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#1 of 9 Old 12-22-2002, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my DS (14 months) started in on this hitting phase this week. He will just walk up to me and whap me on the head or in the face. I know this should be normal but man does it make me feel sad. It is hard to not take it personally. I am at a loss of how to handle it. I am trying to limit the "no's" I give him to safety issues and I try to just say things like "hitting people hurts" etc but at this age do they really understand? anyone else have any tips? is it just a phase? He goes to daycare and I just worry that he is picking up on these things there. He has been bitten three times and I just worry that he will start repeating all that gets done to him at day care. ugh.

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#2 of 9 Old 12-22-2002, 11:30 PM
 
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Well, my ds is 19 months old, not in daycare, and we are having a hitting/kicking issue. The hitting is mainly in the mornings, when we are all hanging out in bed together. He gets up and plays, crawls back in, nurses, plays around, etc. But I think he gets bored or frustrated if I don't get up right away, and at some point ends up smacking me in the face. I have tried all the explaining, etc., but sometimes I get downright mad. I always say "no, that hurts me, we don't hit" and I set him off of the bed. He usually crawls right back on, and sometimes tries to do it again, until I get up and leave, or else dh gets up with him and leaves the room. It's hard for me not to get really pissed off sometimes when he does it so intentionally. Whats interesting is that he usually hits me, but bites dh, not the other way around.

He also kicks me repeatedly when I am trying to change his diaper or clothes. And it's very much angry, deliberate kicking. If I move my body, he will move to kick me.

I have to say I don't really have a solution for you, but wanted you to know that you are not alone! I'm interested to see what solutions other people have.
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#3 of 9 Old 12-22-2002, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh I can so relate to the morning kicking. DS usually comes into bed with me around 5:00 nurses and then falls back to sleep. When he wakes up though for the day he does the same thing you described - tossing/ turning and kicking me in the stocmache and usually ends up swatting me in the head too until one of us gets up with him. I agree that it is really hard to not get pissed about it. It usually sets me in a bad mood first thing in the morning and I hate that. I also get the kicking at diaper changes too.

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#4 of 9 Old 12-22-2002, 11:37 PM
 
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My ds has moved out of the hitting stage and is now onto the hair pulling part 6 stage. When he would hit me I would stop whatever what we were doing and tell him firmly that he does not hit mommy because it hurts me. Now he likes to play with the back of my hair. He will start out lightly and I will let him. When he starts pulling my hair, more like grabbing handfuls and yanking I will untangle his hands from my hair and firly tell him that I do not like him to pull my hair, that it is not nice and it hurts me. Then he will give me a big hug, as if to say he is sorry for hurting me. I am still learning at all of this but I think taking a consistent approach and having your partner take the same consistent approach is key. I know that hitting will most likely come back again and when it does I will tell him that I do not like it, it is not nice and it hurts me.

HTH
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#5 of 9 Old 12-23-2002, 03:37 AM
 
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For a while, it really bothered me when my son would hit me -- especially in front of other people. I knew that it bothered me more because I was hurt and offended that I do so much for him, I'm literally doing a song and dance to help him through the diaper change, and he repays me by hitting me.

But then I made a decision. I decided that it was something he was doing for other reasons, those which I simply don't understand completely. His perspective is different from mine, his ability to express himself and to control his life is different from mine, and he wasn't trying to tell me that he didn't appreciate me, he just didn't know what else to do, I guess.

Other techniques: As you mentioned, prevention is helpful. Along hte lines of making more behavior acceptable ... I also try to warn him about things he won't like, to give him time to get used to the idea. We also compromise on some things -- it makes the situation acceptable to both of us, gives him a sense of control, etc.

I used to try telling him it hurt mommy, and that didn't work for us at all. Then I happened to say once, when I saw him getting that look on his face during a diaper change, "Do you want to hit Mommy?" And, weirdly, that stops it -- it's like it makes it a conscious decision for him rather than an immediate physical expression of frustration. I don't always remember to say it, though. Anyway, after I say it, he usually lowers his hand, whimpers, and comes in for a hug. I say something about how I know he's upset/frustrated/irritated because of XYZ, snuggle with him, and that's that.

Also, he once expressed a desire to hit me shortly after playing knock-knock with his daddy. (I wouldn't assist him in doing something unsafe, which frustrated him.) In the process of getting ready to hit me, he got distracted, I guess, and knocked on a wooden furniture item. A friend of mine had been trying to teach her daughter to hit inanimate objects instead of humans, so that came to mind and I said, almost jokingly (though he's too young to understand that), "That's an interesting idea -- to hit something else instead when you feel like hitting Mommy." For some time thereafter, when the urge to hit me would strike, he would knock on the wall (or whatever was nearby), then present his hand to me for a kiss for his owee. I felt so bad every single time that happened! It was so sweet of him.

Occasionally, I'll catch his hand as it comes up to my face, and then he goes straight to the post-upset hug, poor thing. I feel so bad for him -- all that frustration, no way for him to control preventing it, and no other way to express it.

Ultimately, though, what's worked for me is to change ME, not him. I decided I couldn't change him. He knows that I don't like being hit, and he always seems to regret hitting me (he comes in for a hug afterwards -- no surprise. It's like making up after a fight.), and one day this phase will pass. In the meantime, it doesn't usually hurt me physically, and I've made up my mind not to let it upset me emotionally, so it just doesn't happen much and just doesn't bother me much.

Long post, so I'll end there. Good luck.
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#6 of 9 Old 12-23-2002, 11:12 AM
 
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When dd looks like she's going to start hitting I try distraction but if that doesn't work I find that taking her hand and repeating the word 'gentle' while stroking whatever it was she was trying to hit (usually the poor cat) works well.
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#7 of 9 Old 12-23-2002, 01:50 PM
 
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I was just about to start a thread on the same subject. Glad I found this one already.

Anyhow, DS is 14 months and is constantly hitting DH and I. It saddens me so much because he's always been very sweet and cuddly and now this little demon hitter has emerged. DH gets so angry with him and scolds him, which I can't stand! I try to hold him and stroke him when he does it and it helps, but then as soon as we're done, he tries to hit me again. I guess it's just a phase. DD never went through it, so it's all new to me even though this is my second child.
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#8 of 9 Old 12-28-2002, 05:32 PM
 
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I'll preface this by saying that I don't have this problem but I may have a solution for you. When my DD does things that I view as being negative like banging a spoon against a glass dish, instead of telling her what she can't do, I tell her what she CAN do. So I'll say, "let's bang that spoon on the carpet" or "let's bang this wooden spoon against the tupperware".

So if I did have this problem, I would say "let me show you how to play patty cake" or "let's hit this pillow instead".

I don't know if it will work but I guess it's worth a try!

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#9 of 9 Old 12-29-2002, 03:39 PM
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Great idea, LoveBeads .

This is a really frustrating problem. DD has just begun to do this lately and it bugs me, especially since she's always been exceptionally gentle for a toddler. We also had some friends over this morning and dd was kicking their 6-year-old daughter. I'd never seen that before. And she loved this girl, was following her around and hugging her--maybe she was just overstimulated. When the older girl would sit down, dd would start kicking her. :

I find it to be hard to deal with, because the human reaction to someone hitting you is to react in anger. It's natural. I generally just try gently catching her hand and firmly holding it down for a few seconds while I say "No, Willa. That hurts mommy. We don't ever hit people or animals. We touch them gently." Then I stroke her arm or head very gently, and she knows what that means, "'gentle touch".

It's really annoying when it's my face and I'm half asleep.
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