After the age of 2, I saw Ayven’s vocabulary go from sweet talking to attitude and tell you the truth it kinda freaked me out. All he started saying was “that’s mine”, “that’s my mommy, don’t touch her”, “no, I don’t want to do what you say” and at school he was getting reports of pushing other kids, hitting kids, sometimes even biting kids. I know it’s part of growing up and all kids go through this, but I wanted to find ways to help him understand what he was doing/saying was wrong. Or from the other side, other kids were pushing him, biting him and lashing out and he would get very angry and retaliate. When do you tell them to stand up for themselves and when do you tell them what they are doing is wrong??? This is a tough question for any age child.
We tried the punishing thing, but that totally backfired..the more we yelled at him at home..the more he let it out on his friends at school…which is when we had to start our chores and rewards system and used alternative ways to say no.
I wanted to find other ways to get through to him that what he was doing was not okay. The challenge I was having was that I wanted him to stand up for himself…so always telling him to back off wouldn’t provide any benefit. I know he is a very visual person and loves reading so I did some research on books. I came across a set of books that have made a huge difference in his understanding of getting along with others and building social skills. It’s called the Learning to Get Along Series by Cheri J. Meiners. The entire series covers almost every possible social situation your child can experience with other kids or even adults such as teachers, parents or family members. The books focus on decision making based on your social environment, which I think is critical for all kids to understand at a young age. It ranges from dealing with situations at school to being aware and making good choices in any social environment.
So what’s so different about these books? At the end of each book, the author provides ways to reinforce what the book has explained and a set of games to play with your child to better understand the concepts. Some of these scenarios and games are a bit difficult for him at age two, but I can ask it in a different way where he will understand. He can grow into these books for the next few years.
I highly recommend these books for kids of all ages. The illustrations are great and the stories are very simple yet to the point.
Here are the books in the Learning to Get along Series: