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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to GD. I have a 2 year old son and I have to admit that I have not been the best parent in the world. Yes, I have spanked my son and have realized that I was wrong and do not intend to do it anymore.(Please do not flame me, I have realized the errors of my ways and am trying desperately to change). Not ony was I hurting my son, but I would feel like crap afterwards. I actually found MDC while I was lurking for other forms of discipline that would work for both me and my son. I have to tall you, I really respect all of you and I value your opinions greatly. Anyway let me get to the point. I have 2 questions the first one is:

Is it ever too late to start GD?

And the second. My son will come up and hit and bite me. Usually we are playing and he will get over stimulated and thats when it happens. When he does this, I get out of the floor and sit in the chair (he hates this) and I tell him, "you hurt mommy when you bite/hit, mommy is going to sit here until you think that you can stop hitting/ biting." Is this OK? Do you have anything else to offer that might help stop him.

· Registered
2,430 Posts
Hi Becky and
. I'm glad you found us.

First, congrats on deciding to go the GD route - I think you'll have tons of questions but the mamas on this board are totally awesome and will give you great advice. To start, you might want to check some of the books on the list, they can be very helpful to give an overview. My personal favorite (although I really don't think the title does it justice) is "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky Bailey. Also, there are many reformed spankers on this board so you are in great company!

Now, in answer to your first question, no, it is not too late to start GD. As you will find, GD is as much for YOU as it is for your kids - it pretty much changes the way you view/relate to many different relationships. I think it has been the single most relevant thing I have ever done for me as well as for my dd.

If your son was older, I would probably recommend that you sit down and speak to him about how things are going to be different and there is not going to be any more spanking, etc. I am not sure how effective that would be for a 2-year old, but it seems that if you are going to do things differently, you might have to demonstrate to him that he is not going to garner the same reactions out of you. It might take him a while to adjust to the differences.

My dd was not a biter or hitter so I'm afraid I don't have any great advice about this however, removing yourself from harm's way while staying in the same room with him seems to fit in with GD nicely. I think another thing that would help is to try to give him words to use to express his frustration so that he isn't so apt to bite. And, of course, try to stop the playing before it gets to the overstimulation stage (I know, easier said than done!).

I hope someone else will chime in who has BTDT.

· Registered
2,925 Posts
Hi and Welcome!

Never too late! There may be a period of adjustment that's rough, but you can weather that.

My son is 2.5 yrs. and he was a BIG hitter--from about 18-24 mos. It's hard! But, it is perfectly NORMAL. This is a tough time in their growth. I think a big part of this is that their minds are way beyond their language/coping skills--and that helped me a lot to remember. My son also has food allergies that contributed to this behavior. Finally, I had to get honest with myself and recognize MY urges to hit and lash out when I get really mad about something; to acknowledge how hard it is for ME (as an ADULT) oftentimes to NOT act on that. That gave me some perspective and empathy (and humility!).

Then I tried to teach him that hitting is not OK when you're frustrated, BUT there are other things one can do.

So here's what I did: He would hit. I would first try to focus on the above ("This is NOT personal. He is frustrated and doesn't know how to deal. Breathe!") BREATHE! (Breathing is important--it can change your mood. Don't underestimate simple breathing!)

I would try to stop it physically if need be (gently catching his arm or moving away) and tell him "No hitting. We do gentle touch," and gently stroke my face with his hand.

Sometimes we would offer him the option of hitting high five (explaining, "If you want to hit, you can do high five.").

Sometimes I would leave or do what you said: get in a place where he couldn't reach me--I never really found this to help him so much (in fact, it would generally escalate his behavior and frustration), but if it was at the point where I could feel myself losing control and fighting the urge to hit back, then it gave me a chance to breathe and regain some composure.

I used a lot of "projecting"--"You feel ANGRY don't you? You can say, 'I'M ANGRY!'" and I would stomp my foot and show him the sign for 'angry.' Or I would simply empathize, "I know you're frustrated b/c you want that toy. It's hard to share, isn't it?" Just try to give him some ways to verbalize or express with his body that he was pissed off that didn't involve hitting (and in your case biting).

I did this over and over and over and over and over again. I despaired that we would ever get past it (I'm sure there are plenty of posts in the Archives from me on this topic!). But after a while, it occurred to me: "Hey! When was the last time he freaked out on me? It's been a couple of days!" And it just started to be less of an issue.

And now he's 30 mos. and he is pretty much past it. Occasionally he will get upset and hit (and now he also yells "BAD!" Where he got that from is anybody's guess LOL--but I think yelling that is a pretty good way to nonviolently express his anger for right now), but I don't really have to focus on the correction part so much. He knows it's not the best choice, but he couldn't stop himself--no point in making him feel worse than he already does about it. I mostly just comfort him through the freak-out/hitting until he's done (usually he will dissolve into tears or ask to nurse), so I know it's more about him being out of whack emotionally/physically than anything else and we can work on that together. Oh, and now I encourage him to breathe, too! That really helps.

Hang in there--it will pass! The trick is to remain sane and help them through it the best you can. Punishment, to me, seems counterproductive b/c the behavior really is a symptom of something else.

Hope that helps! Hang in there and keep posting for advice--the mamas here have helped me improve my parenting enormously!

· Premium Member
3,236 Posts
Hi Becky H!
It is never too late to begin GD. I'm still learning heaps about GD, so I usually don't give too much advice.... mostly I lurk..... but i have smacked both of my kids in the past. I know what you mean about how yucky it makes you feel. I don't smack anymore (well, I only did it a few times in anger, but still...
: ) & my personal thing that I'm working on with parenting right now is I'm trying to stop yelling. This one is definitely more difficult, for me anyway!! Again, welcome!
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