To think I must be the reason DD is so violent?

(41 Posts)
Famzilla Tue 17-Jun-14 20:48:45

DD is 15mo and for the past 2 months just has not stopped hitting & scratching, and it is getting progressively worse. Today she went around attacking every single parent & child at toddler group, even drawing blood (she was with the CM, otherwise I would have removed her a lot sooner!)

I just don't know what to do. I know children go through phases but this feels so out of my depth. (Can you tell she's my PFB?) I've tried a loud "no" followed by removal from wherever or whatever she is doing for a few minutes to just strapping her into the buggy and leaving wherever we are. I've tried ignoring it, have even tried pretending to cry to demonstrate that it really hurts.

It's getting to the point now where other mums are actively picking their children up as soon as they see DD like she's some sort of feral dog which breaks my heart. I don't know what I've done wrong to make her like this or how to fix it.

MIL says DH was just the same when he was a child and that he grew out of it by about 5, but I think she may just be saying it to make me feel better.

Would really love some advice, or even some hand holding.

HaroldLloyd Tue 17-Jun-14 20:51:29

Oh no, it's not your fault, my DS was very aggressive hitty and bitey at around this age. His brother is angelic and never hits.

Might be worth keeping a diary to see where and when it happens to look for triggers such as hungry or tried.

Could be that the groups are a bit much for her at the mo and do more things like parks etc with a lot more open spaces etc

Plus also have the dr rule out anything like an ear infection/ water infection that could be not obvious yet making her grumpy.

Massive sympathy from me.

Iggly Tue 17-Jun-14 20:55:31

Does she have hearing issues? I would avoid playgroups to be honest - take her to the parks etc instead.

And I would be hovering very close to her ready to intervene before she gets in there first. Distract first. Is it all the time or only sometimes? Eg when tired or hungry for example?

sebsmummy1 Tue 17-Jun-14 20:55:54

Famzilla my 18 month old hits my face and bites me. He can hit my face at a time when we are having a really lovely time or when I say no to something and that's his way of showing me he is cross.

My sister's 3 year old also hits her and she tries to deal with it by operating a referee card system and gives him the red card when he has gone too far.

I have no idea how to handle it really but I don't think he dislikes me or anything. I just think he gets overcome with feelings and can't express himself so lashes out at the person he loves most. He does sometimes bite my OH as well but his worst behaviour is definitely saved for me.

HygieneFreak Tue 17-Jun-14 20:56:54

Have you ever smacked her?

HaroldLloyd Tue 17-Jun-14 20:59:17

I've not read it bit lots of people recommended raising children raising ourselves.

DS is 3 and a little bit and is calming down more and more by the day he hardly ever hits me now and is absolutely a million times better when out in group setting.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 17-Jun-14 21:02:29

DS was exactly the same from the age of 18 months to about 2.5. I used to envy the mums who could plonk their DC down at playgroup and sit chatting with a cup of tea. I had to watch DS like a hawk so I could stop him from hitting other children. Once he pushed the DD of a friend down some wooden stairs - I caught her just in time shock

A few years after, a friend said she always admired the way I would just pick him up and take him home the moment he showed any sign of being violent. time. I think I blocked out a lot of this as I was living abroad and DH was away almost all the time and I didn't even remember having a strategy for it.

But he is now 15, and the gentlest, most sensitive and fun teenager I could have hoped for. It was truly a phase, a nightmarish one, but a phase nonetheless.

Just ride through it, be firm and consistent, remove her straight away and stick to a few words only - hold her hands down and say "No scratching" in a firm voice. Good luck.

Famzilla Tue 17-Jun-14 21:11:10

Thank you for all your responses, I'm sorry you've all been through similar but am glad I'm not alone. Which is how I've been feeling as everyone sits there with their angelic children!

She goes to the groups twice a week with the CM, before this phase started apparently she thrived at groups as she is very um.. Self assured haha. I will suggest not going for a few weeks though, I'm sure our CM will be secretly glad as she has been struggling with keeping DD under control.

No, I have never hit her (or anyone, or anything!). I don't shout at her either, a firm no is as far as it's even gone and even then I worry that I may frighten her.

I had never considered hearing issues, I'm partially deaf so maybe that would explain a lot. She has had her hearing tests but a good friend of mine is a paediatric audiologist so maybe I could talk to her about it in more detail.

I will start keeping a diary of the hitting too, we go to the park/swimming etc and thinking about it now she doesn't really hit that much when we're out and about and there aren't other children around.

Thanks again for all your replies, you have given me a lot to think about. (And hope for the future!)

When my DD was younger than yours (IIRC she was about 9 months) she went through a really brief phase.
If I held her to my shoulder she'd claw my face and eyes, really pushing her fingers into my mouth or eyes.
If I held her on my lap, she leaned forward and swung her head back, really thumping on my sternum (once caught my chin when I wasn't aware)
And swung her head away from me to then headbutt me - I honestly saw stars, I thought I'd suffered concussion for a second but I did lose a tooth sad

No idea what provoked it, I was actually too scared to hold my own child.

softlysoftly Tue 17-Jun-14 21:18:47

I think maybe you should frighten her sorry.

Saying no firmly and removing her is fine but with hitting etc that was my line. Every child will lash out at some point but it needs to be shown absolutely to be wrong.

With DDs "no" and removal is for other bad behaviour.

