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#61 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Understanding is different than excusing a behavior...

So, what would you have done, KESSED? enlighten me...

and also explain to me how you solve something without working on it...
Since hitting is something I think is completely unacceptable - I would pull out the big guns EVERY TIME my child hit. What that is will depend on the child and the family. Hitting is about the only thing we plan to use time-outs for. Because IMO if a 4yo hits another child then they aren't ready to be part of things. And if a 4yo had a serious consequence each and every single time they hit someone - they will stop pretty quickly.

I guess "hitting" is something that I would take VERY seriously - and I wouldn't subject other people's children to my child is she was a know "hitter". And that's what you say your DS is. He could actually hurt an 18mo with the size difference.

Hitting isn't OK. It's not OK for a parent to hit their child. And it's not OK for a child to hit someone else.

So I would say to do whatever will work for him to STOP the behavior immediately.

I'm all for "working on" good manners, and helping out around the house. But hitting is serious. And it's not OK.
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#62 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I honestly hope you didn't express the second quote in your email because that would explain her response.
pardon me for being dense...but need some clarity
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#63 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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My ds has been going through a bit of a hitting phase. Usually its a swat at his little brothers hand for grabbing his toys or something. We are working with him everyday about finding another way to communicate his anger. It's like a knee jerk reaction for him and he really does feel bad afterwards.

This is the part that's bothering me.

It implies that this has been going on for some time and you aren't concerned that your 4yo is HITTING other kids...
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#64 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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For a normal needs child - they don't go through a "hitting phase" at 4!!!!!

That's WAY too old to lash out like that. I watch a 4yo and 2yo twins in my house. I have seen the 2yos and my 18mo hit each other. But I would be FURIOUS is the 4yo did it. She is MUCH bigger and MUCH older. It is completely unacceptable for her hit toddlers.


I understand that you are upset that your friend threatened to spank your child. And it's reasonable that you are so upset. But it also sounds like you are making excuses for your child.

If a 4yo is hitting little kids - that needs to be STOPPED immediately. It's not something that should be 'worked on' but something that needs to be solved. You can work on an 18 month old who's hitting out of frustration. But a 4yo????
I respectfully disagree here. We have to keep in mind that this 4yo has an infant sibling. These kind of stressors can cause problems with hitting, bed-wetting, temper tantrums, and all sorts of stuff. I don't think that phases are so clear-cut. A child dealing with a newly-mobile sibling may resort to hitting in order to protect his space and his stuff. In this instance it's totally understandable to go through a hitting phase at 4. He's got a lot of new things to deal with and I know that my 4yo can easily become overloaded.

Soybeansmama, I LOVE the art idea! I may give it a try with my 4yo!

Yarngoddess, your post just truly rocked. I couldn't agree more!

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#65 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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I respectfully disagree here. We have to keep in mind that this 4yo has an infant sibling. These kind of stressors can cause problems with hitting, bed-wetting, temper tantrums, and all sorts of stuff. I don't think that phases are so clear-cut. A child dealing with a newly-mobile sibling may resort to hitting in order to protect his space and his stuff. In this instance it's totally understandable to go through a hitting phase at 4. He's got a lot of new things to deal with and I know that my 4yo can easily become overloaded.
Hitting is different. It isn't OK for a child to hit - no matter what the "stressors" are...

Protecting their stuff is a total bogus argument to excuse something which isn't acceptable...

It is black and white. And children can understand that. Hitting isn't allowed. It just isn't.
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#66 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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No one is saying that hitting is okay or acceptable. It's understandable, that's it. Finding the reason for hitting can lead to a resolution. How would you suggest "instantly" putting a stop to it? Nothing is instant with children. It's just not.

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#67 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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pardon me for being dense...but need some clarity
This:

I honestly have compassion for this mom. I believe her anger and her outburst was an expression of her frusteration with herself.


IS extremely condescending IMO. She's not frustrated with herself. She's frustrated with YOUR SON who is four and should know better.

I'm not saying that a 4 year old hitting is completely unprecedented. But it doesn't seem to me that you are taking it seriously enough and THAT is probably why she's pissed off.

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#68 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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I'm sure someone else has already said this, but isn't it pretty counterintuitive to hit someone in order to teach them not to hit someone?

