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Violent toddler

716 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Bellejar
This is a two part question. DD is 29 months.

I've noticed within the past few weeks, if she doesn't get her way almost immediately, she'll hurt herself. She'll hit her hand or head on the wall and cry for attention. She'll fall on purpose, kick things that will hurt her feet. That's about the extent of it- she hasn't drawn blood or bit herself. Just bruises. My mother tells me I did this as a child. I have no idea what to do about this. Ignore it? Discipline? What?!

She also hits people and our cats when she's annoyed. The cats get it the most, even when she's in a good mood. She'll just walk up to them and give them a smack or push them off the couch. She'll stand on their tails and laugh when they try and get away (although for this one, I'm not entirely sure she knows she's REALLY hurting them, kwim?). She hits me pretty infrequently, but she hits DH ALL THE TIME. (Actually, I kind of think that one is his fault- She has very strict personal boundaries. You don't pick her up/hug her/kiss her/ANYTHING without asking first and if she says "no" you better back off. DH doesn't respect that and she hits him. I've brought this up with him, but I'd rather she didn't resort to hitting at all, no matter what the situation.)

She's pretty good with people/animals outside our home. I did notice her ALMOST hit my friend's 8 month old (but I caught her and told her "no hitting" just in time, and she backed off) but other than that, I haven't seen her hit other children.

I know partially why SOME of this is happening:

1. Her sleep schedule is completely messed up. We are working on it though. I'm trying to get her back into taking regular naps, getting up early and going to bed early as well. Some days are better than others, but it does help.

2. My own marriage isn't fantastic. I don't want to go into the details but I know this is part of the reason for her behavior. There's not much I can do about this at the moment though.

3. We're stuck at home, with no car. The only neighbors we knew moved. I notice her behavior is MUCH better when I'm able to get her out of the house frequently. But DH works very odd hours so leaving is rarely an option for us. I got into the habit of taking her to the park across the street for awhile, but it has been REALLY rainy (like flooding) here so we can't go as often. Sometimes when the rain lets up, I take her to the park even though it's wet and muddy because she NEEDS to get out of the house (and so do I) but that's not practical for every day.

I'm sure there are other reasons, some I see and some that I don't. Some of this could be normal behavior (I hope). Oh also, she doesn't talk that well. Her vocabulary is coming along, just more slowly than her peers. I'm not worried, but I know it doesn't help when she feels she needs to communicate something she doesn't have the words for.

This is more of a vent than anything, but advice would be appreciated. I feel like all our lives is just one big jumbled mess right now. I have so many "problem" areas I need to work on, and they each play into each other, I don't know which to take on first. And generally, when I get one thing fixed, something else "breaks"! Argh!!
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I think this is probably frustration, she is old enough to know what she wants, but when she doesn't get it, she needs to learn different ways to cope with her anger. I had this with my now five year old. Part of my problem was she wasn't very verbal. Now she will say, mommy that makes me angry! when she doesn't get her way and I tell her it is okay to be angry and say when you are angry it is okay to stomp your feet or tell mommy you are angry.
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