Toddler Incapable of Talking - Oultet for his Frustration?

rob333March 31, 2003

Ok. Here it is. My son just started going to a sitter. DS is three+. He can be bossy. But my sitter has a child who is not capable of talking and expressing himself well yet. Needless to say, its a tough mix since the sitter's child gets frustrated with ds who is bossing, but he can't say, "I don't like the way you're treating me". Consequently, he bites. I can't say that I blame him, since he doesn't know another outlet. Let's teach him a new and productive way.

I read something that suggested to acknowlege his frustration and to tell him to roar like a lion. He could do that. Do you have any other ideas for an outlet? What ways would be good for him to express his frustration?

Thanks for positive ideas!

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This a TOUGH question. My oldest DS has a mild disability that affects his language and didn't talk until almost 4. He channelled his frustration into whining. The whining almost drove me INSANE but at least he had an outlet. I tried everything that every book suggested and nothing worked, he still whined. Although I must say that now, at 8, he is a DELIGHTFUL child and talks fine, but is still rather silent. He has increadibly mature insights and when he shares them with me, they are well thought out and articulate. I think it's because he talked so late, he learned to observe and analyze before talking, which are great traits to have as he gets older!

I sympathize with you and hope you find a solution. I'd be really upset if my child was getting bit- in fact, the same DS got scratched 3 times at 4 y.o. preschool by a kid who was very frustrated, but like you I tried to be understanding since DS also had a language delay.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2003 at 10:20PM
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At three, your son could also be too old for a sitter, and need more challenges. What kind of activities do they have? Are they doing art, games, physical activities?

When my DD goes thru phases like this, some of it is due to interaction with other children who may be at a different level. But some of it is also DD being ready for the next level of challenge.

If they don't do structured 'preschool' type activities, it may be time to move him from a sitter to a preschool.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2003 at 7:20AM
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Wow MommaBird, what a hard start! I am very please he's doing well and that you are proud of him.

TREKaren, its a valid point. However, since he's always been with his parents and never daycare/preschool/sitter, he is more lacking in the social aspect of interaction with children right now than anything. But, the sitter does arts and crafts on one day, takes them to a playgroup one day, and the zoo or park the last day (he only has to go three days usually). So, pretty structured.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2003 at 2:27PM
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Is it the sitter's child that is biting and who has very little language? Or your son?
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 4, 2003 at 9:18AM
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You could try teaching them both some signs. There is a book called "Sign With Your Baby" by Joseph Garcia which has some very basic signs to help parents and children communicate with each other.

Some of the first signs for them to learn may be things like "no" or "my turn" so the nonverbal child has a way to set some limits.

It may end up that they find a great connection by being two kids that sign and it may even become their own "secret language".

Of course, the parents should figure out some rudimentary signs as well.

This would allay a lot of the preverbal child's frustration and should keep him from biting so much.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 6:55PM
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Hey LindaC from the Party... its the sitter's son.

Keli, it would be a good idea. I think signing is a good route, especially if you say the word while signing. Some think that it would hinder things, and I agree if he did it instead of talking. I'll ask his mom what she thinks. Great idea.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2003 at 9:43AM
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Robin, I did Sign With Your Bab with my 3rd DS (hadn't heard of it with #1 and #2) and he talked early. It's just another means of communication, it doesn't replace talking, so you could reassure the sitter it won't cause her child to delay talking.

It is SO CUTE to see a toddler using signs!!!! Even though DS started talking well before age 2, even now at 3 he will sometimes use sign. We slacked off once he started using sentences. He still signs "all done" when he's full at dinner. I love seeing those chubby little hands signing!

Great book and great idea Keli! I wish I'd known about the book when DS #1 was a baby, it could have helped SO MUCH!!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2003 at 8:58PM
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