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Thread: teaching gentle behaviour

  1. #1

    Default teaching gentle behaviour

    Yasin has been really rough with our cat lately. He loves the cat dearly and the second he sees the poor little critter will start screaming and chasing after him. When he catches him he will grab him really roughly or whack him - if he has something in his hand he will hit him with that. The cat seems to return his affection but is beginning to get a bit wary of him (can't really blame him). I have tried saying gentle and demonstrating how to stroke the cat softly (both on the cat and Yasin) but Yasin just ignores it and continues the rough play.
    He also plays quite roughly with me. I know that he's not intentionally hurting the cat or me and probably has no idea of the pain he's causing but I would really like it if he could tone it down a bit.
    What methods could I use to encourage him to be a little softer in his approach. With a new baby arriving in 4-8 weeks its getting to be a bit of a concern.

  2. #2
    Melinda Guest


    I always do what you do, Dach. I always tell Jacob to be gentle and demonstrate what that means, by touching him on the arm softly etc etc.

    Also, if I find he's being a bit rough with me or he whacks me/DH with something, I get at his level, look him in the eye and tell him "We don't hit Jacob, that hurt Mummy. What do we do when we hurt somebody? We say "sorry" and give a kiss and a cuddle" - and I'd say 7 - 8 times out of ten, he listens to what I'm saying and actually does try to at least give you a cuddle. I then immediately distract him with something else (where possible) so that he knows that we don't 'dwell' on these things and that once the problem has been 'resolved' that we move on IYKWIM?

    The rest of the time he'll get shirty straight away so I just go straight to distracting him if I can. But I do feel that he's learning that we need to say sorry/make amends if he hurts someone and that he knows what it means.

    So I think with having said that perserverance is the key? I know it's hard and I still get really worried about it, but I figure that we need to just be consistent with our approach to it and that he's testing some boundaries and needs to start learning that there are consequences to his actions if that makes sense?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    another thing i did was as soon as they hit me or were rough after explaining as mel has already mentioned i would walk away. just calmly and not giving any vibes and pick up something else. when they came and played too i would then play again saying that's right gentle, we play gently.

    it's been a long time since i had a toddler but not so long until i will again. yay i love that age.

    love beckles

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW


    With Matilda I would always say "gentle sweetheart" and hold her hand and pet the dog/cat gently. Then I would demonstrate patting Matilda like she was a dog and say "good Matilda puppy dog" and it would become a game, she would pat me and say mummy puppy and I would pat the dogs & we would play at patting gently for a while. If ever she continued to be rough I would separate her from the animal and leave them separate for around an hour, by which time she'd forgotten all about what was going on.

    Lately she's been hitting a bit & we usually put her down or say "ow! That hurt" and put her down or turn away and distract.


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