Convos

Help! My 3 yr old is a bully

My three yr. old daughter is the playground bully. I’m not sure where this is coming from! We don’t discipline with spanking or yell at her but she is so selfish when she is there. She yells, “go away kids!” or “You can’t play on that swing, it’s mine.” She seems to understand about sharing and being kind when we talk to her but when she hits the playground the claws come out. How can we get her to stop?

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Chloe Farhadi
Role playing! Maybe you take on a role similar to how she's behaving and show her how it feels to be the other kid.
Bea Elliason
I don't see anything wrong with it. I used to tell my kids to be nice, but I feel like that took away from their assertiveness. The whole world already tells them to "be nice". I'd rather let them build their self-confidence now. But that's just my opinion, based on my experience with my kids.
Ameline Crook
I think that for the next few park visits, you should guide her play. Maybe arrive with some sand toys and make suggestions like, "Let's see if we can find anyone to share our toys with today." Or things like "I hope there will be lots of kids for us to play together on the slide." Maybe if leading up to arriving at the park, you can mentally prepare her for the idea that other children will be there and the park, its structures, and your toys are all meant for sharing.
Camille Aud
I'd tell her that if she continued to act out, she won't be able to play anymore. I had to do this many times with my kids when they were being rude at the park. At the same time, you have to be reasonable too... you don't want them to be a pushover either.
Sharon Gordal
I went through this with my own girls. I'm sure it can be really embarrassing for you at the playground! I would continue to talk to her right before taking her to the playground, lots of role playing, and you can tell her that if she's mean to kids, you'll go home. Make sure to actually follow through with it, though.