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#69 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This:

I honestly have compassion for this mom. I believe her anger and her outburst was an expression of her frusteration with herself.


IS extremely condescending IMO. She's not frustrated with herself. She's frustrated with YOUR SON who is four and should know better.

I'm not saying that a 4 year old hitting is completely unprecedented. But it doesn't seem to me that you are taking it seriously enough and THAT is probably why she's pissed off.
We just spoke...finally.
She IS frusterated with herself and some of the choices she has made. We are good friends and I sensed that this was a big part of her email lashing out. She is OVER being mad at Sawyer. She said that she was done being mad as soon as she expressed anger at him. It's hard to give enough information to an online community that will tell the whole story...

What more should I be doing to take it more seriously? What is it that I am not doing that has you feeling that way? Come on now, I am posting in a forum that is notorius for being somewhat of a hornet's nest...I obviously want to get to the bottom of this...
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#70 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No one is saying that hitting is okay or acceptable. It's understandable, that's it. Finding the reason for hitting can lead to a resolution. How would you suggest "instantly" putting a stop to it? Nothing is instant with children. It's just not.
THIS.

Couldn't have said it better...
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#71 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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Um . . . Kessed? The OP has expressed a LOT of concern over her son hitting. With some children, it takes a LONG time to grow out of undesirable/unacceptable behavior. It takes a LONG time to learn to control your impulses . . . regardless of the serious consequences. The OP has stated that the hitting is unacceptable and she's trying to find the cause. You find the cause to cure the problem, not just try to stamp out the symptoms, as you are suggesting here.

Plus, let me just say that you don't know what you would do with your own child until you are experiencing it. Until you are in the middle of it, figuring it out. You can plan ahead, have great theories, but until you go through it, you just don't know what you will do. You just don't know.

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#72 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Um . . . Kessed? The OP has expressed a LOT of concern over her son hitting. With some children, it takes a LONG time to grow out of undesirable/unacceptable behavior. It takes a LONG time to learn to control your impulses . . . regardless of the serious consequences. The OP has stated that the hitting is unacceptable and she's trying to find the cause. You find the cause to cure the problem, not just try to stamp out the symptoms, as you are suggesting here.

Plus, let me just say that you don't know what you would do with your own child until you are experiencing it. Until you are in the middle of it, figuring it out. You can plan ahead, have great theories, but until you go through it, you just don't know what you will do. You just don't know.
Thankyou mama...

IMO, Gentle disclipline is about the bigger picture...not about immediate results. I am more concerned in raising my child to be a non-hitting adult.
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#73 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since hitting is something I think is completely unacceptable - I would pull out the big guns EVERY TIME my child hit. What that is will depend on the child and the family. Hitting is about the only thing we plan to use time-outs for. Because IMO if a 4yo hits another child then they aren't ready to be part of things. And if a 4yo had a serious consequence each and every single time they hit someone - they will stop pretty quickly.

I guess "hitting" is something that I would take VERY seriously - and I wouldn't subject other people's children to my child is she was a know "hitter". And that's what you say your DS is. He could actually hurt an 18mo with the size difference.

Hitting isn't OK. It's not OK for a parent to hit their child. And it's not OK for a child to hit someone else.

So I would say to do whatever will work for him to STOP the behavior immediately.

I'm all for "working on" good manners, and helping out around the house. But hitting is serious. And it's not OK.
HMMMM...I think my big guns are different than your big guns. I am pulling out my brand of "big guns"
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#74 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Um . . . Kessed? The OP has expressed a LOT of concern over her son hitting. With some children, it takes a LONG time to grow out of undesirable/unacceptable behavior. It takes a LONG time to learn to control your impulses . . . regardless of the serious consequences. The OP has stated that the hitting is unacceptable and she's trying to find the cause. You find the cause to cure the problem, not just try to stamp out the symptoms, as you are suggesting here.

