I am struggling with my 2yo ds (bet you've never heard that before ).
He hits frequently. I respond by asking him to stop, offering to help him, trying to distract him, and finally removing him from the situation, generally to his crib because he continues to hit repeatedly whomever is around him.
He hits me when I don't give him exactly what he wants. I can relate to the feeling, but I can't tolerate being hit repeatedly. If I walk away from him he follows me screaming and hits me when he gets close enough. I generally put him in his crib.
I talk to him about his frustration, offer him alternatives, laugh and play with him, offer him a high-five when I see the next blow coming, etc. Not much luck. Some days are better than others.
This afternoon was particularly frustrating. He woke up a little earlier than normal from his nap and was not happy. He pretty much just wanted me to hold him, so I did. I nursed him when he first woke up, but didn't want to nurse him again after that. I tried to interest him in another beverage or snack, but he didn't want anything. He wanted a fish oil capsule, which I only give them in the bath, so I told him he'd have to eat it in the bath and we started a bath. He didn't want to get in the bath, so I didn't give him the fish oil. He was mad. I kept holding him and snuggling and hanging out with him. He kept asking for the fish oil, I kept telling him he had to get in the bath to have it, he kept refusing and getting mad. I wound up putting him in his crib because he wouldn't stop hitting. Then he got mad and didn't want to get OUT of the crib. He'd call for me, I'd go in to see if he wanted to come out, he'd scream "no" and crawl over to the far corner of the crib, I'd say "okay" and go out, he would immediately call for me, but every time I went back he would freak out. I eventually took him out of the crib and held him firmly (like a bear hug) and withstood a few slaps to the back and shoulders while I snuggled and shushed him to get him calmed down. He was okay then after a while (dd was out of the bath and playing elsewhere by then) but later I put him in the crib for more chasing me around hitting me. His older cousin came over and then he finally ate a snack and has been playing nicely with dd and dc for nearly an hour.
Ds is a happy, healthy child. I understand that he is expressing his will and I appreciate that. I just want to figure out the best way to handle it for us all to get through this developmental stage as peacefully as possible. Dd was strong willed, but also extremely agreeable and fairly easy to redirect, even at an older age (now it's a bit of a different story at 4.5!), but ds is very stubborn and focused in a way she wasn't. When he's freaking out like that and doesn't want anything and I can't really hang out with him because he won't stop hitting me and he sometimes doesn't even want me anywhere near him, I get frustrated and feel like I'm not doing it right. Please share your thoughts and experiences.