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16 month old pulls hair (mine, other children). Advice?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello.  For about a month, my 16 month old has been sporadically pulling my hair, which I can generally handle (tell her and demonstrate gentle touching and/or carry her facing away from me so she can't reach) but what is most difficult is having her around ANY other children.  It seems her first greeting to any small child (older or younger) is to yank on their hair and let out a big laugh.  I immediately take her away from them and tell her no hair pulling, that hurts, gentle, etc. but she just goes right back to it.  Every time we're around little kids, I just cringe and anticipate the inevitable.  I try to stop her before I see her go for it, but she's relentless and obsessed.  I wonder if anyone else has gone through this.  What tactics did you use?  Did it eventually stop after a ton of repetition?  I don't believe that she is acting out aggressions, as she does it happily and without any provocation or frustration.  Thank you!

post #2 of 6

Kids have terrible impulse control, huh? :P

 

Persistence is definitely key. With some of my daughter's habits we've followed this basic pattern: 1st time= tell her no, remove her from situation, have a chat about it, encourage her and return to the situation. 2nd time: tell her no, remove her from the situation and explain that if she does it again we're leaving/quitting/stopping. 3rd time (hopefully doesn't happen): follow through - we leave/quit/stop what we're doing. In the case of playdates or playgrounds we've often adapted this to "we're going over here to play, out of so and so's personal space". 

 

How much this helps depends on each kid. You know yours best, and so you know how much they understand of what you're asking, so being realistic about their comprehension (and that impulse control hehe) and having a lot of patience should see us through? :)

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for replying.  It seems to be almost a compulsion for her.  Anytime she is anywhere near hair, she yanks it: mine, dad's, cats, dogs, children, etc.  Someone else suggested I get her a doll with real hair so I can redirect her impulse to it, which I plan to try.  At 16 months, she does understand a lot, but I'm not sure she would understand consequences: like pulling hair leads to leaving a play date.  But it often ends up that way, when the other kid is crying because they got yanked!  We will definitely keep with the repetition and I'm sure one day it will sink in.  I've been practicing "gentle" with her and her stuffed animals and she understands it and shows me "gentle" when I ask her.  And the other day when she went to pull my hair I said "hug instead" and she did!  I almost cried I was so happy.  But then last night she gave me a good yank again!  Ahhh, motherhood.  They always keep us on our toes, eh?
 

post #4 of 6

No joke. Mine is 18 months now and just when I think we're over the biting thing she gives my nipple a good chomp. YEOW! 

post #5 of 6

There's a technique that Janet Lansbury writes about on her blog, which I love! http://www.janetlansbury.com/

Where when you know your LO is about to do something you stop them & say I won't let you pull my hair, it hurts, or I won't let you hurt me, or I won't let you hurt So & So and then redirect them to another activity. Also if you can't stop the action before it happens you sportscast the event to the children, as in "you just pulled suzy's hair and now she's crying because it hurts her" when you can sportscast as an objective observer they begin to see the cause & effect & will learn to curb the behavior on their own w/o punitive action or shaming. Check it out!

She has some great videos of her philosophy in action from her center that are really helpful.

Good luck!

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by prescottchels View Post

There's a technique that Janet Lansbury writes about on her blog, which I love! http://www.janetlansbury.com/

Where when you know your LO is about to do something you stop them & say I won't let you pull my hair, it hurts, or I won't let you hurt me, or I won't let you hurt So & So and then redirect them to another activity. Also if you can't stop the action before it happens you sportscast the event to the children, as in "you just pulled suzy's hair and now she's crying because it hurts her" when you can sportscast as an objective observer they begin to see the cause & effect & will learn to curb the behavior on their own w/o punitive action or shaming. Check it out!
She has some great videos of her philosophy in action from her center that are really helpful.
Good luck!

Janet Landsbury is awesome!!! I have used the above technique for hitting and it works well. :-)
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › 16 month old pulls hair (mine, other children). Advice?