Wow, Mamas! What a wealth of information to glean over!
To the OP, what I have gathered from this thread is that children need to be aware of boundaries that other people have and be gently taught how to respect them. A parent can suggest boundaries to establish for the child, but it is ultimately up to the child what his/her boundaries are. It sounds as if you are doing what is right for you and your child, and this is how I tend to do things.
I did notice the word *mainstream* and I think that that is where the problem lies. I, too, have mainstream friends, and their whole philosophy on parenting greatly differs from mine. I can choose to try and gently infuse my beliefs into their systems, or I can choose to drop them. I just met a Mama with a four month old, and she said that *already* her son starts to cry when she leaves the room, and that she has to nip it in the bud before he becomes a brat. OMG! Now, I didn't say anything to her then, the subject got changed quickly, but I now know that is an area where I can maybe shed some Continuum Concept light into her eyes, IYKWIM.
And for the other Mamas, I will ask these because I am new to GD and I *think* these would be possible, but I am not so bold to come out and state them as factual.
1. What happens if a parent responds appropriately to the very first hitting incident? Is it possible to not react and therefore curb the impulse to hit in the child? Can that very first response be enough to overcome impulse control? Or is this wishful thinking on my part?
2. How do you feel about giving appropriate items for hitting as substitutions (i.e. pillow, bopper, punching bag) to hitting people, animals, etc.? Coupled with a script such as "I know it's frustrating to want that toy that Joey has, and it makes you feel like you want to hit him to get it. Joey doesn't like to be hit, but here is a [insert acceptable object] and you can hit this all you want." Is this a good strategy? It's not teaching that hitting is wrong, but that there is something more appropriate to hit instead *if* the impulse to hit is *so* strong.