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Okay- she is such a sweet soul and I dont think she understand what "Your hurting them- stop it" means.... I dont believe in hitting her, I have tapped her hands as I pleaded with her "that hurts Sly stop!" when she is pulling on the cats tail because she is pulling so hard and his tail is so fluffy I cant find her fingers to pry them off- but I dont spank or hit her, so what can I do to make her understand that she cant hit the animals? I mean she hit the dog with a ruler and such- I know she doesnt mean harm, but I am so worried that the dog will turn on her or that the cat will get her good time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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First of all, I'm glad you don't hit or spank her about this because showing aggression certainly won't be effective in order to thwart aggression.<br><br>
Now, your toddler is older than mine, but here's what I'd do in your situation. Supervise her intensively around the animals, and when she goes to hit, grab her hand gently but firmly and say, "Hitting hurts Sly. We're gentle with kitty cats." Then I'd show her the gentle way to pet the kitty. After a number of times doing this, you'll only have to say, "gentle." Also, you may already be doing this, but teach "gentle" with other things too, like plants, flowers, mama, etc. Best way to do this is to put a gentle hand to her cheek while saying "gentle" and, with your other hand, showing her how to keep an open hand when she touches something. And watch carefully for times she is gentle with anything -- especially the cat -- and praise her for being so.<br><br>
Also, know this is a normal toddler phase, and, if you feel too frightened for her well-being, you can keep the animals away from her until it passes. Better, though, if you can work with them there so she can learn about it.
 

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Hi, we have three dogs and DS is 20 months old. First, I supervise all of his contact with the dogs...I will not take the risk of him provoking a dog. I show him "gentle" with gentle petting. When he hits, I tell him that hitting hurts and makes them afraid and sad. When he takes a swat at a dog, I remind him to be gentle...sometimes he really does just forget and the reminder is enough. If he does it again though, definitely on purpose, the dogs go bye-bye...they are baby-gated into the dining room and he does not have access to them. If he ever hits them or me or anyone with an object, he loses the object immediately....I don't get worked up out it, I just say "uh oh, you are using this to hit, so it's going bye-bye...remember, we don't hit." And when I do catch him gently petting a dog, I make a very big deal about saying how happy the dog is, how much she likes the gentle petting, and how nice it is. His behavior with the dogs is improving.<br><br>
Linda B.
 

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i agree with all of the above. i also have started to make a big show of being real gentle and lovey to my cats myself. if he hits them or soething i go and apologise to the kitty and pet it and try to make it feel better as i explain to ds how it hurts them. i encourage him to come do it with me, but sometimes he just watches . but that sets the example i think.<br><br>
ds love to chase them, hit them, get a reaction. i tell him all the stuff other people said, and he is learning. dogs freak me out alot cuz i have heard of bad bites so i will just pick him up and remove him from the situation if he looks rough with a dog. but i just explain explain explain. hes almost 3---its a long process. but i think they do it out of curiosity more than aggression. DS gets a huge kick out of chasing cats and still sneaks and does it when he thinks im not looking!
 
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