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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 22 month old has recently begun using physical aggression a lot more. I'm kinda having a hard time figuring out the best way to approach this/ deal with it. She talks well, so it's not that she is lacking the words to communicate (which is what I attributed it to when dd1 was that age and having physical aggression issues). I think it's just frustration/ lack of impulse control. But I don't know what to do. It is developmentally appropriate and understandable, but not acceptable, ya know? I got so frustrated yesterday when I was trying to put her down for a nap (we cosleep) and she kept hitting and kicking me because she did not want to go to sleep. (For the record, she was beyond exhausted.) I finally got tired of the abuse and just left the room/ closed the door and let her CIO. (I dont believe in CIO, but I was just so frustrated I didnt know what to do.) She only cried halfheartedly and only for about two or three minutes, so it's not like she was screaming for hours or anything, but still, I just don't know what to do. Anyone have any ideas for how to cope with toddler aggression? Mostly we just hold her hands/ feet and say "No hitting or no kicking; gentle touches." We have talked about things that it is okay to hit (play dough, pillows, the mattress) vs not ok (people, cats). But when angry, she doesnt care. She'll laugh while hitting also, so even in the moment, she knows that it is not okay.
 

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I still think my 3.5 yo doesn't have the language to express himself. He is very verbal but I think it takes more than that to express yourself. I think you have to have some self-awareness/reflection to use words. I think a toddler fills with rage and saying, "I'm mad!" just doesn't express it as much as wacking mama in the back. My approach is like, "I know that you are angry about X. I understand that you are very mad about X." A little bit "Happiest Toddler on the Block," but not so toddler-ease. He seems to feel a little better to know that I understand it. I also leave the room as a last resort. Sometimes little children really don't know why they are feeling something even if it is obvious to us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I use the toddler-ese Happiest Toddler approach a lot. I LOVE that book. I don't think she needs an evaluation. It's all very age appropriate stuff. I just don't like being whacked, you know? She whacks me and her dad and her big sister. Sometimes telling her she's mad helps. But mostly not so much. She doesn't seem to care. I think you're right about it taking more self reflection than she has. Plus she's kind of experimenting with the effects it has on people, I think. We do time out sometimes, but I'm really not sure it is effective. At this point it's more to help my older dd not feel so victimized than to effect Catherine's behavior, if that makes any sense.
 

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I think you're right, it is normal, and it is a phase.

I think you did the right thing with the naptime scene. A natural consequence of hittting/kicking is that the person does not want to be around you.

At 22 months rather than holding her hands/feet, I would be inclined to set her down on the floor and distance myself from her. I found that with my son if I held his hand when he was going to bat at me it actually made him more angry. I started just setting him down on the floor and saying "No hitting. Hitting hurts." If she hits DD1 you could pick up DD1 and hold her out of DD2's reach and say the same thing. She will get the point pretty quick.

Hey, I like your oldest daughter's name!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Terabith View Post
We do time out sometimes, but I'm really not sure it is effective. At this point it's more to help my older dd not feel so victimized than to effect Catherine's behavior, if that makes any sense.
I agree. When I give him a timeout it is more so I don't have a breakdown! Also so that older brother doesn't feel like the little one is the tyrant of the household. I don't think the whacker gets too much out of it.
 
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