overwith now!" This little girl wasnt even 3yrs old!--- But thats an exteme example. Later on she was diagnose with ADHD and her parents refused to treat it... even with diet changes opposed to medication... Needless to say after two summers i quit even after her parents begged me ( since she was kicked out of 3 daycare at that point).... I dont think your problem will get that exteme, but it is important to nip it in the butt before it goes to far.....

Onesie Mommy said...

I'm your newest follower and found your blog on Voice Boks.

I'm in a similar situation except that my Miss B is biting. She seems to do it on a few occasions. When she's teething, she bites which makes sense to me. And, she'll often bite me when she's happy, excited or playing around. I think she confuses biting with kissing because a few times, she comes at me with an open mouth and I can say "no biting" and she kisses me instead.

As for the pinching thing... you said Pumpkin is a very easy going child and this behaviour is surprising to you. This is likely his way of expressing displeasure or frustration as it seems he's doing this on those occasions. You're doing great with the time out thing and I'd like to suggest taking it a step further when he comes out of that break period. Show him how to deal with his frustration/feelings of anger. I've used this in my class and it works wonders.

Hang in there.

Mommy L said...

Thanks Onesie Mommy! I appreciate the support from a fellow Mommy. I actually talked to the adjustment counselor at Munchkin's soon to be kindergarten during kindergarten screening and he made me feel a lot better about what was going on. His advice was pretty similar to yours actually. He said Pumpkin is likely doing this b/c he can't verbalize his frustration about something and I should remove him from the situation and tell him "No we don't pinch/do that" Pumpkin has been behaving better and I am feeling relieved. Maybe I wont have a serial pincher after all.

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Onesie Mommy said...

LOL at the serial pincher comment. Glad to read that you're seeing an improvement in Pumpkin.

Keep up the great work!

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