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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Child that hits

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Author Topic: Child that hits
confusedmom
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I know this is relativley normal for all children to hit when they are small, but I still have concerns about it. My son is 19 months old, and he not only hits when he's mad, he punches, kicks, bites, pinches, and hits himself in the head. It is very hard to watch, and painful to experience. For a little boy you wouldn't think they could be so strong, but he is. I just don't know how to deal with this. I've tried all different things, but nothing seems to work. The only thing I haven't tried is putting him in his room to calm down. Mainly because I live with my parents and we share a room, it's not totally baby proof and he pulls stuff down and climbs up stuff, and secondly I don't think it's fair to my family to have to hear him screaming and crying locked in a room. On the other hand, it's not fair that they get punched or pinched etc. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong! Is it bad technique I'm using or is this normal?
Posts: 21 | From: Regina, SK, Canada | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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quote:
I've tried all different things, but nothing seems to work.

OK, what have you tried so far? And what sort of situations does he most often get mad in?

It sounds like he may be having an early attack of the "terrible twos" , but maybe if you post some more details people could brainstorm some more ideas to try.


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confusedmom
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Well, I have tired talking to him saying in a low calm tone"ow, you hurt mommy, you can't hit, it's not nice", "Mykayle, if you hit again, you're have to go sit by yourself" I've tried hitting him or pinching him back, with less stregth of course, just to get the point across that it hurts, I've tried making him sit on the couch or on a chair by himself with no toys or anything. I've gotten frusterated and yelled at him, I know bad, but after 30 times of telling him something it's hard to keep cool. He gets mad for everything, if he can't have something, if I take something he's not supposed to have, if someone else has stuff...like I have a 5 year old brother and he gets alot of junk from my parents, and I don't give my son very much junk food but whenever he sees that he wants it and gets mad he can't. If he has to go to bed. Sometimes he'll be sitting there playing come run up to you and punch you. So I don't know what to do. HELP!!
Posts: 21 | From: Regina, SK, Canada | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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quote:
I've tried hitting him or pinching him back, with less stregth of course, just to get the point across that it hurts

At 19 months a kid isn't near the developmental stage where he can put himself in someone else's shoes. So he can't go from "it hurts when mom bites me" to "it must hurt when I bite other people!". He's just not going to get the point.

But if you bite or hit at all, that just makes it harder to communicate to him that biting/hitting is not okay. He may just think "Mom bites, why can't I bite?"

Okay, some ideas (I'm not a mom, so take this with a pinch of salt, but I work with some kids with "challenging behaviour"). These may or may not fit Mikayle, but see what you think:

Toddlers often hit because they don't have the words to express their emotions, or even to understand the emotions they're feeling. So it can be helpful to acknowledge your kid's emotions and help him put very simple words to them, like "I know you're mad."

And hitting is also a great way of getting a big rise out of adults. Sometimes it doesn't matter whether it's positive or negative, just as long as it's a reaction and it gets him attention. Having a big talk with him about how hitting hurts is a reaction, and so is yelling.

So it's really important to avoid feeding that (and I know that can be really hard when a kid's got his teeth sunk in your arm!). You can be firm, but keep it low-key and really simple: "I know you're mad, but no hitting".

Then try to make sure you're not giving a big reaction. Calmly do whatever needs to be done to stop him from hurting himself or other people - e.g. you could hold his hands firmly to stop him from pinching people, or (where possible) just get out of the way.

If he's really out of control, it can be a good idea to take him somewhere quiet where he can calm down. But that doesn't mean locking him in a room on his own, just taking him somewhere to sit quietly for a while till he can get back in control of himself again (often, all it takes is a few minutes).

This won't work overnight - nothing does. You just have to keep on and on being calm and consistent. If you stick to one plan, then hopefully he starts to get the idea. If you change what you do all the time, it's much harder for him to catch on.

It can also be helpful to "catch him being good". Make sure he gets lots of attention and praise whenever he's not hurting people.

Some links that might be useful:

http://www.parentcenter.com/expert/parenting/behavior/25688.html
http://www.parentcenter.com/expert/parenting/behavior/27643.html
http://www.parents.com/articles/ages_and_stages/3057.jsp?page=1
http://www.ivillage.co.uk/pregnancyandbaby/toddler/behave/qas/0,,46_157261,00.html


Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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