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Need gentle discipline help w/almost 3 year old boy

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have an almost 3 year old boy. He is smart, creative, and a complete JOY to be around-- most of the time! He will have these times when he gets way too physical-- bites, hits, kicks, scratches, pinches. Mostly me, sometimes his older sister (she's 7 years old). I know he does this when he is tired, frustrated, bored, or angry, but how can I get him to stop?? I have tried telling him, "biting hurts. We don't bite Mommy." We have discussed things that are okay to bite. I have even tried time out for 2 minutes. One time I got so frustrated with him pinching that I actually smacked his hand-- I felt terrible and he cried like his little heart was broken. What can I do to stop these behaviors ~gently~?? I want to do something positive, but I just don't know what! Please help!!
post #2 of 5
I have the same problem. It was easier when he went through a similar stage at 22 months because I was able to just say over and over, "Mommy doesn't like to be bitten (or hit or pinch or whatever), mommy likes hugs much better." And he was soon able to channel that impulse into a hug instead. But now the behavior is back. Like your ds, it is triggered by being tired, hungry, or overstimulated so we have been working really hard to avoid those situations. He is mostly doing it to me, so I find that if he won't calm down with me present that I have to remove myself from the situation temporarily. I also have found that talking with him at the time is less productive than talking with him well before or a bit after. We have been talking with him a lot about emotions and impulses. The last few days at least have been getting better. Thankfully because I was starting to resent spending the day with him and that was an awful feeling. Good luck to you.
post #3 of 5
Does it help to have a 3rd mommy say I know what you're going through?

We are still working on redirection. Like: "It is NOT OK to kick me. You can kick the ball or go kick the stairs." But now he's saying "I want to kick something HARD" (I don't think he means something literally hard -- though I have found things that are louder, more satisfying to kick or hit). And he gets a really fierce looking face when he's feeling that urge strongly. We are having some success with being "a fierce dinosaur" and roaring and wrestling with each other or something else fierce, but that doesn't always work either...
post #4 of 5
How about a fourth??

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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
So at least I know it's "normal" behavior, huh?!! My daughter didn't do it nearly to this extent-- she went through a short period (a few months) when she was in her 2's, but this has been dragging on for at least a year with my son.... Anyone have any suggestions for books to read?? I checked out the Gentle Discipline book list here, but none of those seemed particularly relevant. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!!
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