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To expect a 15mth old to 'show' remorse?

(43 Posts)
Foxey Thu 23-Aug-07 09:59:05

My dd is going through a hiting and occassional biting phase. DD is a lovely little girl and seems to have a big personality that I love however for the last few weeks she has started hitting out regularly. At one point she would bite me I would firmly say 'No, don't bite' and she would hit me!! Her 5 year old cousin who is a lovely boy without an aggressive streak)is getting the brunt of this at weekends and went home the other week with weals down his face!. Saying No doesnt seem to be enough so I am trying to get dd to start to say 'sorry' and kiss better. Is she too young for this type of lesson? If so what else can I do I want to nip this in the bud ASAP.

peanutbear Thu 23-Aug-07 10:01:29

she is to young to show remorse IMHO

CantSleepWontSleep Thu 23-Aug-07 10:03:28

Too young. Tell her it's wrong but then distract.

potoroo Thu 23-Aug-07 10:03:35

You can get her to say sorry and kiss it better... but it won't really be remorse.

(My DS was a biter - it took a few months of saying No very firmly for the message to get through)

ghosty Thu 23-Aug-07 10:03:50

I have found that teaching them to say sorry before they understand remorse actually doesn't help ...

HenriettaHippo Thu 23-Aug-07 10:05:42

TBH Foxey, lots of children go through this at similar age, very common and normal. Not alot you can do apart from what you are doing - keep saying no. One thing I found worked was if she bites/hits is to say no, then place her in a different (safe!) room for a few moments (esp if you've said no, then she hits you), so that she learns that biting/hitting doesn't get her attention, it gets her ignored, whereas if she doesn't do it, she gets to stay and play. Basically removal of attention for something naughty or hurtful. It will take a while though!

I wonder about whether getting her to say sorry and kiss works, I think at 15 months, that's beyond her understanding probably, whereas she'll soon cotton onto the fact that if she hits, she gets ignored and all attention removed for a few moments.

witchandchips Thu 23-Aug-07 10:05:59

ime this kind of behaviour at this age is due to one or other of two things. First frustration at not being able to communicate and second an inability to see the difference between horseplay (like tickling or stroking) and hurting someone. Just as kittens have to learn to retract their claws, children need to learn what hurts and what does not.
think saying sorry is irrelevant cos in her eyes she has not really done anything wrong. Its not like a 3 year old pushing another child off a chair or drawing on the carpet.

kitsandbits Thu 23-Aug-07 10:06:04

Too young.

HenriettaHippo Thu 23-Aug-07 10:06:48

like the others say though, try distraction first.

RubySlippers Thu 23-Aug-07 10:06:59

show remorse at 15 months - not sure about this. Can she speak to say sorry? I know my 15 month old wouldn't be able to
there is no harm in saying "No" in a firm voice if she is biting and move her away from the situation
it is a phase they all go through TBH

EscapeFrom Thu 23-Aug-07 10:07:02


COMPLETELY unreasonable to expect remorse from a baby. She doesn't know it HURTS, just that it makes you shout.

You can't really nip this in the bud. Keep saying NO and move her away from the scene of the crime. Hr saying sorry isn't remorse, any more than a parrot saying swear words is being insulting.

Meeely2 Thu 23-Aug-07 10:07:35

too young, my boys are 2.8 and only just seeing how their actions can hurt and offend. They do say sorry and they do kiss and hug, i do think they mean it.

ju Thu 23-Aug-07 10:08:47

Aw Foxey it's hard isn't it? I wouldn't bother yet with sorry and kisses, I would tend to approach biting and hitting with saying no firmly then putting her down if on your lap, then no attention.
Making a fuss of the injured party whilst still ignoring your DD may reinforce the message that this is unwanted behaviour. It's very easy to fall into the trap of giving huge amounts of attention to inappropriate behaviour.
Try to catch her being 'good', loads of praise and keep your chin up .
Toddler Taming by Christopher Green is very good - apart from his stance on smacking

speedymama Thu 23-Aug-07 10:09:23



She is a baby.

puppydavies Thu 23-Aug-07 10:09:44

definitely too young BUT teaching her to say sorry (even if is patently clear she doesn't mean it) can help smooth things over with older kids who may be upset by apparent lack of justice otherwise. also may help placate parents of bitten/otherwise attacked child. so useful to teach imo.

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 10:09:58

'showing' remorse and feeling it are very different. You may train a tiny child to parrot 'sorry' and this may be a socially useful skill for YOU because people will be mollified. However, it won't reduce the behaviour. IME the best thing for biting is total removal of attention for it. You immediately say, briefly, firmly, sternly but not shouting - 'no' or 'absolutely NOT' - then put the child down and away from you for a few moments. No more talking, no eye contact. Either just down while you walk away, or on the other side of the stairgate, or very briefly outside the room. And you do this without exception every single time. When the only result is boring, miserable, negative attention, the child does usually learn to stop biting.
Small children, however, have very little self-control. They are so impulsive that when overwhelmed they may well relapse and bite or hit. It's mostly frustration.

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 10:11:41

Same for hitting as biting - brief calm but stern removal of attention - btw.
And she will grow out of it. I find when the language is better the frustration abates.

twentypence Thu 23-Aug-07 10:12:08

YABU and it may be counter productive - I have seen plenty of slightly older children who think that a hug and a kiss will allow them to get away with the worst behaviour, and some that even seem to be being horrible to another child just so they can have a hug.

I know some of them started on this "sorry and kiss it better" thing very early.

puppydavies Thu 23-Aug-07 10:13:27

i would add that teaching to say sorry would start with modelling it (i.e. saying sorry for them), and encouraging them to do same. insisting they say it will just add unnecessary tension to situation.

cookiesandcream Thu 23-Aug-07 10:15:46

Normal toddler behaviour she will learn in time. Don't worry just keep telling her it's wrong and remove her for a few minutes she'll get the message although she may be 3 when she does lol!

witchandchips Thu 23-Aug-07 10:24:15

may help to teach her how to communciate in a nice way. e.g. saying "kiss not bite" when she comes at you with her mouth, meet her hand half way and turn it into a "high five" rather than a hit

seeker Thu 23-Aug-07 10:31:49

Much much too young for empathy, sympathy, remorse, guilt or genuine apologies. But, just maybe, not too young to START to learn a few elementary social skill. But be wary of teaching them to parrot "sorry" My ds went through a stage of thinking he could do practically anything so long as he said "sorry"straight away. I rmembe

seeker Thu 23-Aug-07 10:32:00

Much much too young for empathy, sympathy, remorse, guilt or genuine apologies. But, just maybe, not too young to START to learn a few elementary social skill. But be wary of teaching them to parrot "sorry" My ds went through a stage of thinking he could do practically anything so long as he said "sorry"straight away. I rmembe

cedar12 Thu 23-Aug-07 10:35:32

My dd did this this is far to young to understand sorry. Just very firmly say no and take her out of the situation straight away.

bubblagirl Thu 23-Aug-07 10:37:34

my ds went through a stage of doing this at that age but threy dont really understand its wrong you need to do something to assosiate its not acceptable i used to put him on floor away from me and pay no attention for a while then pick him up if he did it again put him straight down again he soon realised this was not the thing to do but only by not having my attention

dont feel this is bad as all children go through this

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