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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At ds' 9-mo checkup (more like 10 mo), i brought up concern about ds' hitting at me, pulling my hair... It's all, of course, unintentional. What i do is pull his hands away and ask him to touch gently, then help distract him with something else.<br><br>
Our ped. said that sounds great, but once i notice "that look in his eyes" (??) that lets me know he's intentionally hitting etc, then i should sternly say "no" and walk away from him in an angry manner for 1 minute, then return and be happy/normal again.<br><br>
I just don't feel at ease with this advice, but, this is my first baby so i don't know... what do you experienced mamas think?<br><br>
TIA!
 

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First, you have to remember that peds get no training in many of the things for which they feel the need to give advice: breastfeeding (my ped admits to getting only 20 minutes on how the breast works), car seats, infant sleep, discipline--not covered in school. So unless you think your ped is a great parent and you are going for parenting advice, remember the source and that they don't know anymore than you and probably less in some areas.<br><br>
As for the advice that you did get--BAH! I love what you are doing. It is the appropriate response for age. Your child is not hitting to be mean. He is not doing it to make you angry. He is not doing it maliciously. He is learning. He knows that hitting can make a cool sound. He knows that you get a startled look on your face. He is looking for cause/effect and reaction. Why would you punish learning? You are teaching him that you don't hit people. You might give him a drum and let him smack around on that for the sound experience. He is exploring--let him while showing him how to do it without hurting others. I think you are doing the right thing.
 

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I agree with annab, that's just what I was thinking. Your pediatrician is NOT educated in child discipline or child behavior, only child illnesses. There's no reason to think that your child will ever hit you on purpose once he learns that it actually hurts you. Right now he is too young to understand, but he will learn. And if he ever does hit you on purpose, how you deal with it is up to you. If you don't feel confortable following the doc's advise, then don't feel like you have to follow it. Again, this wasn't "expert" advice, he was advising you on things that are out of his expertise. You know your own child, do what feels right, and trust yourself.
 

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I wouldn't do it in an angry manner, or scold. However it is okay to say no hitting, then set the baby down and walk away. (IMO) Abi used to hit me in the face and it hurt bad. In a more relaxed time I'd show her how to be gentle, to pat me and rub my face and kiss rather than hit. I'd smile and praise her for this. If she hit again I'd just set her down again and walk away for a minute. She only hit me a few times after I did that form of "discipline."<br><br>
ETA: I think I started doing that when Abi was 10-12 mos. I'm not sure a baby the age yours is would understand.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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I concur with some of the prev posters. There is no way your ds will make the causal connection between you walking away angrily and his hitting you, which is totally experimental. Besides, if you follow the advice you'll get here about handling tantrums in older toddlers, the basic idea (to be applied to all ages, I think) is never to abandon your child or to withhold love. Walking away at a time like this is missing a teaching/learning opportunity and sending a confusing message to your son. I think what you are doing is perfect - it's exactly what I did and DD passed pretty quickly through the hitting phase. I think your ds is experimenting and will only continue if he gets a reaction from you. Just be nonchalant and gentle (as you are already doing), and it will pass.<br><br>
I would say you've got great instincts to doubt your peds advice. Follow your heart!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Mamas! Really, it's so nice to hear support for what i feel is right. And very good perspective about a ped. not being a parenting expert.<br><br>
Another question, though..., when i tell ds "gentle touch" and guide his hand in a gentle manner on my face, he often cries and pulls away. Since most of you have said that he's doing things to see a reaction, how do i react gently but not frustrate him? Or is that just part of his learning process to pull away & cry?<br>
again, thanks so much!
 

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Dd is 9.5mos and grabbing at my hair, earrings, lip stud, you name it :LOL<br><br>
If I see "the look in her eyes", what *I* do is distract her. Either I move my hair back, or switch the position I'm holding her in, hand her a toy or something.<br><br>
I do move her away when she pinches (!!) or bites me. I usually yelp "Ow!" instinctively & she gets a concerned look. Then I set her down and say matter-of-factly, "Don't pinch/bite." If she cries, I pick her up right away, otherwise, I wait till she "asks" to be picked up again. Sometimes (if she's in the middle of nursing, for example) when she pinches, I hold her hand gently while saying "Don't pinch" instead of putting her down. I let it go when she pulls on it.
 

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The few times my kids hit me or pulled my hair I set them down. They learned very quickly. If what you are doing is working, then great. If it doesn't work, it really is OK to set your baby down.<br><br>
I don't ask my doctor questions are aren't medical.
 

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It's a good idea to put the baby down if the hitting is really hurting you and you are feeling frustrated. better to gently put her down than to lose your cool. That was my thought about biting, anyway.<br><br>
If you are able to stay cool and just redirect, that seems fine.
 

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USAmma, my son is 15 months old and I do that (leave him for about 15 seconds) if he keeps hitting me and all my attempts at redirecting him (gimme five, play, etc.) fail.<br><br>
I find that playing high five works well in most situations, as I raise my hand directly with his.<br><br>
(I got that tip from the Baby Book and The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears, and the other about leaving baby for a a minute from Positive Discipline).
 
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