Our LO is a hitter. DS1 was a biter. The hitting is really starting to get on my nervous, to be honest. We have never hit him and we don't have a t.v. or do any media or videos, so he's completely picked this up on his own instincts. I'm a SAHM and he's not around other kids unless I'm there. My point is, he's not being hit by anyone else and he hasn't watched anyone be hit.
If your boy is a hitter, how often does he do it and how do you handle it? I'm asking about boys since parents of same-age girls I know say that their girls really just don't hit.
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It depends on how you define hit. Hauling off and smacking, by 2 he'd mostly stopped that. But, even now at 2 yrs, 9 mos, he's still far rougher than I would like at times - having difficulty with the concept of "gentle" or "careful". But he's not deliberately hitting me. I might get an elbow or knee, I might get a poke in the nose, but it's nothing like what I was getting when he was deliberately hitting me.
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My son, now almost 3, has never hit me. He hit his father once. I don't remember how we dealt with it, but we have always stressed being gentle and kind.
A few ideas ...
- Since, your son is not exposed to violent behavior, he may be hitting out of frustration of not being able to clearly express himself. If that's the case, maybe work on asking him to use his words or finding other means to communicate.
- I know my son's behavior is also drastically improved by physical outdoor play. If he has daily time at the park, pool, yard, walking on the sidewalk, etc. he is a lot more cooperative and well-behaved. I've noticed when I skip too many outdoor play days in a row, my son starts being more difficult.
- How do you respond when your son hits? It is also possible, he could be hitting simply to get a response from you. In general, time-outs work for my son because I'm removing my attention from him and my attention is the thing he wants the most. He spends 2-3 minutes (we have a timer) in his old crib in his room. It also serves to give me a 2 minute breather so I can reset.
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My DD is a hitter too. She will hit me or her dad when we say no to something she wants to have or do (not always, but more often than I would like) and she also sometimes hits other kids in the playground when they take something away from her . I see it as a different form of throwing a tantrum, instead of screaming and thrashing, she lashes out at the other person. Her language skills are quite advanced in our mother tongue, but I think it's still hard at this age to express negative feelings in words. But her primary language is not English, so there's also that in solving toy disputes with other kids..
It's definitely not something I like seeing her do, at the playground I'm always in the background, telling her to be gentle, share, etc. When she hits me or my DH, we gently put her arm down and tell her in a firm but calm voice that hitting is not acceptable. We do all that again and again but so far there's not been much progress. I'll be watching this thread for other helpful suggestions.
My almost 3 year old has had a few hits. His vocabulary is really good due to sign language. We noticed while he was going through a growth spurt, hitting (occasionally) would happen.
We decided "if you hit, you sit'. It allows him time to take a moment and explain what he needed or wasn't able to express in a more positive way.
It hasn't happened in awhile and he gets the point when he sits.
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Our just turned three year old has been getting much better with hitting. He used to hit everyone, including our newborn, constantly whenever he wasn't able to get his way. For months and months we tried everything. Finally I took him to the doctor. It was the first time he had been in about eight months. Turned out he had massive ear infections with accompanying hearing loss. Ten days of antibiotics and he was much gentler. I think he was just miserable, uncomfortable, and in pain all the time as well as not hearing things well so he wasn't able to deal with things in other ways. He still hits occasionally, more out of habit than anything else. We tell him to be gentle and ignore it. I've found that the more attention he gets for hitting, good or bad, the more he does it.
My son went through a little stage where he hit me a couple times a week when he was about 18-20 months old, somewhere in there. But now he doesn't do that. Every now and then he will get really frustrated and hit or kick, but it's not very often. At most maybe once a month. More often he just cries, screams, kicks off his shoes, and/or throws things. He doesn't hit or bite me. It might just be his personality or it might be that I simply did not tolerate it at all. If he hit or bit me I moved away from him quickly and let him have alone time to settle down. I explained that hitting and biting hurt and it wasn't nice. I just wouldn't let him hurt me. I wouldn't put up with it at all. I have noticed however, that sometimes he will go to hit or push other kids away from toys he wants. So I have to intervene then sometimes, but even then it's not hard slapping or frantic punching type of stuff. It's not seriously violent. I see girls his age do it too, quite often.
