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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son, 22M is breaking my heart. He's slapping, kicking, biting and screaming when he's angry or when I try to put him down for a nap or bedtime. This has progressively been going on for a couple of weeks. It drives me to my whits end. I don't know anything about gentle discipline, but agree with the theory of it. I was raised spanked and yelled at(my parents were very loving, just ignorant to alternative discipline, like me), and I have found this is what I end up doing. I don't spank very much, but I do when I feel I have no control over the situation (I'm sure this is the most inappropriate time) and then I bawl my head off out of guilt. I have tried time outs for the past couple of weeks and they seemed to work at first. We say, " sit in time-out" and he would go over there all by himself sit down and we would count to ten, and tell him he can get up. He would sit there for a couple more seconds and get up, seemingly emotionally unscathed and calm. Now he screams no at me, when I sit him in there he takes swipes at my face, when I get him picked up to try and calm him or contain him, he kicks my belly (I'm 7M pregnant), and tries to bite my shoulder. Then I might bear my breast in hopes that he will breast feed and he acts like he might bite it by bearing his teeth and putting my nipple in his mouth.<br><br>
I know this is my fault somehow, and I'm not writing to be chastised, but a desperate cry for help. My husband and I might possibly be going through the beginning of a divorce and I can't help but know he can sense this. I need to know what to do in these cases. I need to know what to do in the instances of him hitting me out of no-where and when I put him to sleep. The sleep routine starts my reading on the bed, then having him turn off the lights and shut the door (this is when he knows what is going to happen next, so he starts the hitting), then we sit down in the rocking chair and nurse and rock to sleep. Then I lay him down in bed (a futon on the floor) and sleep in my bed until he wakes up wanting to nurse and I go to his room and sleep for the rest of the night. Of course it doesn't go this smoothly anymore. He fight tooth and nail (literally) to avoid going to sleep or when he doesn't get his way. Please give me suggestion or a good book.......anything. I'm very sad about this<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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It's so hard when your little one takes a swing at you, huh? I feel your pain. We went through a stage with DS that he did the same thing, hitting out of frustration...the way I handled it was:<br>
- tried to catch his hand before he made contact, looked him in the eye and said something like, 'hitting is not OK, you may not hit me." in a serious, but not mean tone. As he got older, I added, "it's ok to be mad, but it is NOT OK to hit me. You can say I'm mad! or stomp your feet" (or something like that that gets the physical aggression out without hitting) Sometimes that was enough.<br>
- if that was not enough, and it became more of a game to him or he kept it up, I would simply move out of his range and say something like, "I won't let you keep hitting me, it's not OK." Then tell him another way he could express his frustration/anger.<br><br>
I think the first thing you have to do, though, is realize that it's true that not only is it not ok for him to hit you, but it's not OK for you to hit him, either. Because honestly (and I'm not trying to make you feel worse, I know you already feel bad) all hitting him when you reach your boiling point is doing is teaching him that when you get super mad, it's OK to hit...which...is what he's doing.<br><br>
Sooo...my advice is that you need to model other ways of venting anger and frustration, try to catch his arm or foot before he makes contact, keep repeating to him that hitting is NOT an ok way to deal with anger (and model it yourself), give him alternatives (some parents will tell them they can hit a pillow or something else), and if he does manage to still get a couple whacks in, just keep telling him it's not ok and you do not appreciate it. BUT, I would not make it into anything more than that.<br><br>
Oh, and obviously try to prevent or ameliorate situations that you know are big triggers for him. Maybe try changing up your sleep routine a little or something. I'm not big on time outs personally, so I'd probably drop those and try to address the issues you're using time outs for differently (if you want to post some situations in which you use time out, I know mamas here will help you brainstorm other solutions!).<br><br>
Hope this helps!<br><br>
I'm not saying it will be easy, in fact it will be exhausting for a bit probably. DS' hitting phase lasted about 3 months or so, but it seems to be over....for now. He's 26 months soon.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s The PP has some great advice, and I'm no expert, but a coupla things:<br><br>
Did you check out the anti-spanking sticky at the top of this page? Lots of resources there.<br><br>
I'm reading "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn right now (and there are lots of threads on his theories here at MDC, so search for some of them, too) and it's really helping me think about, and in some cases rethink, discipline and parenting in general.<br><br>
I don't care for time outs either, although I know there are times with my 2.5 y.o. that I am at the end of my rope and that's the only thing I can do -- but that's really more of a time-out for ME, just a few minutes to collect myself and calm down and regroup. I try to do this only as a last resort, though, and if at all possible I try to find an activity for DS to engage in, so that I can go off by myself for a few minutes.<br><br>
Stick around here! Lots of good advice and friendly mamas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Last but not least, don't be too hard on yourself, mama. It's hard to hear you say that you know it is your fault! You're trying to do the best you can for your DC. And with a new one two months away, and all the stress of whatever's going on in your relationship, sounds like you're going through a tough spot. So give yourself a break, and go hug your little one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
HTH!<br>
~Nick
 

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Hugs to you, Mama! Your current situation sounds really hard and frustrating.<br><br>
I think it's great that you've come here to ask your questions and the pps have offered great advice.<br><br>
I just wanted to add that I, too, am reading a book that I think is wonderful and that is really helping me with <i>my</i> parenting challenges. Although I am using it to help me with my four year old, I think it includes some great info to address the behavior you are being challenged by in your almost two year old. It's really about changing yourself, which is helpful for me. It's called, "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" and it's listed along with its author's name on the sticky book list on this board. I do highly recommend it.<br><br>
I hope it gets easier for you soon. Parenting is so incredibly humbling and at the same time, it's so important that we figure these things out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all so much! I am going through some hard times but even without those in the picture I just didn't know what to do or where to go with this. The only way I found courage to write is that I do LOVE MY BABY! Of course I do and I didn't know other ways to deal with his behaviors. I didn't have the tools and alternatives, but I did know there was a better way. I want to better myself as a parent and even though my husband and I are having problems, I know this is a goal of his too. So thank you so much again for the advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><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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It might help to to make it your mantra to let go of control. Get on the Natural Child Project and read the fantastic articles there. They really turned my parenting around in a positive way. Im forever grateful to them.<br><br><a href="http://www.naturalchild.com/articles/living_with_children.html" target="_blank">http://www.naturalchild.com/articles..._children.html</a><br><br>
Start with this article.<br><a href="http://www.naturalchild.com/jan_hunt/misunderstand.html" target="_blank">http://www.naturalchild.com/jan_hunt/misunderstand.html</a>
 
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