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Has anyone else dealt with this behavior? He is normally a sweet child but unfortunately inherited my family's temper. When he does not get his way, he will first try hitting us (or biting) and when we tell him "No, we don't hit," he takes to hitting (or biting) himself. Other things I have read deal with hitting others but there is very little advice on how to address this type of defiance. Any advice would be welcomed!
 

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Oh, mine <b>hits his head on the floor</b>. He's got black and blue marks on his forehead. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: I tried ignoring it, but he wants attention afterward so I felt like it was mean not to comfort him when he was so upset and then hurt on top of (he tends to do it when he's teething so he's in pain to start with)---so yesterday I started telling him he couldn't do that because <b>we don't hurt people</b>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> (And that he can use his WORDS (he is very verbal for 2) to tell me what he wants so I can help him) I'll let you know how that turns out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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My dd did this for a little while. At first I ignored it, but that didn't seem right. So, I started saying things like "it's not ok to hit people" and "I'm not going to let you hurt yourself because I love you". She has since stopped. I think it was a phase. She has a hot temper, just like I do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and this was one way she showed it. I have since encouraged her to do other things when she's mad...throw balls in the playroom, hit a pillow, etc. She rarely does these other things, but I do suggest them so she knows acceptable ways of showing her anger.
 

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My daughter still does this, and she's 4! Not a lot, not very hard, but it still disturbs me (which is probably part of why she does it). I see her do it when she's really mad and she knows she can't hit me or throw her toy or whatever but she just HAS to do SOMETHING to release the angry energy. It's like stamping your foot or slamming a door. Not the ideal way to express the emotion. I've taken the "we don't hit" and "I'm not going to let you hurt yourself" paths, but to little avail generally. I just hope the concepts get in there.
 

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My dd occasionally swipes at me- sometimes it seems just to test me, sometimes when she's angry-, but when she's upset she jams her hand in her mouth and makes herself gag and cough- an upsetting and strange behavior that neither of my ds's engaged in.<br><br>
When she swipes at me, I first hold her hands, look into her eyes and kindly but firmly tell her, "I don't like it when you hit me. Please be gentle with Mama" and take her hand and guide her in gently patting or stroking me, and I say, "That is so much nicer, thank you." That usually works.<br><br>
I've learned that changing behaviors successfully has two parts- asking for the unwanted behavior to cease, and suggesting a postive behavior to replace it. The second part -giving a replacement behavior- is actually more important than the first part, which I sometimes skip altogether.<br><br>
If she's angry when she swipes at me, I hold her hands and say something like, "I see you're upset, but it's not okay to hit Mama." I then ask her what she needs/wants. If she can't say, I make my best guesses. All communication is done with a kind, calm voice and eye contact to let her knew that her world is safe, Mama isn't rattled and is present for her. Not letting her behavior trigger me emotionally also prevents her behaviors from becoming rewarded by negative attention (mad mama, reactionary mama).<br><br>
If she's out of control/not able to listen/be reasoned with and she's trying to hit me, I tell her it's just not okay and to sit until she's ready to be gentle. I sit her on the floor a few feet away. She's usually up in 5-10 seconds, comes to hug. I prompt her to apologize, I thank her and praise her for calming herself, and we have a start-over hug (all my kids like that one!).<br><br>
The wierdest thing is her gagging herself! I gently take her hand out, cuddle her and soothe/comfort her as best I can, and tell her to be gentle with herself. I also try to guide her in using her words to express herself. She's two and very verbal.<br><br>
Oh and BTW I wasn't this calm and present with my first two, they're now 20 and 14...my guinea pigs!
 

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Maybe you could give him a pillow to work out his aggression on. This probably sounds weird but my holistic Dr. suggests it for me. Otherwise I bottle things up and gets headaches and other physical issues from not dealing with my emotions. We all need a way to blow off steam in a way that won't harm others, walls, etc <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It's been so long I actually forgot that my sweet angel went through this ugly phase, too. It passes. Try not to worry; he's not as deranged as he looks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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My daughter still does this, and she's 4! Not a lot, not very hard, but it still disturbs me (which is probably part of why she does it). I see her do it when she's really mad and she knows she can't hit me or throw her toy or whatever but she just HAS to do SOMETHING to release the angry energy. It's like stamping your foot or slamming a door. Not the ideal way to express the emotion. I've taken the "we don't hit" and "I'm not going to let you hurt yourself" paths, but to little avail generally. I just hope the concepts get in there.
 
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