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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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is it normal for a 2 year old to kick a teeny kitten?

Customer Question

is it normal for a 2 year old to kick a teeny kitten?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
The question when considering children's behavior is "What is the meaning of the behavior?"

A 2 year old child may be thinking of a baby kitten as a toy rather than a living being or the child may be fearful of the kitten since it is something new to him. His aggressive behavior toward the kitten may be his expression of uncomfortable feelings about the kitten. So he will need to be taught to be gentle with the kitten.

I hope this helps....
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

well, the kitten does share his room and his bed with him. he actually does play with the kitten, but sometimes he gets a little more aggressive than i think he realizes he is getting. of course the kitten thinks he is playing, and seems to always come back for more. there are times when he says he wants to hold the kitten, then when we catch her for him to hold, he just lets her go and she gets his hands or his shoes. i guess over all, he is doing well with the kitten around.

Expert:  Bonnie replied 4 years ago.
So it sounds like it is a playful behavior which he does not know how to regulate yet. ("more aggressive than I think he realizes"). This is very normal. It probably will take a few reminders and pat phrases that you repeat when necessary such as "Be gentle with kitty".