Mothering Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm struggling a lot lately with my 18 mo dd's violent behavior toward other children (and everyone else for that matter.) It's reached the point where every single time she is playing with or near another child (playground, childcare, etc.) she will end up attacking the other child, sometimes for something pretty innocuous like standing too near to her. And she's a very strong, coordinated girl so she can really do some damage--she goes right for the face and scratches, pinches, and pokes--usually near the eyes.

I immediately separate her from the other child and I tell her that hurts, etc. (and often the child is crying hysterically, so she sees that, too) but this does not seem to make much of an impression. I get that some of this is developmental (both the lack of empathy for others' pain and the lack of interest in sharing/playing well with others) but at the same time, the violence is really getting to be a problem and I'm concerned she'll hurt someone.

The mom who takes her for childcare twice a week is very interested in beginning timeouts with her for this. I'm hesitant about timeouts, but I do admit that there is a real problem here and we should do something. Any ideas for something more GD/CL?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
I have a 15-month-old who has been hitting and pulling hair for awhile now. You're right that they don't really know they're hurting others. Just tonight my DD was pulling my hair REALLY hard and laughing.

I don't think time outs will help at all. To me, time outs are to help a child calm down and "think about what they did"...and she doesn't really understand what she's done. I don't believe 18 months is old enough for a time out for any behavior, really.

I would just keep a close watch on her and pay more attention to the injured party, rather than your DD, when something does happen. I'm not sure what to tell your daycare provider...other than you don't believe time outs will help. There must be some info on childhood development out there that talks about the empathy level of an 18-month-old (nonexistent, lol).

I try to avoid and redirect as much as possible with my DD, but it doesn't always happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,375 Posts
Yeah, I don't know about your dd, but my ds would definitely not get a time out, and he's just one day older. It wouldn't do any good, he'd probably think it was a game.

He's also pretty physical, and my goal has always been prevention. I know he has a really hard time controlling himself with toy hammers and drumsticks, so I try to keep all of those away from him. If his sister leaves one down and he gets it, I shadow him until he gets bored. Same with sticks, hard toys, blocks, etc.

When he does make contact, I immediately grab his hands, firmly tell him no, and then immediately tell him what he can do, ie, bang this tree with the stick, or hammer the wall, or something like that. I sometimes tell him that hitting hurts, but I honestly think that he knows that, and that he can tell when someone else is hurt or upset because they're crying.

Another thing I've done is to try and reduce his interaction. If he's having a rough week, with lots of hitting, we'll skip play dates and the park, or if we can't, I try to keep him close or distracted. Do you think if you saw her heading towards another child or another child getting too close you could quickly, but gently get down on her level and model some friendly behavior? Then you could be ready to stop her from making contact at all.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,324 Posts
Imo, you have very good reason to be hesitant about time-outs.
I recommend you read Becoming the Parent You Want To Be. I loved the discipline section, and it honestly helped me keep my sanity in the 1-2 age (and even now!!)
It's where my favorite phrase "honor the impulse" came from
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top