Violent outlet to toys?

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#1
My daughter acts violently towards her dolls. Throws them, hits and bites them.
Now I know this is just a doll, but what are your thoughts on the matter?

Is it healthy to approve of violence towards toys, as long as it is not directed to other children?
Or should you reprimand a child who is acting violently towards his toys?

What's your take on this?
 

wolfheart

Registered Member
#2
I am not entirely sure what to do in this situation, my boy has pretty done much the same thing as you have described on a couple of occasions.
Someone who saw him doing this said it is just boys being boys, copying the type of rough housing that I do with him when we play.

My daughter has never shown any of these little traits so in some ways I beleive it may well be that he is copying what we do with his toys, although I will tell him not to be so rough if he is overstepping the mark.

Rolling around the floor with one of his toy bears wrestling it is different to sitting there punching it which I have caught him doing and told him not too.
I dont know what to suggest about your daughter though, does she rough house with her dad at all, or is there a chance she picked up this behavour from somewhere else.
Is she doing this in normal play?, or more when she is tired/upset?.

I have had a few inncidents with my daughter when things would get tosed across the room if she tired and irritable, she would take her frustrations out on her dolls but these were few and far between.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#3
i remember i used to be really violent with my toys when i was little ... especially with dolls.
:rolleyes:
i don't know why. i regret it lol ..but it's too late now.
anyway ... as far as i remember my parents wouldn't say anything to me.
i think every child should experience with toys unless it harms other children around.
but of course parents should also learn their kids not to be this way with their toys because maybe it may influence in that child when he's around friends (though i'm not pretty sure about this). i've never been violent with my child friends.[as far as i remember].
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#4
I think you should try to discourage her, try and teach her to not be so violent. However, she could just be needing an outlet and in that case you have to ask yourself a few questions: One, why is she angry? And two, is there another more constructive way she can purge those feelings? Perhaps a sport?
 
#5
Sometimes children's play can appear overly aggressive, causing parents to worry that the child will grow up to believe aggressive behaviour and fighting are acceptable.
But pretending to be aggressive is not the same as being aggressive. Aggressive games such as rough and tumble and pretend fighting with toy guns are all part and parcel of learning to understand and imitate the adult world.
Real fighting is something else altogether and should not be praised or encouraged. While adults may sometimes confuse real and pretend fighting, research shows that children as young as five are able to tell the difference.
In a child's imagination almost any toy or household item can function as a weapon if the game requires it! But there is no evidence to suggest that aggressive play will lead to aggressive adult behaviour. How parents behave and their attitude towards violence has much more influence on a child than a toy - however fond of it the child may be.
Toys and Play


I also have a psychology textbook called 'Child Development' by Laura Berk. I'll try to find some relevant info and add my own thoughts.

Beginning in late infancy, all children display aggression from time to time. As opportunities to interact with siblings and peers increase, aggressive outbursts occur more often. Most acts are clearly anti-social.
As early as the preschool years, some children show abnormally high rates of hostility, assaulting others verbally and physically with little or no provocation. If your daughter is only aggressive towards her toys, then I wouldn't worry too much. I'd say you must keep an eye on her, because if it ever reflects on her attitude towards other kids then you have a problem you need to work with. That kind of behaviour can lead to delays in moral development and ultimately an antisocial lifestyle.
How old is your daughter? Apparently, between the ages of 3-6, physical aggression decreases and verbal increases. This is due to a number of factors, but notably due to adults' and peers' strong negative reaction to the physical attacks. So what I'm saying is, be careful with how you deal with your daughter's outbursts.
The pattern of aggression in very young children usually begins with forceful discipline, which occurs more often with conflict-ridden families or those undergoing stressful life experiences. Verbal and harsh punishments [for any type of bad behaviour that you would normally punish] should be swapped for strategies such as time out or withdrawal of privileges.

