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Aggressive Behavior

506 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  kangamitroo
I'm not sure what to do about DD's latest "phase." She has been scraching DH and hitting him for no reason. He was asleep this morning and she started scratching him. She aslo told him that she hates him. We don't know how to handle this aggressive behavior. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Mmmm, we had this too. how old is she? Up to a point, ds just needed us to physically stop him and say "hitting hurts...you can kiss mama, you can hug mama." (I was the main target in our family.) I got wise advice from a mom who said that for 2 year olds, life is a big experiment, and they HAVE to try stuff and see what will happen. So if you just make the same thing happen every time, and make it boring, the child will learn what she is trying to learn and move on to the next experiment. It was hard for me to be boring--I tend to freak out when attacked--but it was effctive when I stuck with it for a hwile. Just learn your script, and take her hands each time and repeat it: Hitting hurts, you can kiss papa, you can hug papa.

she may also be trying to connect...which seems bizarre, but ds definitely has done this. Maybe papa could play with her for a special set-aside time each day--even 15 mintues--where there is no answering the phone or talking with you, etc, jsut totally be with her playing whatever she wants. Especially being rowdy in safe ways. Whenever I have done this, life has gotten 10 times better....and then I forget to keep it up,. and things backslide.


Do you have the book "Playful Parenting" by Larry Cohen (other books with same title, so check the author)? Lots of help for me, starting when ds was a toddler.
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I agree with Denise K....it is probably experimenting more than anything else. I very quickly put the stops to being mean to daddy behavior. It is never okay to hit either of us. Sometimes she does sort of pick at her dad...or say nooo, maaaama do it. Depending upon how old your child is and how verbal she is...if she were mine, I would say that we do not talk to daddy like that, that it is very mean to say you hate someone. I also do stop my kid from hitting/bitting/kicking and explain that it is mean and hurts. We also have her say sorry and kiss and make up. I know that with my dd she fully grasps and understands this because she will *always* kiss where the offense has taken place...wherever she has pinched etc....

Good luck, I want to also encourage you that they sometimes just use and experiment with big words and have no idea what the emotional value is behind them...I hope he isn't to hurt over it. Its hard not to take it personally, but it really probably doesn't mean anything.
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Thanks mamas. This behavior has started since DH has been home a lot. He is working from home 3 days a week and DD spends a lot of time with him. She is starting to see that daddy can also do things for her...change diapers, get snacks etc.

And Denise K maybe you're right. She may trying to connect to DH is her own strange way. She always wants to be with him, but tends to hit, scratch and say hurtful things. She's only 2 1/2 and I think she is not always able to convey the emothions and feelings she is experiencing in an appropriate manner. She is very affectionate and kisses and cuddles me a lot, but hits DH.

We have tried to redirect the behavior, but it doesn't always work. Patience and more redirection I think is going to be key in this situation. Thanks for the advice!
One more short thought, having read your last post--I had an intuition I want to pass along, for what it's worth: If your Dh has previously been less present and is more so now, and more of a caregiver, I wonder if your DD is feelign safer to experiment and act out with him. Just a gut feeling I got--that kind of taking-for-granted thing that happens with a parent who is always available, and not so much with one who is often not. DS, for instance, never has bitten or seriously attacked his grandfathers--and only rarely his grandma--even when he spends lots of time with them and has conflicts. He saves it, and attacks us when he gets home....I think there is a sense of an unconditional love that can be tested safely, a person you can push when you need to push without fearing they will go away--and him being home more may be opening that possibility for her with him.

Good luck on the patience....breathe....
i am in this boat too, where dd hits & kicks me. redirection doesn't work. like so many areas of mothering a toddler, i have to repeat myself 10million times: no hitting, that hurts mama, let's hug instead. (one big challenge for me is she often hits right after we've been snuggly; she'll kiss my cheek, then kick me!)

yesterday i saw her mime that she would kick another girl--dd looked at me and said an emphatic "No". i said that's right, hitting hurts.
i'm posting to say you're not alone, and that patience will save us.
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