Drew has decided to channel his inner Brian Wilson and throw EVERYTHING. I like to think that he is grooming himself for the life of a professional baseball player, but our friends in playgroup are getting a little wary of his fastball.
I don't blame them. Having been on the receiving end, I can attest to the pain of being beaned with a block/car/ball.
We so far have tried different tactics to curb this delightful behavior. We have done substitution; with foam nerf balls, and at the suggestion of a friend, I made bean bags that he was allowed to throw instead of his hard wooden blocks. This worked for a while, but it actually seems to have made him more proficient at throwing. His aim is much better and he can actually get the ball/bean bag to you. Great if we were outside throwing the ball. Not so great in the close quarters of a playgroup where even a soft ball or bean bag at point blank range hurts.
I have tried punishment; a warning first, then one minute on the naughty step if he throws something inappropriate again. The punishment seemed to work, as his throwing things slowed down and he started throwing the right things instead... but now, he'll throw a wooden block, then walk himself over to the damn step... grinning the whole way. Somehow I think he's outsmarted me. Crap.
We have tried to look at the motivation as well. I know that at the end of the day, when he's exhausted and cranky, things get thrown a LOT more often. Nowadays, if it's that time, then we just tell him firmly not to do it again, then ask him if he wants to go to bed. That is usually the answer and he heads upstairs to bath and bed without a peep.
But what about in the middle of the day? After a 3 hour nap? Is it for attention? Because he's overwhelmed in group situations? Because he doesn't want me to have any mommy friends anymore???
So all of our "solutions" have worked to varying degrees, but he's still a wildcard in playgroup situations. I feel like anytime he picks up a toy, I don't know if he's going to play with it, or chuck it at someone.
Does anyone have any more suggestions as to how we tame the wild beast? The terrible two's are bad enough without having to worry about him hurting someone else.
Of course, I could just enroll him in little league as some sort of pitching prodigy... Maybe the Giants will draft him?
|Fear the Beard|