Mine does that too. He's been doing it off and on since around 15 months. He's a pretty mellow kid, but when he does it, it's clear he's either frustrated about something or seeking attention. I do the time out thing which seems to help.
ditto on the language/expressing himself if it is hitting when he's angry. Our son's hitting was part of his tantrums.
DS is an intense child and though he has fantastic language skills, he gets extremely overwhelmed with his emotions when he gets really frustrated. He trembles and shakes, stutters, flaps his hands, yells, cries, etc. till he can get himself under control. Around 2.5ish years, till about 6 months ago (he's almost 4 now) he was hitting me. Hard. If I knelt down to talk to him, he'd slap my face. If I held his hands, he would head butt my nose like a street fighter. (obviously, I should say, this is NOT a behavior he has EVER seen) He also was kicking, etc.
Because he was totally out of control, a time out didn't really help him, but I would often have to put him in his room and hold the door shut for my own sanity. I also found that if I avoided kneeling in front of him, and stood up, the blows would go to my legs, which was less painful, so helped me stay calm longer...
However, if and help him talk his way through the emotions, he does better. I gently hold his hands in front of him, coach him through taking deep breaths, give him a script to repeat after me "I feel angry... etc." , he does better. He just needed to figure out how to ride that emotion wave. Now that he is internalizing that script, he often takes the deep breaths himself, and though he still gets angry/frustrated, he has more strategies to deal with it, so he is outgrowing the more violent expressions.
Because he IS very articulate, there was a hilarious phase when he would describe, in elaborate detail, what he was going to do, for example: 'Mommy, I am going to hit you in the face, and put you outside, and you will be cold, and you will not like, it, and you will be sad.' (again, NOT something we EVER do/threaten.) It was hard not to laugh. The new script is more effective, but not as funny,.
Oh boy. I hate the hitting. Really.
DS is 27 months, no TV and barely any media. What he does watch does not have hitting in it.
He does not hit every day, but does hit occasionally.
Sometimes it is out of frustrations (like when I put him into the carseat and he really, really does not want to be buckled. Even if i wait for him to calm down, there is still the possibility that I might get hit!)
Sometimes, I swear, it is just for no reason at all. when I sit him at the edge of the sink to wash hands, sometimes he will look at my face and just reach out and whack it. No idea why. He likes to wash his hands, and he will do this while he is smiling and singing!
Honestly, I don't have a consistent approach to it because I'm just not certain what to do. Usually I say "stop" but I don't make a huge deal about it. Occasionally, I will ignore it altogether becasue the hit didn't seem to be dome with malice (if that's possible!)
Ugh. I don't know. Its one of those weird things that I don't quite have a grip on.
My son, who will be 3 in September.... About 5 times a day.
I just came up here searching for ideas on how to handle the hitting situation and found this thread.
I have yet to find a solution that WORKS - although I haven't tried putting him in his room for time-outs. I have been consistently doing time-outs, and if he doesn't sit, I can take him back to his time-out spot over and over again. I can remain calm & patient about that (which is why is amazes me that he is SUCH a hitting child!). But it has had ZERO affect, and we're moving in to nearly 2 months of consistent hitting.
Recently I visited my family, and my step-mother mentioned how reactive I am to the hitting, that when he hits, I'm up out of the chair and taking him to time-out. She said that was the problem in itself, that he's getting a reaction from me, and that I should try to ignore it.
Less than a week of trying to ignore it and, yeah, No, that's just impossible. It's not stopping him from hitting me, and honestly, my son is 40lbs and he HURTS me. Whack! Right in the face.
I have found that if I let him know that he hurt me, ask him to be gentle, or if (has happened a few times) I tear up because my body reacts faster than my mind does!, he will immediately say Sorry and will kiss me where he hit me. But ignoring does not seem to be working.
Maybe I'll try the in-the-room thing.
I know he is acting out some because of speech delay. He has pronunciation difficulties and is in speech therapy. He definitely hits other children when they don't understand him. But mostly for me, he hits when I don't let him do what he wants or give him what he wants.
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