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Calm violence in a child... worried

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Calm violence in a child... worried

Postby reb.heeg » Mon May 19, 2014 9:31 pm

I am a full-time nanny for one child and have encountered some worrisome behavior in the 6 year old I watch. He's got other behavior problems, but what's below is what I'm really concerned about.

A couple of days ago I drove him to soccer practice and allowed him to play on the playground for a few minutes. Within about 2 minutes of getting on the playground he very calmly walked all the way around the structure, walked up behind a much smaller child (maybe 18 months old), checked both ways around to see if anyone was watching, and shoved her to the ground. He hadn't spoken to this child or the kids I assume to be her siblings, it didn't appear to be retaliation for anything, and he wasn't outwardly angry or upset about anything. He was completely calm.

After he had been in time out for a few minutes I asked him why he pushed her and he said 'because she looks ugly' and clung to this reason until soccer practice began about 15 minutes later. When I talked to him about the consequences I explained that he could really hurt a child that is so much younger than him, that she could have gotten hurt and had to go to the doctor or hospital. When I said that, he got this weird smile on his face and said "that would be great".

I don't know.... I've worked with kids for years and this wasn't normal aggression OR play behavior. It wasn't an outburst during a tantrum where this baby was collateral damage, and it wasn't hyperactive 6 year old running around with no sense of consequence. It was deliberate and sneaky, and his statements after imply to me that he WANTS (or thinks he wants) to really hurt someone.

I'm not this kid's parents. I let his mom know what happened in hopes there would be real consequences for him, but its pretty clear that neither her or his dad is comfortable having any real punishment in the house. For instance, if he misbehaves I don't let him play any video games but the second I leave his parents let him play all he wants.

Is this behavior as concerning as it feels to me, or am I over reacting? I feel like I can't let him play with other kids because he went out of his way to hurt someone without me picking up on any warning signs beforehand (tantrum etc.). Advice on how to handle this?
reb.heeg
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