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HELP! I'm getting very tired of DS swatting at me! If I'm holding or nursing him, I'll immediately put him down & say sternly, "No hitting."<br><br>
But it's getting worse & now many times when he's frustrated, he'll swat at me. One night, I opened the pantry, he wanted to go in & of course I couldn't let him, so I closed the doors. He RAN towards me and swatted at my leg.<br><br>
I'm also getting very tired of being kicked through diaper changes & clothes changes. I try to wait until he's ready & invite him to come lay down to get dressed, rather than grab him & put him down on his back, but I can only wait so long. (Not every diaper change & clothes change can take place on <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><i>his</i></span> schedule. I'm not going to leave him in a poopy diaper until he "feels like" being changed! (He doesn't mind poopy diapers, so that could go on for hours!)<br><br>
I've used time-outs a few times, but don't want to do that constantly.<br><br>
Frowns, stern words, "No" and "That's not nice, don't hit mama." are not cutting it!<br><br>
Let me repeat, <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">stern words are NOT CUTTING IT and I REFUSE to be abused by my child.</span></b> I need ideas. HELP!!!!!
 

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I do know how upsetting this is, as my little one continues, over and over again to push the boundries. You know, come to think of it, so does my big one, just in different ways! You do have to stay firm and continue to repeat that hitting, kicking, pushing, biting, etc. is not allowed. I use a more time in approach with my youngest - she's almost 2. Immediately after an incident - I sit her down (right there - we don't have a timeout chair or rug) and I sit down with her. Sometimes she is so upset that I simply have to hold her close to calm her down. She is getting to the point where I can reason with her - only if she is calmed down though. I really try to stress the cause of her behavior - was she mad or upset, angry or frustrated, was she trying to be funny or get my attention - then we talk about other ways we can express ourselves. I know it sounds way over a 16mo head - but they are sponges right down and they do begin to get it. You are creating a pattern right now and this takes time. Also, every child is different - so what works for one, may not for another. DD1 began to pinch - I would place one of her books (she loves books) in time-out. This method worked really well for her and she changed her behavior. I tried this approach on DD2, and well, it didn't quite catch on. So hang in there Mama - be kind, loving and compassionate - and if need be - give yourself a time-out<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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"Discipline" in the traditional sense, including time-out, is not likely to be effective with a 16-month-old. Even if he understands he's not supposed to do something, he's likely to lack the required impulse control.<br><br>
The world is a frustrating place at that age. There are many, many things they want to do but cannot, either because they are not able or because they are not allowed. And they are too little to understand *why* they're not allowed. "Because I'm the mother and I said so" is pretty meaningless to a toddler. Even good reasons ("it's hot", "that's dangerous") won't mean a lot to some kids (my daughter was the cautious type and understood those directives at that age; my 13 mo. old son, not so much).<br><br>
I would focus on trying to reduce the causes of frustration. Try saying "yes" as often as possible. (There will still be plenty of "no"s to go around.) Maybe reconsider whether that thing he wants is really likely to be dangerous or get damaged. Would it really be a complete disaster if he were able to explore the pantry for a little while? (Maybe yes, maybe no, depends on your kid and your pantry.) Also, consider whether sleep might be a factor. For most kids (and even adults), behaviour devolves rapidly when they get tired. Try to ensure he is getting enough sleep, and if that's not possible at least keep in mind that fatigue might be the underlying cause.<br><br>
For diaper changes, if he doesn't want to lie down maybe you could try changing him standing up, and let him help in the process? For example he could pass you things (wipes, clean diaper) and even "help" wipe himself. This has the added benefit of helping to prepare him for potty training by getting him involved in the process of toileting.<br><br>
For what it's worth, I think all of the behaviour you describe is pretty normal at that age. Continue to send the message that hitting is not okay and work to reduce the causes of frustration and it should get better with time.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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You were able to use time-outs with a 16 month old? I honestly don't see how that was possible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
The thing I've read to do, and it does help with the given instance of hitting but doesn't seem to have reduced the number of instances of hitting yet, is to immediately take their hand and touch it to what they hit (or tried to hit, ideally you actually catch their hand before they connect) and guide them to do a gentle touch. You're taking the attitude that of course they wanted to touch nicely and they just need help.
 

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My suggestion is to remove attention for behavior you want to stop. If he hits you, put him down gently, say I love you but hitting hurts! Walk away and go do something else. When he kicks you, say "Kicking HURTS!" and walk away and go do something else.<br><br>
Just about the only thing you can 'teach' him at this age is when I do X, mama does Y. Please be gentle with him, he's so little!
 