Plus, let me just say that you don't know what you would do with your own child until you are experiencing it. Until you are in the middle of it, figuring it out. You can plan ahead, have great theories, but until you go through it, you just don't know what you will do. You just don't know.
I agree completely. I've known 4-year-olds who hit who were not punished, 4-year-olds who hit who were punished, and 4-year-olds who hit who were severely punished. Most 4-year-olds don't hit, but some do, and punishment doesn't do diddly to make them understand why hitting is wrong. I don't know if it even makes them stop hitting sooner. At least I haven't seen evidence of that. Also, someone here at MDC had a fabulous quote - "I don't parent to have a well-behaved child, I parent to have a well-behaved adult." Or something like that. But focusing on the long-term problem (anger, impulse control, lack of empathy, or some other cause) is IMO the key to this kind of thing. There's no great benefit in having a child who still hasn't been helped through whatever problem is causing the behavior, but who has learned how and when and whom to hit without getting punished. Obviously it is important to supervise his interactions with other children so the other children are protected if he gets angry and can't control it again.
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#75 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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I agree completely. I've known 4-year-olds who hit who were not punished, 4-year-olds who hit who were punished, and 4-year-olds who hit who were severely punished. Most 4-year-olds don't hit, but some do, and punishment doesn't do diddly to make them understand why hitting is wrong. I don't know if it even makes them stop hitting sooner. At least I haven't seen evidence of that. Also, someone here at MDC had a fabulous quote - "I don't parent to have a well-behaved child, I parent to have a well-behaved adult." Or something like that. But focusing on the long-term problem (anger, impulse control, lack of empathy, or some other cause) is IMO the key to this kind of thing. There's no great benefit in having a child who still hasn't been helped through whatever problem is causing the behavior, but who has learned how and when and whom to hit without getting punished. Obviously it is important to supervise his interactions with other children so the other children are protected if he gets angry and can't control it again.
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#76 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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I honestly don't know a single four year old who hits. I know many, many four year olds, and have one myself.

It's hard to accept that it's just a coincidence that the folks with the hitting four year olds are the same ones arguing that the kids can't help it and that it's inappropriate to act firmly with them when they hit.
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#77 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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Um . . . Kessed? The OP has expressed a LOT of concern over her son hitting. With some children, it takes a LONG time to grow out of undesirable/unacceptable behavior. It takes a LONG time to learn to control your impulses . . . regardless of the serious consequences. The OP has stated that the hitting is unacceptable and she's trying to find the cause. You find the cause to cure the problem, not just try to stamp out the symptoms, as you are suggesting here.

Plus, let me just say that you don't know what you would do with your own child until you are experiencing it. Until you are in the middle of it, figuring it out. You can plan ahead, have great theories, but until you go through it, you just don't know what you will do. You just don't know.
In this thread she hasn't expressed 'concern'... She says it's a "phase" and tries to explain it away. In this thread she has completely minimized his actions.

I'm not sure how else to say this - but it is NOT acceptable for a 4yo to hit. If I had a 4yo who hit - they certainly wouldn't be having fun play dates with other kids, especially with a much younger kid.

The OP seems to think that it's OK for her son to hit because they are "working on it"... What the heck is there to work on? You just don't hit! It's not like remembering to say "thank-you" or "please". Those are things you work on. If you can't trust a 4yo not to hit - then they shouldn't be out of your site/reach so that you can prevent them from doing it.

I guess I don't understand why she's getting all this support and being told not to let her kid be watched by that 'evil' woman who had the audacity to tell her kid off for HITTING her toddler!!!! Her son is 4!!!!! And should know better.
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#78 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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I honestly don't know a single four year old who hits. I know many, many four year olds, and have one myself.

It's hard to accept that it's just a coincidence that the folks with the hitting four year olds are the same ones arguing that the kids can't help it and that it's inappropriate to act firmly with them when they hit.
Thank you!

I know quite a few kids this age. The only one who hits - has a mom who looks on helplessly and says "DS - please don't hit" as her son beats up the rest of the play group.

The rest of the moms have 3 and 4yos who might get mad - but have figured out how to keep their hands to themselves. And, BTW, none of these women spank or even really punish. The most that some of them do is an occasional time-out.
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#79 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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I honestly don't know a single four year old who hits. I know many, many four year olds, and have one myself.

It's hard to accept that it's just a coincidence that the folks with the hitting four year olds are the same ones arguing that the kids can't help it and that it's inappropriate to act firmly with them when they hit.
Couldn't it also be that those parents with the four year olds who do hit have acted firmly (whatever that means for their family/child) and it's not working and regardless of what they may have thought about this situation before they were in it, they now realize that their child cannot help it at this time and they need to come up with even more creative solutions as well as time to see this through...