Hitting etc always got me down on the ground, holding both arms face to face and a growled/deep voiced "We do NOT hit, it is NOT kind" then removal. Ditto if you see them thinking about it "DON'T you dare".

Then if they don't do it/back off a HUGE smile hug and a "thats right gentle gentle" and show a stroking motion.

CarmineRose1978 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:20:51

My niece went through a phase like this. She thought itmwasmhilarious to hurt mer mum and dad, and if they said ""Ow! that really hurt mummy!" she'd laugh and try it again. She grew out of it quickly enough and is now a lovely gentle child.

SpagBolgs Tue 17-Jun-14 21:21:34

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

3littlefrogs Tue 17-Jun-14 21:23:08

I think all the advice on here is good.

I am sure it is a phase, but I would definitely avoid groups and go for wide open spaces where she can run about and let off steam.

Get her hearing checked.

Ask yourself: "Does she seem happy? Relaxed? Is she enjoying herself?"
If not - go and do something else.

CarmineRose1978 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:23:47

God, typos! That should be, she thought it was hilarious to hurt her mum and dad.

3littlefrogs Tue 17-Jun-14 21:25:09

SpagBolgs - what a nasty, ignorant comment.
This is a 15 month old baby.

WorraLiberty Tue 17-Jun-14 21:25:38

I did the same as softlysoftly

My 3 DC did need a very firm "NO" and being slightly startled, was what stopped them continuing with the behaviour.

commonorgarden Tue 17-Jun-14 21:26:40

I would give a firm 'no' with a gesture and a physical removal from play for a time. I don't smack but I wanted a physical consequence as he had a language delay due to hearing impairment; this was immediate and meaningful to him. A verbal explanation would not have been sufficient at that stage for him. Now he's older a verbal explanation is more effective though.

Maryz Tue 17-Jun-14 21:28:50

Wow, SpagBolgs' post shows ignorance on so many levels shock

HaroldLloyd Tue 17-Jun-14 21:32:46

Obviously spag didn't grow out of it's little phase!

Reported it.

birdsnotbees Tue 17-Jun-14 21:36:01

I've reported your post, Spag.

OP, my DD went through this - I had an angelic DS and then DD seemed to come out of the womb fighting! She has mostly grown out of it now (though she still will take a swipe at me from time to time; she's now 3 and she goes straight on the step until she says sorry). Lots of good advice here and honestly, some kids are just hitters/biters - it's not your fault.

spanky2 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:37:04

Spagbolgs really? Reported you to have time on the naughty step!

Famzilla Tue 17-Jun-14 21:45:50

0/10 spagbol. Should you be up this late on a school night?

MsJupiter Tue 17-Jun-14 21:46:36

My DS is 19mo and I've been struggling with this for a few months so can sympathise and hopefully offer some positive experience. As with some other posters, his violence is often aimed at me and comes out of the blue or when we are cuddling or having a nice time. Possible triggers seem to be tiredness, excitement, mischievousness but sometimes it's unexplained.

With other children he is ok for a while but will suddenly push or hair pull. He also hugs children until they fall over which seems to come from the same emotional place iyswim, like he isn't sure what to do with his feelings but also a curiosity to see what will happen.

To tackle it, we have tried to minimise the triggers or be alert during trigger situations, for example when lifting him out of the bath I wrap the towel tightly round him first or singing bedtime songs I make sure I am ready to catch his arms if he tries to scratch or hit.

When he does hit us or anyone else, we do the firm No and holding his hands, saying we don't hit/scratch etc and reinforcing by saying we are gentle and showing him how by stroking etc. When he is calm and if appropriate, saying sorry or making up with the person so we can then move on.

I felt like we weren't getting anywhere for ages as he didn't seem to respond or acknowledge but have noticed in the last few weeks that it has started to happen quite a bit less so hopefully we are getting there. As he approaches two I wonder if it will get worse or what the next challenges will be but I do think the message is getting in even if it doesn't look like it is.

It's horrible having to be 'on your guard' with your own child and not being able to relax around others but all you can do is offer a consistent clear message and try to prevent or distract if you see a danger situation. Best of luck!

pianodoodle Tue 17-Jun-14 21:46:37

Ditto if you see them thinking about it "DON'T you dare"

This seems to work well for me (and it worked for my mum too!)

Especially if you say it slowly and deliberately (with "the look" as well) smile

I'm not sure if wee ones that age are great with subtlety.

DH waffles a bit (a lot) and sometimes I think DD doesn't really know what's expected as his tone never changes.

I try and emphasise things a bit more and keep instructions clear etc... Focus on one point only. So far so good although I still get days where nothing works grin

Lorelei353 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:48:21

My DS is 12 months and is just coming out of a massive biting phase. My upper arms were covered with bruises. Looked like unusually placed track marks!

We were consistent in our firm 'no biting' and also removing him and ignoring him for a minute if needs be. Didn't really work. We knew his triggers were hunger and especially tiredness so had to be really careful at those times. He really only did it with DH and I but we were terrified of him starting nursery all the same.

Finally we decided to try some positive reinforcement. We used to elaborately kiss him and to 'mwah'. Whenever he put his lips near us we'd say 'mwah' followed by lots of 'thanks for the lovely kisses' and happy faces. Now that's what he does. Big slobbery, noisy kisses and lots of raspberries on our are, and faces but few bites. Only if he's really over tired.

Something to try?

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