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Heavenly 04-16-2003 09:27 PM

My 2 year old son hits all the time. He will just come up and slap me in the face or slap his sister's head while she's nursing and kick or whatever. He is just so violent and people are starting to not want to be around us. It isn't the baby I don't think because he's been doing this since last summer and she was only born in November. It doesn't even seem odd to him, he just does it. Oh hello I'll throw a truck at your head. Number one, is he disturbed? I have bipolar disorder and know it's hereditary. Could he have it? Number two, what do I do. I have spanked him a couple of times but I don't believe in it and it doesn't do anything. I tried putting him in time out but he thinks its fun and keeps putting himself in time out now. I've tried talking, making him apologize, explaining, nothing works for this kid. It HAS to stop! I am starting to not like my child very much. Please help me!

Heavenly 04-17-2003 10:35 PM


Trishy 04-17-2003 10:59 PM

Ds is not yet two but he also hits a lot. It is mostly dh or I and almost always in the face. If I am sitting on the floor playing with him and he does it, I get up and tell him that I do not want to play with him if he is going to hit me because it hurts. If I am sitting on the sofa with him and he does it I put him down and tell him that I do not want him to sit with me if he is going to hit because it hurts. If he climbs back up and hits me again I tell him that I do not want to sit with him anymore because he hits me and it hurts. It's not always the most convienient thing to do and I imagine it is even tougher if you are sitting and nursing a newborn but I have noticed a difference in how often ds hits, mostly when he gets overexcited lately. So my advice would be that when he hits to either get up or put him down and tell him that you don't want to sit with him because he hits you (the baby, etc.) and it hurts. I don't think that there is anything wrong with him. I have been bonked in the head with more trucks and sippy cups in ds' short life than I can remember. I think it is just a normal part of the age.

lula 04-18-2003 05:04 AM

My nephew who is now five had the exact problem your son does between the ages of two and well...somewhat to this day. He hits, throws toys, etc etc. he began hitting before his sister was born and now hits her, the time-outs don't work, explaining doesn't work, spankings do nothing...He has hit my daughter and was not affected by her crying at all. His parents are moderately AP and have moved into the gentle discipline realm after I inadvertanetly brought it up and they subseqently researched it.

Now I doubt your son has a problem but does he have any other odd behaviour? Most of the time this is perfectly normal but if the behaviour is extended, seemingly random, unceasing for up to 12 months, and inalterable it may be wise to examine any other oddness. My nephew is suspected to have a variation of Asperger's. The hitting issue was the reason my brother in law really reached out to discover what exactly he could do to help his son. Now I am not saying your son has anything like this , he is probably just going through a stage that is very typical of small children. (today my two year old daughter told my husband she liked hitting him and she has never been hit, spanked etc) I am just saying if there is any other odd behaviour it may be worth reading up on some other things. I really don't want to freak you out I just saw what my nephew dealt with and discovering this has really helped his family.

Have you tried showing your son the consequence of hitting? For example my daughter is motivated to not hit because I do not hold her while she is hitting and if she hits while we are in a store, or while I have to hold her like in a parking lot etc then we leave or I turn her facing out (she hates this) also if she hits just to get us to leave the store then we wait until she has calmed down and we attempt the store again. This seems to be working, we also discuss that she cannot use hitting as a way to get what she wants, hitting hurts mommy and mommy cannot hold her if she is hurting mommy etc. We work on demonstrating appropriate behaviour, being gentle, hugs, talking about what she is doing, etc. I do not ignore her or spank her but try to show her that hitting alienates her from things she wants to do.
We also give her items she can hit and throw then demonstrate how to throw them etc and give her ample opportunity to do so. I try to make up a lot of games about throwing, basketball, etc. When she hits her cousin (happened once) then she has to sit on the couch and not play with her cousin until she can play without hitting, now this works because my dauther is very social and not being able to interact with people is the worse thing that could happen in her life, she also understands what she is doing and is very verbal so she can express her emotions with words very well. I imagine that tt would be much more difficult with a child who was more physical and less verbal with their emotional reactions.

sorry so long, i rambled a bit.



mamaduck 04-18-2003 12:16 PM

I guess it is obvious, but I'll say it anyway -- spanking will only make it worse. Kids this age have a tendancy to see a behavior ONCE and then copy it to death. Have you noticed that? Lovely fun isn't it? My ds is currently telling everyone he "hates" them. Sigh.

But I do think some of this is normal 2 year old behavior. We try to stay on top of ds and 'catch' his arm so that he cannot follow through with hitting. It seems like if he cannot follow through, then he eventually stops trying so much.

Another thing I'll mention -- its normal to be extra sensitive to an older child's negative behaviors when you have a new baby in the house. I'm not saying that you are being over sensitive -- hitting is a frustrating thing to deal with. I'm suggesting that it might be easier to take this in stride if your attention was not divided, and that it might help to remind yourself that he is still a baby.

I think this will pass!

Jish 04-19-2003 12:19 AM

One of the mainstream mags that I got this week had an article about bipolar disorder in children. I want to preface this by saying that I think what your child is doing is normal, and many kids go through this, especially when they are not as verbal as they would like to be and have a hard time verbalizing their needs, frustrations, etc.

The article was really interesting and had several websites about bipolar in children. If I can find it, I'll give you the information. Like I said, I don't think that is his problem at this point, but it may be interesting for you for future referance.

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