I don't have a four year old, but even if my son was four... I just can't help but think I couldn't possibly know what it would be like to be dealing with a child who needed a longer time to "get" this particular concept unless I *was* dealing with that child.

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#80 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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I don't have a four year old, but even if my son was four... I just can't help but think I couldn't possibly know what it would be like to be dealing with a child who needed a longer time to "get" this particular concept unless I *was* dealing with that child.
That's my problem with this thread.

I don't think that this is the kind of thing where it's OK for some kids to "take longer to get"... If a child really needs longer to understand that hitting isn't OK - then that needs to be remembered - and it's up to that child's parents to make sure that the kid doens't hit other kids.

It's "understandable" when a 2yo hits. But it isn't when a 4yo does.

Would it be "understandable" for me to hit my DH just because I got frustrated with him?
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#81 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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"I don't parent to have a well-behaved child, I parent to have a well-behaved adult."...
I do agree with this completely, and think it's a key point in parenting. Any child can be forced to 'behave' if enough fear and coercion are introduced. The end result is detrimental to that child's development however.

I think all of us have certain behaviors about which we are simply inflexible. Running toward a busy roadway is one which comes to mind. Even the most gentle of us will shriek, raise our voices, grab our child, scold, weep and admonish our toddler if we see her take off headed toward traffic. It is not acceptable, and we take pains to make that clear to the child. And in general, it works for us to do that. In fact, it works much better for gentle parents because our children are so unaccustomed to seeing us react with stern emotions and rigid guidelines. We don't give dd a lot of rules to follow, and the few that we do, she pays attention to.

Some of us choose to treat hitting with a similar approach. We teach that: HUH UH, that is NOT acceptable, you will NOT do that. I can't speak for other parents but we have never punished dd to make these points. We simply communicate honestly.

Pretty much that's what this other mother did. She didn't threaten violence. She spoke honestly. She reacted honestly. I'm sick and tired of your meaness. It's wrong. If you were my child I would spank you. It was a good, honest encounter that was proportional to the problem. They way the boy's reaction was described, it seemed to be a lesson that was sinking in and making an impression on him. Now that he sees his mother negating the other mother's message, that effect is probably lost.

Maybe some of you mothers are nonchalant about hitting and don't think seeing your toddler smacked by a four year old boy is a big deal. Maybe that's why your kids are still hitting.
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#82 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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I honestly don't know a single four year old who hits. I know many, many four year olds, and have one myself.
Really? Because I know people of all ages who hit.

Having had 4 children, 3 of whom have been 4, some hit. Some hit occasionally, some hit a lot, some hit because they've been hit, some hit because of impulse control...kids of all ages hit...just not ALL kids of all ages hit. I have a nearly 14 year old who has never(to my knowledge) ever hit but she did bite as a toddler.

The difficulty I have with the above situation is that the person doing the "discipline" was not the parent and was using a type of discipline that was known to not be acceptable to the parent.

This 4 year old has a new baby in the house. This causes stress for the 4 year old and they behave in ways that are not normal for them. Yes the mom is concerned about the hitting as any mom should be but being concerned doesn't mean that there really is anything to be overly concerned about. Yes hitting is non-negotiable but if you think that for all children just telling them in a serious/angry tone to stop will work after the first time...well I'm pretty sure I tried that at least 3 times.

When an adult has stress going on in their lives they go for councelling, have employee assistance programs, talk to their friends, visit online communities for advice, meditate, go to church and pray, go to the bar and drink etc. etc. and they STILL act out in ways that they never would when life is good and peaceful.

This of the 3 of my children who have been 4(and one still is) what I have found that works the best in the long run is to prevent it by avoiding situations in which they have the opportunity to hit(like supervising when they are with other children carefully, something that wasn't happening here) and just making it a non negotiable. Also talking about the underlying stressor, here it's a new sibling, and trying to introduce coping mechanisms.

I was just babysitting a 14 month old and I have to say that she was so much harder on my 2.5 year old and 4.5 year old than they ever were on her. I had to be on my guard all the time because she would grab their hair and pull, pinch their faces, scratching their cheeks..she would just do this. She was a baby. I was right there and my kids never hit her however had they done so as a reflex I would not have been surprised..being suddenly hurt causes a reaction that is primal.

