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Since I started using gentle discipline (and specifically since I told DS1 I don't want to use time out any more) DS1 has started hitting me again...<br><br>
I think he probably fits into the 'spirited child' category - the triggers usually are tired and hungry and transitions - so most likely to hit when time to stop playing and come to eat dinner - even if we try to make the transition easier with timers and warnings etc.<br><br>
So recently I have been gently holding his hands and saying "I will not let you hit/hurt me" and empathizing (or trying to empathize first) - t wo problems - when I use words to empathize it seems to make it worse not better he yells louder - almost like articulating his feelings makes them more intense - can anyone tell me how to help them feel empathized with silently -does it really work?<br><br>
Also he seems to think that the above procedure is a game - keeps going or trying to go round to my back and hit my back - so I am either spinning around to stop him or moving away from him or end up ignoring it and letting him hit me.<br><br>
We try to talk about it later when both cooled down and he says 'next time I won't hit" and we talk about hitting pillows or using 'cross turtle' (crossed arm and blow 3 deep breathes) but reminding him to do those things at the time is like a red rag to a bull...<br><br>
I plan to buy the explosive child after reading other threads<br><br>
Just the whole thing with him laughing and hitting me at the same time really presses my buttons - I walk away when I am so angry myself I am worried I may yell or hit and tell him this (except I do sometimes lose it and yell still)<br><br>
any other ideas pleeeeeeeze
 

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Have you already read through this thread?<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=638989" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=638989</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Mamduck<br>
I have now!! I hadn't realized it had grown so much....<br><br>
So the stuff about empathy looks helpful - I will definitely be aiming to hear my DS's concern rather than focusing on feelings - that will help I think<br><br>
Any ideas for what to do with a child who turns the 'no hitting procedure' into a game - he doesn't want to engage in the process and persists in hitting like it's a game<br><br>
thanks
 

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This is a tough one.<br><br>
I think there is no need to empathize until he has begun telling you the problem verbally. The hitting itself should not elicit empathy - that would reinforce hitting, and teach your kid that its a good way to go about getting attention. When you are sitting in private with your kid, he has stopped hitting, and he is ready to talk to you about the issue -- that is when you empathize.<br><br>
You can also consider going with the "you hit, you sit" strategy. If one of my children were to hit <i>now</i>, as older kids, I would process it with them, but first I'd ask them to go to their room for a bit. The logical response to a person who is unsafe to be around is a separation period, until they are safe to be with again. And there are times that *I* need to cool off before approaching them about the problem.<br><br>
However you decide to handle this, I think you need to be consistant about it. He needs to get the message that hitting is not okay -- and he needs to get that message everytime. There should not be instances where you are being pounded on by your kid, and you ignore it. We need to model self-respect.
 
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