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Old enough to 'know better'?

Just after a few opinions on what age most kids can be classed as 'old enough to know better'?

I mean behaviour such as, hitting, biting, pushing, slapping, throwing things that aren't to be thrown. I'd say that my son, almost 20 months, is old enough to know that the above behaviour is wrong and if he does (thankfully, the only thing he does sometimes is throw toys) he is told off and explained what is the 'right' use of the toy/item ect.

However....I know he has been hit, a few times (in fact everytime we see this other child) by a child around 10/11 months older than him. It really breaks my heart and I don't know how to approach it with the parents. So, at 30months should a child know better? I think I know the answer.

Any advice/opinions appreciated. image


  • Yes, at 30 months a child should have "been taught" that those things are wrong and unacceptable!!! However some children don't seem to be taught these basic social manners!!!

    My son is 39 months and I would be mortified if he EVER bit, slapped or threw things he shouldn't. He's a very mild mannered boy who is generally very well behaved. He is also developing very good manners through sheer perseverance from me and his dad!!

    I do however have some friends who's children, some older than my son, are very naughty and aggressive towards my son and others. One of these friends thinks we're too strict on our son, but she doesn't like to discipline too much as she doesn't want her kids thinking she's a horrible mummy!!!!!

    I have been known to tell other peoples children off, the most recent was the above friends ds's 3rd birthday in Nov and I caught him on a bouncy castle on top of another boy tearing his hair out, the poor lo was really upset and couldn't get up!! So I glared at said boy through side and said NO let go, its not nice to hurt. He dropped the boy ran to his mum and screamed "she told me off" So mum just replied after i'd told her what happend "Oh henry stop being a naughty boy" and that was it!!!

    What can you do?!!! :roll: :roll:
  • I think they do know better generally but truthfully knowing or not knowing is not the issue - more self-control. Children start learning self-control only after 3 years of age. So I would not assume that a child that hits and so on under that age has not been taught not to do so. In my group we got 5 boys all around 27 - 29 months (and one girl, poor her lol), they ALL know they are not allowed to hit or fight and so on, but on occassion they do, especially if they are excited. And here comes the self-control, they just do not have full grasp of it at all times.

    I think it is much more important then to make them apologise and explain why it is bad (but you have to understand that they will do it again, even if they re best of friends).


    p.s. it also really depends on the character and circumstances, my boy is also very chilled out and doesnt go to nursery, so he has not had the need to fight much, as not that much competition arround (for example, to get toys). His buddies all go to nursery and fight a bit more, but all of us mummies (upon mutual agreement) are allowed to tell each others child off if they re fighting (obv, not scream and so on, but to resolve the situation if it arrises).
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