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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our toddler girl is 2 years, 9 months. Our baby girl is now 4 months old. The issue we are trying to work on is the older one hurting me physically. She will on occasion kick and hit me, and sometimes be aggressive towards the baby.<br><br>
The best we can figure out why is because she feels she is not getting enough attention from me because of the baby. I am nursing during the day and as you know, babies just need more attention sometimes. It's just a fact of life. My oldest is having a hard time sharing Mommy with the baby. "Put baby down!" she says sometimes. "Baby go to sleep NOW!" meaning then she and Mommy can play!<br><br>
So the underlying issue is less attention from Mommy, and the result is aggression towards Mommy and baby, perhaps as a way to get any sort of attention she can get.<br><br>
About the attention issue - I am working on that. I spend time with her when the baby naps, I also set aside time during the week to do special things with her while our part-time nanny watches the baby, etc.<br><br>
But my question for you all is - how do we handle her when she hits or kicks me? Today she deliberately popped me in the shin and it really hurt! And later today she hit and kicked me when I had the baby - my husband was nearby and we took her to her room for a time-out. I felt so frustrated and abused that I just walked out of the room and said, "I don't want to play with you right now." I told my husband to let her out of the chair whenever he saw fit. I went and took a shower and he had a firm talk with her about how she really hurt Mommy and that made Mommy feel bad and not want to be around her. He said she really needed to apologize to me and make things right. After my shower, she came into the bathroom and apologized. I said ok, and maybe we ought to hug and make things right between us. She said no, so I said fine and went to my closet. I'm not going to beg for a hug. After a minute, she came in and wanted to hug and then we were ok together.<br><br>
My husband and I talked long about this after the girls went to sleep. We will not spank our toddler, but it sure seems like we need something strong to use regarding this hitting and kicking. We simply cannot allow her to do this without some strong consequence. We were not raised with gentle discipline, so we are stumped at what to do. We talked about the time-out idea, but in her room doesn't seem great - too many toys to look at and a nice cushy chair to sit in.<br><br>
There is another part of the house - a entrance hallway - that we could have her do time-outs in. Nothing fun there. But if we do this, for how long? A couple minutes doesn't seem like enough. My husband said 30 minutes, I thought that was too long.<br><br>
But we both agree that the consequence needs to be unpleasant without resorting to physical punishment. We thought about Mommy just going away for an hour. What my daughter wants is me, but she is hurting me. If she were an adult, I wouldn't stick around her. So could I step out of the picture for an hour and let DH take over? I could USE the hour away, especially when she really hurts me. It's all I can do sometimes to control my temper and not "fight" back, so to speak. I need the break from her, too.<br><br>
Well, if you got through this, thanks for reading! And thanks for any thoughts.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:<br><br>
I'm having this issue with my three year old, only he acts out physically towards me (not DH) when I say, "No." It's really disturbing and yesterday I roared like a lion when I was changing his diaper and he threw the train he was holding at my head. I really want to figure out how why he feels it's okay to do this with me (and not DH) and how to thwart the behavior in a gentle fashion. I hate it when I yell!
 

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When my daughter gets aggressive, I just tell her to be gentle. I don't keep holding her if she's hitting me obviously but more out of self-preservation than anything. She doesn't hit often anymore, for the past several months, so it isn't a big deal here. I never punished her, I really just waited her out and she outgrew that aggression.<br><br>
I don't use time-outs, but as I understand it the general rule is one minute per year of age. So a two-year-old would have a 2-minute time-out.<br><br>
I think I'd probably use a time-in before a time-out personally. A time-in would be spent with a parent so the child didn't feel abandoned, but it still removes the child from the situation causing the aggression.
 

