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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 17mos old daughter so I'm hoping this is the right forum, if not, MODS please move to appropriate place.

Now, HOW do I get my daughter to stop hitting me and throwing things!!!!! I'm not talking "love taps" either. I mean she HITS!!! She hits her older sister and tries to take off her glasses
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Please help!!!! I need tips and suggestions that really work. Thanks.
 

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I found that by holding their hands and "hugging" them tight to me for a few seconds (usually only about 20) worked. They hate to be constrained at this age, I would say "no hitting", and hold their hands tight. It seemed to work for the first three, #4 hasn't started yet...
 

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At this age they have two ways to express difficult emotion (since verbalizing on that level is still a ways off for most toddlers):

1. Crying
2. Acting out physically

So give your child something that IS acceptable to get her emotions out, and reaffirm what she's feeling and why.

If it's unacceptable to hit, then tell her the rule including the actual reason -- not just your opinion on the matter, "We never hit. Hitting hurts. We do not hit. We do not hurt others." This only works if you don't hit/spank, though.


Then reaffirm why she's hitting: "But I understand you're frustrated/angry/sad about XYZ."

Then (and this is key) give her an outlet for those emotions that is acceptable and not hurtful:

"You may stomp or jump, and cry as much as you need, until you're feeling better. But we do not hit."

And show her how to stomp or jump, etc. We actually have a small indoor trampoline (we got it cheaper at KMart but I don't see it on their site atm) that has been a Godsend for helping our toddler learn not to hit (or scream for that matter). Some people have a designated "stomping rug" which works well. Be sure whichever outlet form you use, it's something that can translate to outside the home too, so if the behavior happens in a store, for instance, you can take her outside and let her stomp/jump on the sidewalk or by the car.

I would NOT recommend letting her hit inanimate objects though. In our house, all hitting is unacceptable. We have lots of pets, and those are easily mistaken for inanimate objects in the heat of the moment. So no hitting allowed at all here. I would also NOT recommend letting her scream. For us, screaming is about an emergency only situation, meaning she can scream if she -- or someone else -- is very hurt, very scared, or someone she doesn't know is trying to make her go somewhere or do something.

But I would definitely give her an alternative to the hitting, and stomping and jumping are both very physical and can help express difficult emotions in an immediate and tangible way.

As for throwing things, do the same. Clarify what is okay to throw and where/when (soft ball, outside, etc.) and reinforce, "We NEVER throw in anger or frustration. That can hurt someone or break something. We NEVER throw in anger or frustration. We can throw a ball outside for fun." And then say bye-bye to whatever she's throwing, explaining as you put it away (within her sight so she doesn't think it's gone forever) that if she can't play with it kindly, then it needs to take a break.

And then remind her she can stomp or jump, whichever you choose as the one that works best for your child, but throwing in anger/frustration is not okay.

Stifling emotions in toddlers can result in adults who cannot express difficult emotions. Little girls are expected to never show anger or aggression, so it manifests as depression. Little boys are expected to never show sadness or weakness, so those emotions manifest as anger. I think it's wonderful that you're reaching out to find solutions to help your little one. You might like the book, Connection Parenting by Pam Leo. It's got great tips in it.

Good luck, mama!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes! Thank you nighten! It was a great post and I will start using your tips!
 
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