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almost 3yo hitting us - how to handle it when alone with him

post #1 of 2
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hi all, Our almost 3 year old ds is generally a sweet child, very easy going and up for anything that's going on. We are trying to teach him emotional awareness so when he hits or acts up, we try to identify the emotion that may be behind it. If he hits one of us, the other will step in to remove him from the situation, do a bit of a time in and help him through it. What I struggle with is when there's only him and I home and how to handle the hitting then. I've raised my voice (not yelled, just made it a bit louder to help him see I was serious), I generally tell him that it's not ok to hit and get up from the chair or remove myself from the immediate situation to put a bit of space between us. The response I'm getting from him is that he sees it as a game - laughs and tries to hit me more, likely to keep getting a reaction out of me. I was thinking it was maybe his emotions just coming out in this way since he's not old enough to always know what to do with the underlying emotions, but I seriously think he's seeing this as a game. I don't want to be hit, I don't want him to be hitting, and I don't like that my frustration increases with every hit as I know I'm just reacting at that point which just makes it worse. We have a second child due in May, which means I'll be home alone with the two little ones a lot - I need a better game plan for when he hits me as what I'm doing now isn't working. Thanks! Renee
post #2 of 2

One of the things that worked best with me with my son, who did this for a couple months, was to get fast enough/good enough at anticipating that I could catch his arm mid swing *before* he made contact, get on his level and look him in the eye, and say, "NO." while I was holding onto his arm.  Then maybe something about I don't want to be hit.  I wasn't menacing, but I was clear that this was not OK, it wasn't a game, but it wasn't an over the top reaction that was funny to him at all.  I would give him alternatives to whatever emotion he might be feeling (anger - throw a balled up sock, hit a pillow), excitement (high five, belly bump) ).  I only would put space between us if he kept at it, which only happened a couple times.  Usually the "mama animal" thing worked...you know, mama animals can be so nurturing and kind, but if the baby goes to far, they are all business letting the baby know it.  lol.

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