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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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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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