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I have a 2 (almost 3) year old who hits me and his dad as a first reaction to being angry (and he typically hits in the face). It has been going on for months and I can't find anything that works. If he gets mad at one of his toddler friends, he yells. He really seems to have anger issues and it is killing me. He just recently (this week) started to make loud car noises when he gets angry. I am wondering if I need to see a child psychologist or some sort of professional who can teach me how to handle this without getting angry myself. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this?<br><br>
K!wi<br><br>
I apologize if this was posted twice.
 

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My dd is similar age (3mth off 3), and while she doesn't hit, she does screech as her first means of letting others know she is not wanting them in her space or is frustrated with something. Just recently (she has delayed speech) I have been working on her for a preferred response. So I'm needing to just get right down into her space and gently yet firmly providing for her the words I would rather hear (at her level of talk which is still at single or two words rather than sentences). It's work in progress, but I can see the positive effects of doing this and it's a case of breaking the habit she has fallen into. Now I find just getting down there and giving her an encouraging look she'll break from screeching (or about to screech) to saying "help" or "no" or whatever it is that I'm wanting her to communicate. It sure is work in progress, but I think just focus on what you DO want to happen rather than focusing on what he is doing and therefore you get sidetracked on stopping that (not sure what other methods you've attempted) rather than providing positive solutions. If for example you say "don't xxx" it can be very confusing for a child and they are likely to not be sure what the request is or detracts from the issue at hand.<br><br>
With the hitting, I would do the same thing. I would catch his hand if you see him about to hit you (you say you get hit in the face, I'd start being really aware of it happening and warding it off by standing up or moving away) or if he hits I wouldn't bother focusing on it (he is sure to know your message by now (providing you've let him know why not to hit) and you're just wasting your breath giving the same message as a lecture imo) - so focus on your preferred response. If he's hitting in response to being told he can't do something, I'd just catch his hand and validate his feelings around his frustration and try and get a dialogue going.<br><br>
As for the angry noises, ummm, I think I'd just go with validation "oh, you sound angry because xxxx" and get a conversation going. Hopefully it will encourage him to talk to you about it.<br><br>
What I also like to do with my kids is have a chat with them out-of-the-moment about how situations could have been handled better. So maybe when you're having a snuggle later on you could open up the conversation and let him know that you want to help him find a way to talk to you where you are listening.<br><br>
HTH<br><br>
ETA: Just remembered about him yelling at his friends, I would in that case also say "please use kind words" and then go into the explanation about helping him problem solve. You may need to trail him closely when playing with friends so you can intervene hopefully before a situation gets to the point of anger. Try and get some positive interactions going to help break the cycle.
 

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And I think, also getting out of the way physically...like actually dodging the hit and not stopping their hands or holding their hands (which is kind of physical, y'know?) will help them realize - yikes ! Hitting hurts! And the fact that the hit doesn't land - can be a real wake up call.
 
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