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I don't think it's the answer across the board, but in some of the situations you've described, a playful response might help a lot. It can relieve tension, create connection, and meet a child's need to feel "powerful" all at once if you, for example, fall over backwards in a silly, exaggerated way when he kicks you during a diaper change. He'll love it and do it again, and you can continue the game until you both feel better and the tension is gone. This doesn't teach him to abuse you; it gives him a way of redirecting his energy from violence to play.<br><br>
Just something to put in your toolbox, though certainly not the whole solution.<br><br>
A book I found enormously helpful when my first child was this age was Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It really helped me to identify my options and clarify my values. My first child was/is extremely spirited. I knew I wanted to do non-punitive, gentle discipline, but I had no idea what that would actually look like (not a lot of IRL examples at that point). This book painted me a picture of what it might look like, using lots of information, examples, and anecdotes. It was a fantastic resource for me.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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Something I've found helpful with this type of behavior is to remember that saying "no hitting" doesn't really make sense to them at this age. They don't understand negatives as well as we think they do. So when you say " don't hit momma" he just hears "hit momma" It's apparently much more effective for you to say what you want them to do, instead of what not to do. (and this has been true with my own DD)<br><br>
So, when she hits, I do say something like "no hitting." but its quickly followed by "be gentle" or "hug daddy, instead" I model the behavior or help her do it. I also remove my attention if she keeps doing it, saying something like "i'll pick you up again when you show me how gentle you are" (instead of saying, I'll pick you up when you stop hitting)<br><br>
Diaper changes are still a struggle for us, but I've found being goofy while changing her helps. She still kicks while doing this from time to time, and this is the hardest for me to stop. I've started saying "we can't get up and play until you keep your feet still" (which is true because i can't finish the diaper change until she stops kicking) and I hold her legs still until she stops kicking.<br><br>
I agree with the PP about reevaluating what you're telling him he can't do. I find myself saying 'no' to some things, but when I really examine them more and I think "is it really so bad that she [plays with the mixing bowls, gets out the oven mitts, etc]?" it seems i make a lot of random grown up rules that don't actually have any practical reasons. This doesn't mean I'm constantly giving into her--it means I think twice before saying no (and therefore pissing her off) because most often its really not a bad thing for her to do.
 

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My DD is almost 14 months and she can be a hitter too. At first i would try a "no hitting" then set her down approach, but it did not seem effective and I don't think she got the correlation between the hitting and being set down. Now i tell her "no hitting, gentle touch" and take her hand and give it kisses. She's very into kissing! This usually stops the behavior for the time. I don't know that DC of this age are really able to process the "no hitting" or control their impulses enough to stop it for good. This method teaches her to be gentle and uses loving distraction to at least stop it for a time.
 

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My 16 month old hits a LOT and bites me when he's really mad. I just wanted to say that this thread made me so relieved I could cry just because it shows me that I'm not the only one who struggles with this.<br><br>
Nothing to add but a strident "ME TOO" and a feeling of empathy.
 

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Thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br>
I was subscribed to this thread, but didn't get emails on the other replies! I was starting to think I'd only received one reply!<br><br>
I like the idea of how he SHOULD touch instead - modeling gentle touch. He definitely knows the word gentle and the baby sign for it. He also knows "hug" and "kiss" and hugs & kisses DH & I & both our little dogs all the time. (it is SOO cute!)<br><br>
Thanks, also for the suggestion to have him 'help' with the diaper change! He did once unfold a dipe & put it out on the floor! So cute - so he likes to model what he sees us doing. Unfortunately though, the pattern seems to be that once he gets it in his head that he doesn't want to be changed, nothing works. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It's either fine, or awful & I can't get out of the cycle. Especially a nightmare if he's pooped & there's poop all over his bum, but he wants to roll over instead of staying put for me to wipe him.<br>
Plus, I'll admit, when he's up on the changing table & he kicks, that often means he kicks me in the boob & That makes me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"> (My nipples cracked & BFing was an excruciating nightmare for the first 6 weeks. Emotionally, I have no tolerance for pain to my breasts. It's a kick to a raw emotional nerve for me.)<br><br>
DH is better than I am at using humor & play & joking to distract him. I will admit, my concern is this: if he hits & kicks me, & my reply is to make a joke of it to get him to laugh, isn't that a <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">positive reinforcement?</span></b> While I don't want to hit him back or be abusive to him in any way, I certainly don't want him to have a positive association with hitting me! He definitely is old enough & smart enough to understand cause & effect. (He signs & says a few words at this point.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Megamus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14777369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My 16 month old hits a LOT and bites me when he's really mad. I just wanted to say that this thread made me so relieved I could cry just because it shows me that I'm not the only one who struggles with this.<br><br>
Nothing to add but a strident "ME TOO" and a feeling of empathy.</div>
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YES, yes yes! This is new and frustrating to us; dd8 never did this as a baby! Guess I was just lucky first time around.<br><br>
The fighting at diaper changes I have found a partial solution though. I made a little pocket-sized photo album with pics of her family/friends and favorite things (babies and dogs in her case) and only bring it out for changes. About 80% of the time I can ask her to find "Rosie" or "the white puppy" and that'll occupy her long enough to get it done. At this point I'd give her anything I owned to NOT get kicked in the face while poop is flying all over the room!
 

