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My baby is turning into a monster

(4 Posts)
NellyTheElephant Wed 05-Jan-11 14:01:36

DS is 20 months. He is the youngest of 3 (his sisters are 5 and 3). He has always been an adorable, giggly easy tempered little thing and we all adore him. His sisters shove him around a fair bit but basically they are kind to him, look after him, play with him and entertain him non stop.

Recently he has started hitting and pinching (real pinch and twist painful stuff) and hair pulling (clear grab and yank) etc. Basically the minute that he doesn't get exactly what he wants he will lash out. He does it to me, DH, his sisters and also to other children (friends of his sisters or worst of all other little ones his age - pushes them over, shoves them out of the way, hits them, grabs what they are playing with etc).

I'm just not sure how to nip this behaviour in the bud. When I say 'No, don't pinch' or whatever, he giggles and says 'sorry.... hurt... kiss better' and goes to kiss whoever he hurt, which is all very well, but has no effect on the fact that he will do exactly the same thing 2 seconds later. I tend to remove him from the situation, put him straight down and give lots of attention to the 'victim', meanwhile he'll be hitting my back or something like that.

He's too young for time out etc. How do you stop a 20 month old from doing this?

DD1 went through a biting stage when she was 2 and a half but I found it easier to deal with as she had more understanding of cause effect and consequence and responded to withdrawal of attention / losing favourite toys / short time out.

Latootle Wed 05-Jan-11 15:13:47

is there any chance that Ds's are getting a little rougher than they realize? and this is his reaction and of course will anticipate it from others??

NellyTheElephant Thu 06-Jan-11 20:52:01

Thanks for your reply, you're probably right - although DD1 is the one who gives him most positive attention and plays with him the most she in particular can also be quite rough at times and has the power to motor over him if she wants to or has had enough of playing with him. I'm pretty certain both girls have pinched him etc at times. Have had a long chat with them about not doing so or hitting back etc as it just teaches him to do so, but I don't really know what else to do, this really is becoming a non stop problem with him.

Earwigging Thu 06-Jan-11 22:18:43

Might he be reacting to the fact that he is always the little one, so he doesn't get his way very often?

It's not easy with three to look after, but do you get any time to play one to one with him? Maybe some playful games where he could push you around a bit (not neccesarily physically) and get his own way a bit would give him a confidence boost.

In a situation where there are other kids I think a simple 'don't bite' in a calm voice is all you can do, or possibly taking him away for a few minutes, but not as a punishment just a chance to cool off. I'm sure he'll grow out of it, just a pain while it lasts!

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