My 22 month old ds is hitting and kicking me, then laughing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-23-2004, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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My ds has taken to enjoying to hit and kick me. He thinks it's really funny. It's not play hitting and kicking either. He will get frustrated and then start hitting me in the face and kicking me, and then starts laughing.

I don't know what to do? I want to use gentle discipline but I don't feel like I'm getting through to him by saying "Please don't hit and kick Mama. It hurts me." He seems to do it more the more I talk to him about it.

This afternoon I got to the point where I just hid my face and my belly (I'm 7 months pregnant) and let him proceed, because I was so unsure of what to do. He just laughed and laughed.

Overall he is a pretty mellow little guy, except when it comes to this. Anyone have any suggestions?

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#2 of 7 Old 04-23-2004, 10:21 PM
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You might try grabbing his wrists and letting him know that you simply will not let him do it, no different than holding his hand tightly when he tries to run away in a parking lot. It shouldn't take long before he figures out he's not getting anywhere with that other than frustrating himself, and figures out some other way to express himself.

Fortunately, my daughter never went through that stage, but a friend got it badly from her son. All of a sudden, when he started talking well enough to express his feelings and needs, it stopped cold. So, hang in there, hopefully it'll end soon
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#3 of 7 Old 04-23-2004, 11:38 PM
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My son does it too. I just grab (gently! not trying to hurt the kid) his hands or wrists and say "don't hit mama!". Sometimes if he does it when I'm holding him, and he won't stop, I repeat myself while putting him down. If he cries I pick him back up again, but it gets the point accross (for that moment :LOL) that I won't let him hit me.

No, it won't get through to him any time soon. I believe that for the most part, they have to grow out of it and you can just control how you react to it. Dont' take it personally. My son is also a mellow, sweet little dude who just happens to hit when frustrated (or having fun!). Ironically, my spirited, high need dd wasn't a hitter.

I also agree that it's probably largely frustration at not being able to communicate as well as he wants. I'm pretty sure that's mostly it with my son.

And if your son ever hits out of fun (like mine) I have a tip. I hold up my hand and say "hi five!" and it gets redirected to a fun activity. I taught my dd that too since apparently it's great fun to pummel your sister :
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#4 of 7 Old 04-24-2004, 07:24 PM
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We went through a hitting phase that sounds similar. We would hold my son's hands say "No, hitting hurts." and then count anywhere from 5-20. The longer counts for when he was repeating the action. It took a week or so but he stopped.
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#5 of 7 Old 04-25-2004, 01:13 AM
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All of my boys went through this stage, the youngest is still there! It is so difficult. I was pregnant when the 2nd one went through it, and not only did it last WAY TOO LONG, but nothing worked to stop him. He just had to grow out of it on his own. We used time outs (which I normally don't use for under 2 year olds, but it was kind of a "last resort" thing) removed him from me (by his daddy -- he hit/kicked mostly me & sometimes his aunt or uncle or someone, but rarely daddy) and he would just come back and do it again. It was funny. It got him attention. I have no idea why.

Now my youngest does it occasionally, hits and laughs and runs off and returns to do it again, but he is easier to deal with.

I have no idea what to tell you, except it seems to be one of those things you have to keep telling them no & why/why it is wrong over & over & over & over before they finally "grow out of" the whole stage.

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#6 of 7 Old 04-25-2004, 03:57 AM
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My ds does this on occasion too. I tried holding his wrists and saying "no" but that just seemed to encourage him or make him REALLY mad. Time-outs don't work or I just don't know how to do them.

I finally just started getting up and walking away from him. I just say in a really nice voice with no anger (at least now, I came to realize this is best. LOL!) "Mommy doesn't want to play with you when you hit. When you stop hitting we can play again." Then I go do dishes or something. If he follows me in the kitchen and tries to hit me again, I just leave and say, "Sorry - I don't want to play with you when you hit me." It seems that as long as I stay low-key about it, it dissipates pretty quickly.

I don't know. What do you think? It seems to work and I don't think I'm being mean or ignoring him. To me - that's life. If you treat someone badly, then you will soon learn they don't want to play with you.

Also, since he's not getting a big reaction from me, he gets bored with the game.

HTH. I hope to hear other ideas too.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-26-2004, 10:28 AM
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My DD started doing this to me because her friend does it to his mommy. I also tried telling her no, holding her and ignoring her (which only made her hysterical, and I felt like I was abandoning her emotionally - she is HN). Time out - she laughed at me. *gasp* Nothing was working.

So I quit focusing on what I didn't want and told her what I did want. I said In our house hands are for hugging, can you give mama a hug? In our house our hands are for loving, let's pet the cat. Or the hi-five if I can tell she's in a mood. I also made a game of asking her what else hands are for. Once she said pick nose. LOL. This worked for us! She also expressed her confusion that her friend hit his mommy and I explained to her that hitting hurts his mommy and he needs to learn what his hands are for. My friend also started this with her DS and so far, he hasn't hit her or himself again.

I think the most important thing to do is take the power struggle away and stop reacting to the problem. Teach them what hands ARE for (even though they know) and they will learn that hitting is not acceptable.
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