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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed some discouraged posts lately in regards to toddlers who are violent with their parents.

I recently went through this battle (and may again... who knows?) with my 2.5 year old.

He started to hit me every time he was frustrated/angry (if his toys made him mad, he would come to wherever I was so he could hit me!).

At first, I was so offended by his actions, I took it very seriously and did the whole GD spiel (Gasp! We don't hit. It is very dangerous to hit! Hitting is not OK. Stomp your feet if you're mad. Let's try it - we'll stomp and yell! Etc.).

His violence continued to escalate and I graduated to yelling and just generally not knowing what to do. I think at this point most people start to consider time-out or more punitive measures (I sure thought it over).

I had an epiphany shortly after that, when I realized a few things :
1. This was a phase just like any other (throwing things, cussing, etc.). The only difference was my reaction to it (it really offends me to be hit).
2. My escalated reaction was not helping. Not only did yelling at him not stop the behavior, it didn't exactly exemplify the example I want to set!
3. My job is not necessarily to stop him from doing things I don't want him to do. It is to set the limits I feel are necessary and guide him through this time.

In the end... what did I do?

Nothing. Nothing at all. I continued to remind him that hitting was not OK (even though he hit me 20 times a day or so). I was really embarrassed when it happened in front of other people... but still didn't do anything different.

And now, I'm happy to say, this phase is mostly over (although now that I'm posting about it, I've doomed myself to it returning! Ha). He still hits me occasionally... but not too often.

Despite soon-to-be-ex's proclamations that since DS hit me more than anyone else (which he did) and would continue to do so unless I hit him back (not true), DS is learning how to handle his aggression more productively.

I think learning to handle anger is virtually a lifelong learning experience. But hopefully we have made some progress!

So, next time you feel like what you're doing isn't working - it takes time. Sometimes, lots of it. And that's OK.


Hope this helps lift someone's spirits if they're having problems with hitting!
 

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I'm going through this right now with my dd! When I explain to her that hitting is not okay, and she laughs at me. I'll keep it up though. What else do you do? Do you get down at his level? Hold his hands when you talk to him? Or just ignore his reaction? What about biting? DD has also been biting my husband! He's about ready to ship her to Africa if she keeps it up! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About the only other thing I do is if he keeps it up, I will leave the situation temporarily.

Like if we're romping on the bed and he gets mad and starts kicking me, I'll tell him if he can't stop kicking me, I need to leave because kicking is dangerous. If he doesn't stop I'll leave the bedroom for a minute or two.

It really upsets him, but I was having problems where I felt if I stayed, I was just being a human punching bag... I thought that was a bad precedent to set... KWIM?

I know this doesn't help much but just remember... this too shall pass!
 

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Great post! Yes we went through the same thing a little while back with our 3 1/2 year old. I would (as calmly as I could) ask him to stop and if it got really bad I would walk away so as not to get hurt. Finally the phase did end. Thank Goddess!

He also bit my DH a couple of times, DH was NOT happy about that. Can't blame him.
 

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Good posts. I'm having some hitting and biting issues with my 2 year old dd. One big problem is that she is doing it to her 6 year old sister which comlicates the situation.
 

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Yay!!! I love to hear success stories!

My 2.5 yo has been hitting his 10 mo sister (not hard enough to hurt her, but his hand is in a fist), which I have to say really pushes my buttons. I have been going over and getting at eye level and saying "no hitting, hitting hurts" and "we love baby, we all love each other"with a lot of feeling in my voice. Then I hug them both. Maybe I am bringing too much emotioin ot the situation and need to make less of it.

I think in my son's case he is for the first time feeling threatened by her since she has arrived at an age where she isn't this passive little being who just sits there anymore.
 

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ds started hitting again now that hes learnt to crawl and pull up on things, hes frustrated that he can't do it all at once, and he can't go into certain areas etc.......we are using redirection and calmly talking him through it, it seems to be working. I love hearing sucess stories.
 
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