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What should we do when DS (11 months) flails / slaps / scratches people's faces?

(9 Posts)
AchtungBaby Thu 21-Jul-11 09:41:51

DS (11 months) has developed a habit of flailing / slapping / scratching our faces when DH or I kiss him sad.

So far we've been saying 'Be gentle with Mummy / Daddy', but it doesn't seem to be working, and I don't suppose he knows what gentle means.

He is beginning to understand what 'No' means in other contexts; should we also be saying it to him in this one?

He's lovely otherwise smile!

HoneyPablo Thu 21-Jul-11 09:44:27

Don't make a big deal of it or it will turn into a game and he will learn that if he does it he will get lots of attention.
Just ignore it and gently move his hands away. He'll soon stop it. Or pre-empt it by holding both his hands when you kiss him.

AngelDog Thu 21-Jul-11 13:16:09

You're right, he doesn't know what gentle means - you need to demonstrate for him.

We say "Hitting hurts. Touch gently, please," then take his hand and use it to touch/stroke gently. Now he's 18 m.o. and he thinks that 'gently' means he should always pat the thing he's touching. smile

Astrophe Thu 21-Jul-11 13:21:39

agree with angeldog - demos are the way little ones learn. Stroke his face gently, get him to touch your face gently, "oh, thats so gentle, thank you, thats lovely" with big smiles etc.

My DD is almost 2 and she still scratches faces - sometimes when over excited, and sometimes to get attention (in which case she gets a 20 second time out, as well as demonstration of 'gentle', and is made to appologise).

She is an otherwise delightful child! I say this not to discourage you (although yes, it might take a while to teach him!), but to demonstrate that its not an uncommon thing for babies and toddlers to do. I'm sure your DS is lovely smile

skybluepearl Thu 21-Jul-11 17:07:36

say 'that hurts, please stop' then walk away and ignore him if he doesn't.

tethersend Thu 21-Jul-11 17:34:32

Kiss him when he's asleep wink

AchtungBaby Thu 21-Jul-11 18:00:03

tethersend, grin.

Thanks for all of the replies! DH is going to read them later this evening, then we'll decide which approach to take.

I know that DS doesn't mean anything by it, but it's hard not to feel a little sad when he does it.

tethersend Thu 21-Jul-11 18:13:51

It's horrible, DD went through this phase too. I'm only half joking, BTW grin

If kissing him provokes a violent reaction, then the easiest, least confrontational course of action is not to kiss him for a while- difficult, I know! It is only a phase though, and soon enough he will be planting smackers on you all the time.

Otherwise, I agree with modelling gentle touch for him and not reacting when he hits you.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 21-Jul-11 18:49:37

<ducks in...waves to angeldog...long time no see! ...ducks out again> grin

Oh...and i agree with angeldog and tethersend.

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