4 yo daughter hitting me(6 Posts)
My 4 year old is going through a very stubborn/border pushing/tantrum phase, and gets tired very easily at the moment as well.
She sometimes hits me or throws stuff at me, but I tend to brush it off - well she'll get the time out step unless it's obvious that's she's extremely tired or she's in the middle of a full blown tantrum. However she's just slapped me full on in the face, twice, in front of her school friend's parents, then spat at me whilst I hawled her home, and I'm mortified. Basically I agreed to let her play on the swings at the end of the road for 5 minutes, took her down there, but instead she barged into a neighbour's garden where some schoolfriends were playing. When their parents started to take them off to bed about 5 minutes later, I picked her up in my arms to take her home too, and this is when it all kicked off.
My sister's children hit each other all the time - they're like a miniature version of the 3 stooges - and although we don't see them that regularly, I'm sure this is partly where it's coming from. However, I also worry that perhaps I'm not hard enough, or perhaps I'm too strict.
I'm just not sure how to address this. She'll apologise when she's calmed down, but it's obvious that she's too young to really mean it. I'm thinking of having to resort to grounding her the forseeable future, but ideally I want her to understand that it's just not acceptable to hit and spit at people without having to cutting off her contact with kids of her own age outside of school. I also want her to understand that it's not acceptable to just invite yourself into other people's houses and gardens.
We have a sticker chart, which is gradually working for issues like going to the loo properly, which I've now added "not throwing and hitting" to. I've explained that she needs to improve her behaviour by Friday or she'll not be going to a party of a classmate.
do you use time out/naughty step? this can often work better for a 4yo than "you wont go to the party at the end of the week if you dont start behaving better" because they think in terms of immediate cause and effect. She will not remember this fully this evening never mind when party time arrives.
what if she is horrid again in the morning,but then all sorrowful & please please please mummy when its party time - will you stick to your guns or feel sorry for her and let her go? In which case think about the message you are giving about whether you really mean what you say.
I she were mine it would be naughty step and she stayed there till calmed down and properly sorry, no matter how much yelling she did or how much putting her back there we had to endure. she would get no more verbal contact from us while there, do not enter into debate, or accept shouted sorries etc.
I would also say dont award stickers for "not hitting", award them instead for "being kind and helpful" or something, so the emphasis is on the positive. Awarding something for not hitting implies that you expect her to hit.
sorry I see now you did say you use time out - you need to be consistent, use it more, apply your terms to when she gets let off it, make up with a big hug, then move on
it cannot be a hit and miss approach as she wont know whats expected of her
4 is old enough to know that hitting is very wrong and she needs to be properly sorry
have you also tried telling her or modelling other ways of dealing with being angry? 'use your words', etc.--kids do get angry and it might help if she is clear on how to express it in an acceptable way. this might be something to do after she has calmed down and you chat about what happened--'you hit me because you were angry about xxxx. it's okay to feel angry but it's never okay to hit someone. next time you are angry, use your words and tell me how angry you feel instead',etc
time out or naughty step straight away for violence. have a no violence policy and stick to it. she will soon understand.
Thanks for the replies. we've talked a bit about smacking and why she shouldn't do it, and have it on the sticker chart. She seems to be getting the message.
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