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Help -I just got punched

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My almost 3 year old is an aggressive guy -really aggressive at times. Super nice, super friendly, but he can go at it. He has never been hit by us and we try to respond to the victim, etc. etc. He was just all wound up with a friend over and was pulling some of his stuff. I took him on my lap to calm him down and he turned and punched me right under my eye. It kills!! I'm so mad and don't know what to do. I told him to take a nap and he can show me what a good boy he is later. What can I do!!!
post #2 of 10
Death by tickles until he BEGS for mercy.

post #3 of 10
Say, "Its not okay to hit. If you don't want mama to hold you when you are angry, then you need to use your words. Its okay to tell mama "no."

Then maybe roll play it again, so he can practise.

Sorry about your face....

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I think I just needed a space to vent to calm myself down. I'd never hit him, not my cup of tea, but I wanted to make sure I didn't make him feel horrible about himself. He is a really good boy, but is too aggressive and can really push buttons. I think I need to put signs up around my house that read: "Take a breath, he is just immature," and "be calm mamma"
post #5 of 10
Well...Just minutes ago my three year old ds hit me with his baseball bat. I was holding his brother, so he got a piece of ds#2's leg, along with my backside. It took every ounce of patience in my body not to do something irrational.

Dh and I calmly told ds#1 that we needed to go inside for a snack and he started freaking out. Before I could get another sentence out to CALMLY talk to him about why he needed to have something to eat and drink, he wound up and cracked me with his bat. It HURT, so I handed my crying babe (who got the tail end of the swing) to my dh and picked up my ds#1 and carried him into the house.

The pain was pretty great, so I did end up losing conrtol a bit. I yelled "You NEVER hit people with your bat" as I picked him up and carried him into the bedroom. I said rather loudly, "You hit me and your brother with your bat. I am very angry right now, so I need to walk away from you right now so that I don't yell at you, but I think I was yelling. Then I went back to check on my ds#2 (who was fine by that point) and I paced around trying to get control of myself. Meanwhile ds#1 was bawling in the bedroom (with the door open) and screaming "Mommy I'm sorry. I didn't mean to"

Anyway...I went back in to check on ds#1 and told him that I needed another minute or two to get control of myself and that I would drink some water and come back and give him a hug. I drank my water and then I held him and talked to him about why we don't hit: You can cause people physical pain, you can seriously injure someone, we use bats for hitting baseballs and not people and I reminded him that he already knew that. I told him that part of the responsibility of using a baseball bat is knowing how to be safe with a baseball bat. I told him that he would not be able to use his bat for the rest of the day, but he could try again tomorrow. He is a baseball nut, so this is a rahter harsh consequence for his hitting me, but I think he needs to know how serious hitting a person with a baseball bat is. If he hit his brother with the force he hit me, it could have been horrible.

Not trying to hijack your thread, but showing you an example of something that just occurred and how I handled it. I am always wondering if I am handling things in the best possible way for my dss and how my dss preceive my reactions to their behaviors. It is so hard to stay in control when I am in physical pain.

In a perfect world , we could anticipate these types of things every time. I know that ds#1 should have come in for a snack and a nap a half hour before he did, but dh was in chargeag I try to head off any situations that would cause my ds to hit, but I am not 100% successful.
post #6 of 10
Not being flip here, Alexander, but if I just got socked in the eye by my child, I would be trying to adjust to the pain and release it before I could work up to tickling.

To add to my other post, I get what you are saying though, because after we talk about what hitting can do to the person you hit, we suggest that there are other ways that you can get our anger: using words, mashing clay, drawing, mashing pillows, building blocks and knocking them down, crashing cars.... And there are other ways to touch people: hugs, kisses, tickles, pats, hand holding...
post #7 of 10

You have a good point, and I agree. In fact, two good points! Here is some clarification though.

almama said that her son is 3.

This is (IME) an age where adults often get confused about the nature of children's abilities.

At 3, children are mobile, can talk, can give instructions, talk about themselves in a rudementary way including to a certain extent, their feelings. It's alot different from when a child is 2, an age that comes with limitations that we all too quickly forget when we are dealing with the 3 y/o.

In fact, with a basic grounding in all the skills listed above, we adults all too easily slip into auto-drive when dealing with "children", and an unconscious assumption that they are 8, or 10.

Of course it depends upon the motivation of the 3y/o (spite or uncontrolled frustration), but I'd say that there is a good chance that a loving 3y/o is as shocked as the Mum after giving a punch. It certainly takes much longer to register.

This moment, for "teaching", "explaining" or scolding would be the wrong moment. Mum's in pain, yes, but "changing the deck of cards" completly will put Mum in total control of the game plan, and the child's attention.

Then she can say "OK. Help me. You hurt Mummy. You hit my eye. You be the doctor."


I can't praise you enough for the wonderful way that you dealt with the base-ball upset. (Except for losing it a bit) there is nothing wrong with crying out in pain when something really hurts. Show that you suffered. Show the sore.

On the second point: Losing it.

Nothing wrong with this either! but I'd reserve it for 6yo and up. The less it comes out now, the more effective it will be later. Save your ammo.

Only you can really tell if he was remorseful because you exploded, or because he knew he'd done something really unexpected (for him too) that was bad, or a combination. If he were 10 and had done that, then he'd deserve the full force of the law in your house.

Now why is that? It is because our collective common sence tells us that he, aged 10 would know better.

And that's the difference between being justifiably angry with a 10yo (or 8yo) who has had 5-7 years of extra life experience, and being un-justifiably angry with a 3yo, who is on the start of the learning curve.

Hope you see the point there.

And well done.

post #8 of 10
ITA about letting my anger get the best of me. I also told him that that's not cool. In a perfect world I'd get it right all of the time, but I try every day.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm going to make my husband read these responses. They are great. Kerry, I wish I could handle situations like you did. That will be my goal

Thanks A for reminding me that 3 is quite different than 8. We are very strict about aggressive behavior (ie not letting it slip, following through on rules), although I try not to be punitive.


Just to add, I think part of my need to vent here is because we are just frustrated with the behavior. It is who is he, and we want to accept it, but gosh darn, why does he always bite, hit, push, etc. It has been going on soooo long. Oh well. We'll persevere with the gentle approach and keep our fingers crossed.
post #10 of 10
Originally posted by almama
We are very strict about aggressive behavior (ie not letting it slip, following through on rules), although I try not to be punitive.
Both aims are extremely important. Drawing clear and unambiguous "lines in the sand" about what is not acceptable, and confronting wrong-doing without menace sets an example of behavior tha we ourselves would like to see in adults around us.

Of course, sometimes you have to "whack the donkey" before you can get through, hence death by tickles.

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