My guess is that it's just a phase, and I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's something you need to keep watch of though, to make sure it doesn't get out of control or that she doesn't start being aggressive towards other kids. If that happens then you definitely need to take action. If I were you, I'd start implementing the alternative punishment techniques that I mentioned up there, if you don't do that already. I think Cons' idea of another 'outlet' is a good one.

[can you tell I'm bored today :lol: I don't know if any of the above is useful, but you might find it interesting to read nonetheless..]
 
Last edited:

Blueyes

Registered Member
#6
I actually used to do some of the same things except instead of me biting the barbies, I fed them to my guinea pigs and they would eat off the toes, hands, face. Then I'd chuck them somewhere and snag my brothers toys to play with.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#7
That's normal behavior for that age, Boredie. My daughter was a hitter at that age, and my friend's son is about to get kicked out of day care for biting. I would remind her that behavior like that is not ok, and she'll outgrow it. She's probably being aggressive toward her toys because there's not another child for a target.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#8
Sid from Toy Story comes to mind. He didn't really turn out so well. But then again that's a movie and shouldn't be taken as research or fact. :lol:

But I think we can all agree for the most part that such behavior is not positive. If anything it's neutral or negative. I'd be inclined to err on the latter.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#9
At that age my little cousin use to be a huge biter. I remember I'd be sitting there and he'd just start biting me until there was blood.

He quit after he got a little older so it should be something she grows out of.
 

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#10
I'm adding more info from the OP about it all.
Firstly, thank you everyone for the advice, I appreciate it.
I also wanted to know what your own thoughts are on allowing/not allowing such behavior towards toys.
My guess is that my daughter who is 2 years and 9 months is either
a: seeking attention from me or
b: jealous of her 1 y/o sister.

I dont know what to suggest about your daughter though, does she rough house with her dad at all, or is there a chance she picked up this behavour from somewhere else.
Is she doing this in normal play?, or more when she is tired/upset?.
She doesn't play rough with me or her dad, I believe she learned about initial violence from daycare. She isn't violent all the time towards her toys, because most of the time she has her sister to victimize.
I think you should try to discourage her, try and teach her to not be so violent. However, she could just be needing an outlet and in that case you have to ask yourself a few questions: One, why is she angry? And two, is there another more constructive way she can purge those feelings? Perhaps a sport?
As I stated above, I believe she is frustrated at the lack of attention (i.e doesn't get 24/7 attention, seriously. At this age they feel they need sole attention). Since her sister is the real victim to her violence - and I must state here that she does it knowingly because I react to it - her having an outlet to the toys in some respects is better than it being her sister.

If your daughter is only aggressive towards her toys, then I wouldn't worry too much. I'd say you must keep an eye on her, because if it ever reflects on her attitude towards other kids then you have a problem you need to work with. That kind of behaviour can lead to delays in moral development and ultimately an antisocial lifestyle.
My guess is that it's just a phase, and I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's something you need to keep watch of though, to make sure it doesn't get out of control or that she doesn't start being aggressive towards other kids. If that happens then you definitely need to take action. If I were you, I'd start implementing the alternative punishment techniques that I mentioned up there, if you don't do that already.
She can be aggressive towards other children (not only her sister) but when it happens it's for a "good" reason, it doesn't happen out of the blue.
I don't believe I've ever punished her harshly. I think the worst in her eyes is being sent into her room and having to stay there for a couple of minutes.

That's normal behavior for that age, Boredie. My daughter was a hitter at that age, and my friend's son is about to get kicked out of day care for biting. I would remind her that behavior like that is not ok, and she'll outgrow it. She's probably being aggressive toward her toys because there's not another child for a target.
I'm not too worried, really. It's more like frustration that no matter what way I try and deal with it, it doesn't seem to make any difference to her.
I've tried ignoring it, and taking the victim (her sister) away from her. I've tried telling her it's not nice and that it's painful so she shouldn't do it, I even tried a light smack on the hand (which she gets more offended than pain), but to no avail.