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Disciplining a 2 YO - she keeps hitting me - any advice?

(12 Posts)
reastie Tue 19-Feb-13 06:30:31

DD is nearly 2. She's recently started being really naughty doing things like throwing toys at me and especially hitting me. She does this a bit with DH too but so far no one else. She doesn't go to nursery.

Every time she does this DH and I tell her in a firm voice it's naughty, she's hurting us, and to be gentle and get her to say sorry. This never works though as she finds it funny hmm that she's hurting us and continues getting stronger with her hits. Often distraction will work but I feel like she's not realising/learning the behaviour is unacceptable and by distraction her we are giving her attention and showing her if she wants to be played with she just needs to hit us shock

Yesterday we tried the naughty step technique but she just found it hillarious to have to go on the naughty step and then kept hitting me afterwards in shouting 'naughty' and running over the the naughty step in excitement hmm

Because she's only nearly 2 I'm not sure what techniques to try further and I feel I want to try to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. So, any advice at all as to how to deal with this, what I'm doing right or wrong would be really appreciated. I wonder if a reward chart would work?

gonoright Tue 19-Feb-13 09:51:33

Yes this sounds like a 2 year old for sure! Being hit by our children is horrid and hurtful and has to be dealt with ASAP
I think your assessment of the distraction technique is correct. Do you have any other children, or are you pregnant? Has something disconcerting happened to the family just lately? Is it for attention? My boys have all begun to assert their presence around 2 years. They wanted more interaction. It might be that simple. "If you want my attention say Mummy can we play or can you read to me. Do not hurt me ever, as it makes it hard for us to be friends when you do." Very serious voice and get down to her level so you are face to face. Hold her hands if you think she may smack you.
I have boys , 3, and have had varying success with reward charts. My five year old only responds when its his idea! Stickers however still hold great appeal so are worth a try. One needs to be really consistent with the approach though and both parents must do the same thing. I also recall my lads being excellent vibe readers, so if for any reason your heart isn't into it she might know that she has some chance of getting away with it. You could say, in a firm teacher type voice, "Hitting is bad and I do not like it. I will not hit you and YOU will not hit me.Let's make that a promise." Then a big hug. Perhaps at a suitabletime both Mum and Dad could go at the same time and have a chat about the hitting situation. You are the united front and can be very powerful at steering the family ship when you direct together.

mmmerangue Tue 19-Feb-13 12:26:46

Yes my DS is here too. sigh

brew Let's just hide on mumsnet while we wait for it all to blow over!

I try ignore it mostly, Say it's not nice to hit and then walk away. Tell him off more severely if it does genuinely hurt. But hey he still does it 5 times a day (especially kicking while I change him, think he knows I'm not going to leave him then) or more, so I haven't really got the answer for you!

AbsintheMinded Tue 19-Feb-13 12:38:03

I get this too. And relapses, as she will go for ages without incidents. So I tell her no hitting people and that it hurts. Then get a cushion and tell her she can hit that and make a game out of it. It does seem to work, except obviously for the relapses after a few months. So we repeat as necessary. She's 3 now.

I'm hiding on MN too.

Nagoo Tue 19-Feb-13 12:40:42

I distracted mine when she was a baby, because like yours, she found anything else amusing hmm

She's now 2.3 and mainly reserves hitting for her brother. When she does that I make a fuss of him and stop her from joining in with us for a minute. I tell her she shouldn't hit and then let her play again. I have shouted at her before, but that's usually reflexive from being hit rather than because I think it is a good idea for discipline. It does stop her in her tracks though.

As DS got older he used to hit in anger rather than just 'because'. When he did that I would send him to the naughty step and make him know that he didn't get what he wanted by hitting.

I don't think my 2YO hits for any reason other than she can, she doesn't seem furious like DS can sometimes get. When he's like that I have had to hold him tight against me so no one gets hurt while he calms down. Then we have a cuddle and talk about why he is cross.

catkind Tue 19-Feb-13 12:50:53

It does sound like she likes all the to do about it. At that age I think I'd just say "no, hitting isn't nice" and get on with what I was doing anyway. "Or no, we don't throw toys", and if they don't stop, "I won't let you throw toys, I'll put that somewhere safe" and take whatever it was away. Minimum reaction to stop the behaviour e.g. hold her hands back or stand up and move away, otherwise ignore. At the moment "naughty" is an exciting new game to play.

I know my son wasn't ready to understand a "time out" type reaction till he was about 3.5, and even then it's more of a cool off time than a punishment. Others may be different.

reastie Tue 19-Feb-13 14:11:31

At least I'm not alone!

I think she can do it for attention/she thinks it's a game and fun despite what I say to her. She doesn't seem angry or aggressive or upset. I'll try walking away and ignoring and see what that does. It's all just a bit of fun being naughty for her at the minute but I want her to make sure she knows it's not right.

brew for all of us!

Loika Tue 19-Feb-13 14:37:58

Its the reaction she wants not the hitting. I push my 18m DD away very gently and say no, then get out of range and ignore her, that, fingers crossed as worked. However, now she picks up her free flowing sippy cup, drinks then throws it on the floor and runs when we go to pick it up, which we do in silence, hopefully that will wear thin as well! Give the naughty step a rest for now and just go with Dr Green's formula of Distract then ignore then walk away if she keeps on at it. You are sooo not alone!!!

peachypips Tue 19-Feb-13 14:44:00

It's def a phase- both mine have gone through it and then stopped by themselves despite me consistently telling them off and them ignoring me!
DS2 is 2.6 now and his latest thing is throwing food. It drives me mad but I know it'll stop eventually. I just keep saying no and telling him not to do it politely!!!
It's not working though. wink

reastie Tue 19-Feb-13 21:08:13

<chants> this too shall pass!

peachypips Wed 20-Feb-13 13:11:20

<repeats chant robotically>

cloudhands Wed 20-Feb-13 16:38:29

the two year old stage can be challenging, and good for you to reach out for some ideas. I had some issues with my DD biting me, and I was really grateful to find some good resources so I could stop her aggression before she went to nursery and started being aggressive towards other kids.

I took the No more hitting class, with Hand in Hand Parenting, and found that to be a real eye opener, about the reason children hit and what to do about it.

No More Hitting
I would recommend it.
they also have an article here, that explains a bit about their approach

Biting Pushing Pulling Hair, Helping children with aggression
I think that reward charts don't work that well, and they can make it hard for kids in the future, to get self-motivated, because they will always be expecting a reward, and will be less likely to do things, just for the sake of it.

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