Seeing as the baby was alone with the older children it is possible that something like this occurred. I'm not blaming the mom for leaving them alone because she might have just had to pee or something but you have to be present with little kids.

I think with proper guidance and gentle teaching a child can be led from hitting into other methods of dealing with being hit. It's a learning curve.
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#83 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Would it be "understandable" for me to hit my DH just because I got frustrated with him?
But this child didn't just hit out of frustration... he hit because he *was* hit. Do I think the 18 month old meant to hurt him? I think we can't know why that 18 month old hit him because the Mom wasn't watching... however, even if she was just excited (my babe does this, I recognize it happens) that four year old, in the moment, just knew he was hit. Should he have hit back... honestly no... of course not.

I don't hit my partner when I'm mad at him... but it took me a LONG time before I didn't have the urge to hit my brother when he hurt me... and the first time my son bit me while nursing I almost tapped his face (stopped myself in the nick of time). He didn't mean to hurt me, and I'm an adult... but in that moment my brain went OWWWW and I was caught off guard...

A fourteen year old should have that impulse control that I managed to pull out... heck, even a nine year old... a four year old isn't even in school yet. They *should* know not to hit... but in a pain/caught off guard moment it's terribly unfair to expect them not to have the urge to react back and terribly uncompassionate to not try and help them work through learning this, not out of fear, but out of really getting it... we don't all develop at the same pace.

I don't think it's ok for a four year old to hit. I don't think it's abnormal in this situation for it to have happened. The Mama said that he has never hit this child before... she hit him, he was overwhelmed, lets address that, not assume he's a monster.

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#84 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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But this child didn't just hit out of frustration... he hit because he *was* hit.

I do think that is relevant BUT the OP said that he is going through a hitting 'phase'.

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Originally Posted by soybeansmama View Post
.

My ds has been going through a bit of a hitting phase. Usually its a swat at his little brothers hand for grabbing his toys or something. We are working with him everyday about finding another way to communicate his anger. It's like a knee jerk reaction for him and he really does feel bad afterwards.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#85 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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it took me a LONG time before I didn't have the urge to hit my brother when he hurt me...
I think fights between similar aged siblings is a bit of a different matter. Even eleven year old perfect angels will take a swing when they get going with a hated brother or sister after stuck in the house all day together on a rainy afternoon.

That's different than hitting a friend's baby sister when over for a visit.
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#86 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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congrats to all the mamas who have tried all the traditional approaches (time-outs, punishments/rewards, yelling, etc.) with sucess for changing unacceptable behaviors. We have thrown all these ideas out he window for the time being because they seem to be making things worse with this particular behavior. Never have I said that its ok for kids to hit... apparently, it's taking some posters "a little longer to get" the idea that there may be a different, more effective in the long run approach to things...
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#87 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Again, the hitting phase, grabby hands, phase whatever you want to call it has been a problem with his newly mobile sibling up until this incident...
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#88 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by soybeansmama View Post
apparently, it's taking some posters "a little longer to get" the idea that there may be a different, more effective in the long run approach to things...
I think I'm understanding things quite well, thank you.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#89 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I do think that is relevant BUT the OP said that he is going through a hitting 'phase'.
I think what the op described is common behaviour between siblings. Not acceptable but I have seen it happen.
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#90 of 194 Old 05-24-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by soybeansmama View Post
congrats to all the mamas who have tried all the traditional approaches (time-outs, punishments/rewards, yelling, etc.) with sucess for changing unacceptable behaviors. We have thrown all these ideas out he window for the time being because they seem to be making things worse with this particular behavior. Never have I said that its ok for kids to hit... apparently, it's taking some posters "a little longer to get" the idea that there may be a different, more effective in the long run approach to things...
Well then I feel sorry for his sibling who has to put up with this kind of abuse.

And I hope that you take steps to make sure that he is NEVER alone with other children where you can't prevent them from being abused.

You know your child hits... It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that he doesn't land any more blows on other poor children.

If it was a one of - then that's one thing. But since you know it's a habit - it is only your fault when he does it.
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