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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2.5 yo dd with a very (very) intense temperament. She is very bright, extremely verbal, and angers very (very) easily. I try to consistently use gentle discipline to prevent conflicts, while teaching appropriate behaviors, but at least once a day her temper flares (sometimes several times a day), and she becomes violent. She will actually rush at me and grab flesh and dig in her nails, and--let me tell you--it HURTS!<br><br>
She does not do this with anyone other than me and her father (she has no other caretakers), and, to be honest, she only does it when she is--or I am--tired (that is the trigger). I know that she knows it is wrong...she absolutely knows it hurts, she intends to hurt, and we will talk about it after the "event" (usually I remove her/prevent her from hurting me and say "I won't let you hurt me", and she tries to attack again, and I repeat the mantra and put her in time out. She pretty much ONLY goes in time out for violent behaviors). I know that she "gets it"....she just needs to learn the self-control....which I am trying SO HARD to model....but this has been her response of choice when thwarted for a couple months now. Is there a point at which I should be concerned? This is NOT appropriate behavior! What else can I try? To be honest, I am rapidly losing patience with the attacks, and feel that I *need* her to stop doing this. Help us please!
 

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Oh man! I've almost forgotten what it was like! We went through the exact same thing when my dd was that age.<br><br>
You are doing such a GREAT job! Saying "I won't let you hurt me" seems so right to me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
But I know what you mean about feeling ready to lose it. It was so hard for dh and me. Dh preferred the time-outs; I preferred talking and bear-hugging (not tight because that's something that really drives me nuts when it's done to me). And yes, I lost it a few times (getting angry).<br><br>
My dd grew out of it. I don't remember when anymore! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Can't have been too long ago!<br><br>
Nothing is permanent! My dh likes to drive me up the wall by saying this!<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by ParisMaman</i><br><b>Nothing is permanent!</b></td>
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Thank you, ParisMaman, for that reminder <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Dh and I were talking last night (after I posted), and we both fear that the behavior isn't ending because we aren't handling it correctly. And, of course, we both fear our reactions as patience wanes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I wish there was a bit of magic to just make it Stop!, you know?<br><br>
Thanks for the encouragement!
 

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I did forget to mention that my dd is 3 yrs 4 mos. So I would say we had to endure this type of behavior for about 6 months.<br><br>
She's not acting like this because of how you're handling it.<br><br>
I don't have a magic formula either. It was hard on dh and me too. My problem is that now she's doing it to the cat. But don't go get a cat! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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One very minor point--keep her nails very, very short to minimize damage/pain to you. DS was repeatedly attacked by a 3 yo in preschool whose parents did nothing about his violent behavior, and ds has a scar from the other kid's long fingernails digging into his face.<br><br>
I'm glad you're dealing with this! Some parents don't, and then the child heads off to preschool and, as in my example, repeats these behaviors.<br><br>
Good luck,<br><br>
Mel
 

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I would not do the time outs. That will only make her resent you and in no way teach her self control. If anything it could make the matter worse. You can't really "teach" another human self control. You can only model it and give that person enough freedom to learn, in time, on their own.<br><br>
I would continue to muster up all the patience you could and continue to tell her that it hurts you, both physically and emotionally, when she does this. Then let it go. She's not stupid...she'll get the message (probably already has) and eventually this will pass over like a bad storm. This is a very common behavior for her age. It will not last forever. She's clearly having a hard time when she does this.
 

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I just want to say that, as sunnmama pointed out, this behavior seems directed only at the parents (only at me in my case). My dd was in 3-hour daycare during this time and never, and has never, exhibited any kind of aggressive behavior against anyone, child or adult - no biting, pinching, pushing, nothing.<br><br>
And also, I tend to exaggerate her behavior with the cat. It sounds terrible here on the boards - she's hugging too hard and wanting him to dance on his hind paws. Unfortunately, the cat doesn't run away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by sparklemom</i><br><b>I would not do the time outs. That will only make her resent you and in no way teach her self control. If anything it could make the matter worse. You can't really "teach" another human self control. You can only model it and give that person enough freedom to learn, in time, on their own.<br><br></b></td>
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I agree that the time out is less than ideal. In some cases, however, we need a physical separation to end the rampage (yes, she gets that angry). Any physical action on my part to protect myself (holding her hands, etc) ends up in a flurry kicks and wild thrashing from her....and if I just walk away, she will rush me and attack me again :/<br><br>
She seems to be very, very sensitive to touch when she is keyed-up....any touch to reconnect and calm her just fuels her rage.<br><br>
Thank you for your thoughts, sparklemom. I am thinking this through as I go, and will try to find ways to end the really bad episodes without a time out....I welcome any more ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by gurumama</i><br><b>One very minor point--keep her nails very, very short to minimize damage/pain to you. DS was repeatedly attacked by a 3 yo in preschool whose parents did nothing about his violent behavior, and ds has a scar from the other kid's long fingernails digging into his face.<br><br></b></td>
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Ack! This is my personal nightmare! Her doing this to a playmate or a friend/family member of ours (ugh....I just KNOW my parents would think I am a bad parent for "tolerating" this if she does it when they visit next month....). I have to admit, I am feeling a lot of (inappropriate?) parenting guilt because my precious dd does this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
About the nails....yes, I try to do that. Thanks for the tip <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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