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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD is 22 months old and is hitting the rest of the family a lot, mostly me, usually in the face. It doesn't necessarily relate to being frustrated - as far as I can tell, the only consistent trigger is that we are close enough to her to be hit! Certainly it is sometimes due to frustration but other times she seems pretty happy eg a lot when nursing or cuddling. I <i>really</i> hate being hit in the face.<br><br>
I've tried "gentle touching" very consistently but she just hits more. She sometimes says "sorry" (ugh - I didn't make her, honest!) and then just hits more. I have tried "Happiest Toddler" style, stating that she's mad etc (when it appears that it is due to frustration) but her language has been delayed due to glue ear and I don't think that her receptive language is sufficient to understand what I'm saying. (Wish I had done more signing with her, but I thought the grommets would help more than they have.) "Hit the pillow" works for a few seconds but then she goes back to hitting people.<br><br>
I would love some suggestions for responding. It's not so much that I feel any need to escalate - I know that she will stop eventually - but what I've been doing is not working, and she has also been sleeping poorly, so I need some sort of script for when I'm too tired to think straight and don't want to get angry with her! And I'm concerned that she is testing DS's patience.<br><br>
Are there some non-verbal ways to mirror her frustrations back to her or any other approaches you can suggest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I would really love any suggestions - she spent about an hour last night hitting repeatedly, and I'm finding it hard not to withdraw or get angry - it really pushes my buttons; and I would like to have a consistent approach to ask my husband and DS to use so there is less yelling and so on. Thanks!
 

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Could you do some sort of consequence/punishment? Like "When you hit Mommy it makes her sad, so she needs to walk away" and walk away from her for a minute or so? Or, do a "time-in" where you hold her in your lap facing away from you? It is a "natural" consequence for people not to want to be around someone who is hurting them.
 

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My 18 month old does this, and has been doing it for a LONG time. We modeled the Nice Touch (say the word nice really slowly and calmly ((NIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCE)) and hold his hand and gently run it down our faces. Over, and over, and over, and over.......................Now, when he starts swinging (when hes not mad of course) we say, Matthew do NIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCCCE, and he does it. He can even SAYS the word nice now, just like we have been modeling.<br><br>
Now when hes mad because I told him no about something, or his brother took a toy from him, or whatever, and he starts swinging, I remove him from the situation and firmly say NO HITTING, HANDS OFF. He gets super mad, and cries more, and his newest thing is to THROW SOMETHING (working on that) but he reframes from hitting anymore.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Here is a <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/hitting-when-your-toddler-hits/6-n-146051" target="_blank">great article on hitting</a> it is from the authors of Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. If you like the article I would recommend reading the book. It is very practical with real life scenarios and sample scripts on how to talk to toddlers. Start by reading pp. 226-239, which summarizes useful strategies for GD with toddlers in 13 pages. I find myself rereading this section every couple months, so I would also suggest getting out a highlighter while you read. Then go back and read part 4 on difficult behavior, part 2 on children's feelings then eventually chapters 23 and 24 on socialization. It is a written like reference book so feel free to skip around. I acaually haven't had time to read the whole thing, but I'm sure there are other good parts.
 

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The trick we used was to tell DS to give us high fives (or low, or on the jive side, or knuckle bumps) when he wanted to hit. Worked like a charm, kept everybody's cool, and now he's through the phase.<br><br>
Also, maybe you are not mirroring in an extravagent enough way for her age (re: Karp and Happiest Toddler). If her language skills are behind, maybe more <a href="http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/78463035.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=82EB172C4407816C440606490F623B71A8C3049C8CBD62DBFD0CD5FB0EDF9BFB" target="_blank">pantomime</a> (stomping, shaking fist in air, white gloves optional) and exaggerated facial expressions are in order. Nothing gets rid of frustration faster than a kid falling on the floor laughing because mama is being so silly too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all very much for the helpful suggestions. I like the pantomime idea - and thanks for the link! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao">
 

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.... I just hold out my hands and tell her to "box!". She loves it and it wears her butt out. Physical exercise, entertaining interaction with dad and hand eye coordination builder.... I'm satisfied with it so far. She now yells "BOX!" before she does it giving us time to instruct her if the time or place is inappropriate. Actually one of my favorite things to do is box with her! I guess the simple way of putting it is, I just channel a common behavior and use it as a teaching experience.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LadyCatherine185</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15473393"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Could you do some sort of consequence/punishment? Like "When you hit Mommy it makes her sad, so she needs to walk away" and walk away from her for a minute or so? Or, do a "time-in" where you hold her in your lap facing away from you? It is a "natural" consequence for people not to want to be around someone who is hurting them.</div>
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I second the logical consequences approach. Both great suggestions for consequences.<br><br>
The other logical consequence could be to act hurt. This will also teach DD that if you hit people it can hurt them (maybe not just yet while still a little one but in the future).<br><br>
Also like the boxing idea! Builds that hand eye coordination and the extra exercise might help DD sleeping too
 

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I don't have suggestions BUT I just saw the movie "Babies" last night.<br>
One thing that stuck out to me was- in some of the cultures where the babies were less watched and more free to interact with the other babies, they did do some hitting of each other- as part of their development and I guess experimenting with limits. Then the one Mom and baby in the USA the baby only had the mom to hit and the mom said- no hitting.<br>
It just made me wonder how I will deal with that issue when my ds is that age- I am not sure how I will feel! but maybe the hitting your LO is doing isn't frustration but just a stage of physical development.<br>
Not that I am suggesting you let them hit you in the face!!! I have no suggestions it is just that I was thinking about this very thing just this morning- how to deal with it. I do agree with finding other avenues for them to hit- to hit something ( a punching bag?!!)
 
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