Transitioning boisterous two year old to preschool

Hi All

Our son is about to turn two and will start preschool in June (or whenever things open back up). He's big and strong for his age and he has a tendency to play a little rough. There is no malice in it, he's just strong and gets excited. Can anybody offer advice on how they managed to moderate these rougher play behaviours before preschool? He especially likes throwing things and we don't want him hurting or upsetting other kids.

Thank you!

Parent Replies

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Hi, coming from a parent who is also curious to see other replies. I have a 3 and 1.5 year old, both boys. We see our share of playing rough, so we try to model for them how to be gentle. Sometimes they will tackle us out of excitement, and we try to show them by taking their hands or arms and going through slow motions of how to hug, pet and be soft. Also, we reiterate that as soon as anyone starts to cry or express dislike, they have to stop whatever it is that they're doing. I am currently trying to work into my older son how to "choose to play another way" if his brother doesn't like what he's doing. We also try to model how to say sorry and comfort the other person. I've turned to some parenting resources - Raising Your Spirited Child, podcast "Respectful Parenting" by Janet Lansbury (author of No Bad Kids thought I haven't read her book). Generally, though, if I see the kids playing rough but also laughing a lot and having fun, I let them. Not sure if your son is in the company of other little ones on a regular basis, such as a daycare, but it was also helpful for me to know what the disciplinary policy was at preschools I interviewed - whether they used timeouts, redirection, etc. Our current daycare does use timeouts, but we were fine with that. Additionally, I have been looking at preschools with good outdoor activity options (gardens, big playground area) because I know that my boys could expend some of that energy best outside. Hope that helps! 

Thanks for the reply! I'll definitely check out the podcast and the book. Also it's great to know they respond to modelling more gentle behavior as we have been trying to do so as well. Raising Cain is a book about boys that I really like as well but I don't recall if it addresses something specific like this. 

When he starts preschool they'll be apparently incorporating a lot more outside time as a result of the virus so I hope he'll expend some energy that way and follow the other kids in terms of being a bit more gentle and mindful of others.