4.5 year old and hitting - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-13-2007, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has just started (in the last few weeks) hitting me. He was a big time hitter as a toddler, but once he was able to verbalize his needs, he pretty much stopped hitting.

Now, at 4.5 years old, he has started hitting me when he doesn't like something I have said or asked him to do. I've tried talking to him, explaining that when he is angry he can tell me with words, made it very clear that under no circumstances is he to hit me, given him other things to hit, but nothing works.

We don't do timeouts and I try (though not always succesfully) to not be punitive. I am at my wits end. Any suggestions??? I know hitting is normal at toddlerhood, but is it still normal at 4.5???
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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Is there a pattern or triggers that you can identify? When/where/what triggers the hitting? Late in the day/tired/hungry, frustration at his desire being obstructed, dairy or artificial colors recently consumed? Change in environment, more stimulation, less stimulation/boredom, transition issues, changed caregivers, hitting modeled by friends?

??

My biggest awareness was that the more reactive *I* am to anything unpleasant, the more the behavior was repeated. Ds is a little scientist; and if something causes mama to be excited/upset/angry then that is IMPORTANT to explore. I was really triggered by the normal hitting exploration at 15-18 months and I was very upset and loud about not wanting to be hit! When I was able to realize there was exploration behind the behavior, I was able to redirect calmly toward other ways to meet the need: pounding toys, throwing games, large muscle movement activities, giving words to voice his needs, etc.

Pat

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