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I try to give DD something to play with during dipe changes, cause otherwise she flops like a fish out of water. A book sometimes works, as does a toy I keep only for these occasions, which is therefore "special". Another thing that always works is singing to her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
On the hitting, I'm working on that one too. I don't mind so much when she hits me (I acknowledge her frustration and ask her to be gentle) but when she hits the animals I have trouble. Posted elsewhere about that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MegBoz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14858590"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I will admit, my concern is this: if he hits & kicks me, & my reply is to make a joke of it to get him to laugh, isn't that a <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">positive reinforcement?</span></b> While I don't want to hit him back or be abusive to him in any way, I certainly don't want him to have a positive association with hitting me! He definitely is old enough & smart enough to understand cause & effect. (He signs & says a few words at this point.)</div>
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While he's old enough to begin to understand cause and effect, the tools he has for getting what he wants are pretty minimal. He's communicating a 'need' (I don't like this! Make it better!) in one of the only ways he knows how; it's not reasonable to ignore that need until he can express it in an appropriate manner because he doesn't know *how* to do that yet (and even if he did he's not capable of controlling himself every time). I think our job as parents is to meet their needs as much as possible while <b>simultaneously</b> teaching them how to communicate those needs appropriately.<br><br>
When my 17 month old comes up to me and goes "EH!EH!EH!" in a terrible whiney voice asking to be picked up, I pick him up, even though I don't like that behavior, because there isn't a better way for him to to ask yet. When my three year old whines to be picked up, I ask him to use a normal voice before I do it. But if he just hurt himself and is upset and whines to be picked up, I'll just do it, because in that moment he isn't in control of himself enough to be appropriate, and ignoring him will not help *get* in control).<br><br>
My three year old was incredibly physical and strong and aggressive when he was younger (he left bruises), not usually in a violent way (although sometimes) but more in a playful way. Now that he's older he's still very physical, but he can interact with other people in a gentle way (and is helping model "gentle touch" for his brother when the little one is smacking/scratching/etc.)<br><br>
It's really amazing; he'll yell to me that his brother hit him, and I'll ask him to show the baby gentle touch, and he'll strong his brother's face saying "Gentle, DS2, gentle". Where they're at in their development has such a huge impact on what to expect from their behavior. It's absolutely reasonable to expect to not be hit by your children; but when they're that young it's more reasonable for the adult to just avoid or prevent the behavior by whatever means will work rather than expecting a sixteen month old to have the self control not to hit and the cognitive capacity to come up with an alternative, within the space of a few seconds.
 

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This thread is comforting. I feel like I'm ds' favourite target & sometimes find myself feeling SOOO angry when he bites or pinches or hits me AGAIN. I have nothing to add as far as suggestions to help though. I've tried all these (& I'm embarassed to admit it some that are a little less gentle) & have seen no real improvement from them. Although he IS starting to understand when I say 'gentle'.
 

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Does this sound really lazy (okay, yeah, third time mom here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) but is the diaper changing really, really vital at that moment? Do you have any kind of routine around the diaper changing? A song, something to warn him it is coming? Is the diaper changed at about the same times in the rhythm of the day? I, too, usually use the "something to hold approach" and change as fast as possible. I also can change diapers pretty well standing up while singing songs....LOL. If the whole thing is just falling apart, I am not adverse to leaving it alone and trying again later either. But again, I could just be lazy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As far as the hitting, I think you have gotten great advice. Showing what you do want, being more playful, using your gentle hands to pick up your child and love them...helping them be a part of things. He wanted to be in the pantry, could he have held something from the pantry? They love little things like that at that age...So sweet...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I haven't read the other replies, but here's my experience.<br><br>
With diaper changes, I know the feeling. I have mostly been changing her while she is siting up in my lap or standing. I take off the pants and diaper while she's standing and then she sits on the diaper in my lap and I fasten it on her. This may be more difficult if you use cloth diapers. Sometimes she stands up in the middle of this and I have to sort of hold her so she doesn't run away... but it is less of a struggle then having her lay down the whole time. Or she ;ays down for the taking off or the diaper and the wiping, but sits up or stands for putting on the new diaper. For poppy diapers, she does have to lay for most of the change.<br><br>
My dd was hitting me also for a while, but it was a phase. She'll probably enter it again, unfortunately. I would either put her down and say no or put her down and move away form her for a bit. She didn't want to be away from mama, so I told her that if she want to be picked up, or nursed, or whatever, that she had to be gentle and couldn't hit me. It worked some of the time and other times I had to physically stop her hand from hitting me. Frustrating, I know.
 

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For the most part we have been successful by modeling gentle behavior when she uses aggression to get a reaction, or to get her point across or whatever the reason may be at the time (sometimes its seems there may be none at all)<br>
So when she hits us, I say "ouch, maybe you should use gentle touches instead" and 8 times out of ten I get a soft little pat on the cheek and her version of the word "nice"<br>
As far as the diaper changes go, I keep a crystal bell that she somehow grasps the fragility of near her diaper table, I let her pick it up and ring it while I change her and then she puts it back in the "spot" when she is done. It works wonders. This is only temporary though, I'm sure I'll have to think of a better solution soon enough.
 
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