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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty much right after I posted about it, we stopped having a big issue with Baby E hitting and spitting. We've been really consistent about our response to it, and she has for the most part stopped doing it. She will still occasionally hit if REALLY provoked or extremely tired/hungry, but it's not a daily (or multiple times per day) thing any more.<br><br>
We had been handling it by telling her not to hit and then helping her practice what she should do instead to get what she wanted. We really felt that we should focus on what she SHOULD do rather than what she should NOT do.<br><br>
But when we added the action of quickly but gently removing her from the situation (you hit, you sit) for a cooling-off time before taking her back and having her practice more appropriate responses, that seemed to make a big difference. We were careful not to do it in a punitive way; we'd explain, "I can see you're having a hard time controlling yourself right now, so you can sit here for a minute until you calm down enough to talk about it."<br><br>
Then when we took her back and helped her work through how to get the toy she wanted or how to get her sister to stop doing something, it really seemed to stick better. We would literally try to stage the situation that triggered the hitting or spitting again, and talk her through how to respond and communicate in that situation. Her sisters were more than happy to help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
With the hitting and spitting at night, we just said, "I can see you're not able to be in bed with M&M right now without hitting her, so you'll need to sleep in the playroom. I'm sorry, but I can't let you hurt your sister. You can try again tomorrow."<br><br>
It only took a few days of doing that consistently at the first offense for it to stop.<br><br>
That cooling-off time was helpful for me, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> And just having a plan of action that DH and I had talked about and agreed on ahead of time, and then carrying it out immediately as soon as the hitting or spitting happened, was great. It made me feel so much more calm, confident and in control.<br><br>
Now Baby E says, "We don't hit."<br><br>
I just thought I'd share what worked for us. Thanks for the encouragement when I was discouraged about it. I guess that was the low point just before the improvement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm so glad for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Maybe I should try a cooling off period with dd when she hits, kicks, throws sand, etc . . . because we're not there yet!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Congrats (with caution, so as not to jinx your success) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> This is encouraging to read! I try to take this approach, but I often struggle (especially after repeated incidents) with delivering the "it looks like you're having a hard time controlling yourself" line without an edge to my voice that could be received as punishment and clearly reflects my irritation at the situation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BonMaman</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10301702"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Congrats (with caution, so as not to jinx your success) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> This is encouraging to read! I try to take this approach, but I often struggle (especially after repeated incidents) with delivering the "it looks like you're having a hard time controlling yourself" line without an edge to my voice that could be received as punishment and clearly reflects my irritation at the situation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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Well, if it's repeated again several times, I've been following up with something else. First, I try to ascertain whether she might be hungry/tired/hurting or some other trigger going on, and fix that. If that doesn't work then I remove her from the social situation by either separating her from her sisters or keeping her within arm's reach for a while.<br><br>
"I.E. I can't let you hurt your sisters, so you'll need to stay with me so I can make sure you're not hitting or spitting. You can try playing with them again in a little while. Right now I think you need a break."<br><br>
That seemed to help, most of the time. A nap and/or snack often does the trick in such situations, or even just some quiet time. We have a daily quiet time where each kid goes into a separate room and either naps or plays quietly. If they are all having a hard time getting along, I sometimes decide it's time for quiet time a little early. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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