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I agree, I think time-ins are needed. But, also, I feel she has witnessed violence somewhere. I can't see a child hitting to cause pain without seeing it modeled. Is there somewhere where she might be exposed to this on a regular basis? Can that situation be removed? Now, hitting from frustration is common. Can you reflect back to her the feeling she might be having so she can learn how to voice her feelings in a more appropriate manner. i.e. "You kicked me. That hurt Mommy. What strong feelings are you having to feel you need to kick Mommy?" You will probably not get an answer. "Are you angry? Are you feeling left out? Are you lonely? It is not ok to hurt me or your sister. You need to express your feelings with words, not through violence. Say 'Mommy I am mad at you.' or 'Mommy I am lonely.' Then I can help you. I can't help you when you are violent."<br><br>
Do you use a sling? This helps a lot. It allows you to do lots with the older child and the younger child gets the advantage of being involved also by watching.<br><br>
I am not a fan of using punishments for anything. They may stop a behavior temporarilyl but they do not instill self-control. I will have to think on this some. I have not encountered much violence in my family. Samantha went through a stage of rough play, not purposeful aggression. I let her know sincerely each time that she hurt Mommy and how did she feel about that. She realized that she did not feel good about hurting Mommy. It ended it for the most part. She was just over 3 I think when all this started. It took a little while. She loved the rough play.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:<br><br>
Wish I could offer more tips but I certainly can relate. I was getting ready to post the same thing myself. My ds is 2y9mo and has been hitting me *alot* lately. He had gone through a phase awhile back and then stopped but just started recently again. My dh was away for 2 weeks and just got back yesterday so I'm hoping dh being home will help the situation.<br><br>
What has me bothered is that I'm starting to get really frustrated about the whole thing. I've tried talking gently, not so gently, ignoring it, time-outs (for him & me) - then I yelled at him and he said I was scaring him and I thought you're lucky that's all i'm doing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: . now i am a firm believer in not hitting anyone let alone my dc but i tell you after he whaled on me pretty hard recently .... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">.<br><br>
so for me I'm almost wondering if it isn't becoming the nasty cycle that he hits, I get angry ... he certainly is getting a rxn if that is what he's looking for so I'm going to try talking with him as has been suggested.<br><br>
sorry i can't give more in the way of help but at least we're not alone.<br><br>
mona
 

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I can only tell you what my sister did with my nephew, who was about 3 at the time that he started hitting her, (and "mostly her" not her DH). She practices positive dicipline and had tried all sorts of things, UNTIL someone suggested to her that when he hits, she leaves. So that's what she did. He would hit her, and she would let him know that it hurt her, so she was leaving...and she'd walk into another room. He hated this, as he likes playing with her...and he soon learned that if I hit mommy, she's not going to stick around. (Of course, we are not talking about abandoning or being gone for hours...) but she was CONSISTANT and it worked.<br><br>
I don't know if this is something you could try...but I wish you luck and a send you a hug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mpeel</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree, I think time-ins are needed. But, also, I feel she has witnessed violence somewhere. I can't see a child hitting to cause pain without seeing it modeled. Is there somewhere where she might be exposed to this on a regular basis? Can that situation be removed?<br><br>
Do you use a sling?</div>
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She has been around other kids who hit - at the playground, Kindermusik, Tumblebear, that kind of thing. I'm not going to remove her from these situations. I'd rather talk with her about what those kids are doing and why it's wrong.<br><br>
Yes, I use a sling and/or baby is hanging around near us when we are playing on the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amalia65</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can only tell you what my sister did with my nephew, who was about 3 at the time that he started hitting her, (and "mostly her" not her DH). She practices positive dicipline and had tried all sorts of things, UNTIL someone suggested to her that when he hits, she leaves. So that's what she did. He would hit her, and she would let him know that it hurt her, so she was leaving...and she'd walk into another room. He hated this, as he likes playing with her...and he soon learned that if I hit mommy, she's not going to stick around. (Of course, we are not talking about abandoning or being gone for hours...) but she was CONSISTANT and it worked.</div>
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I think I'll try this. Thanks!
 
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