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Hitting out of embarassment? WWYD?

592 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  peilover010202
So, ds is becoming more aware of bodily functions (pooping in his diaper for example) and when someone says out loud "did you poop?" Ds gets embarassed and hits the person, then when dh reprimands him for hitting, he hits again because he's embarassed that he got into trouble, and the cycle keeps going. Usually ending up with ds running to another room to bury his face.

Dh won't let up, gives him a timeout and makes ds apologize for hitting.

My instinct tells me not to discipline in this situation and I don't. I do remove ds from the situation, talk to him, then ask for him to aplogize AFTER everyone is feeling better about the situation. And, he generally does well this way.

But, it frustrates dh that I "don't do anything" when he hits someone in this context.

My instinct tells me that ds doesn't really understand embarassment and it's his first reaction to "gain control".

So, how would you handle this? Ds is 2.5yo.
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My oldest ds went through a phase when he was embarrased about havng a bm too. I think that is totally normal. Maybe you (or whoever is doing it) should stop asking him openly about it. Take him aside and tell him it's time for a diaper change, but be discreet.

About the hitting. I don't think it is acceptable for him to be hitting just because he is experiencing an emotion he feels uncomfortable with. My almost 2 year old ds hits sometimes when he is mad. I just grab his hand to stop him before he makes contact (if I can). If he gets one in, I still will grab his hand before he gets strike #2 in - lol. Anyway, I will just say "I know you are mad, but you still cannot hit". Identify his emotion for him and tell him the rule. Simple and matter of fact, but don't let it go unacknowledged.

I do think a time out for hitting at this age is excessive as well as a forced apology. Maybe because I have been through this all one time before, but I expected the hitting phase this time around and was not shocked when I saw it like I was the first time - lol. ALL toddlers hit at some point and if you treat it like it is not much of a big deal, they grow out of it fast.
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I've never dealt with this, and my ds is a bit younger, but here are my thoughts anyway...

First of all, I'd say that asking your ds if he pooped is not a good idea. It doesn't answer the question, and obviously upsets him. So I'd ask the grownups who are doing this to find another way (take a sniff, peek down his diaper.) At least until he's past this. I think being embarassed is probably a very natural reaction, and even adults don't often deal with embarassment in the best way. Have you talked to ds about this to give him an alternate response? Maybe make a joke out of it, if he's old enough? If it were my ds, I'd to validate what he was feeling "That was embarassing when granny asked if you pooped." Then I think I'd say something like "some people say things that are rude/embarassing/silly. When that happens, you don't have to answer. But hitting hurts. It's not OK to hit." Or give him a silly answer, like "Why, did you?" That might take the embarassment out of it and redirect the urge to strike out.

Maybe you could get dh to understand that talking to your ds is not "doing nothing" and is in fact more effective than punishing him. Good luck to you!
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Many people lash out when they're embarrassed or being criticized; I know I do. It's not a virtue, but it's a natural reaction. I wouldn't talk to him or "do anything," especially right then. I would defend him and *firmly* tell the adults that it is *not* okay to embarrass your baby or violate his boundaries just because he's a baby. Don't misunderstand me, your ds shouldn't hit, but he's being wronged too. So I would deal with the adults embarrassing him first and the hitting second. Regarding the hitting, I would talk to him privately after the fact and remind him that it's wrong to hit people even if they embarrass him. I wouldn't punish him or press the matter.
Well, I should say that in the past, we've always asked ds if he'd pooped - it was always a silly conversation, and he was never embarrassed by it. This has been a recent discovery.

So, the person who asked, didn't know he would be embarrassed and I soon corrected them. So, that's really not the issue at hand.

But, thank you all for telling me how you'd handle the hitting part. It sounds like what I'm doing is similar to what you'd do and that reassurance helps me to guide dh's reaction next time.
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