DS is just two. He's always been what my mum calls 'busy' hard work, into everything, difficult to hold even when he was tiny, squirming about, getting hold of hair etc.
For a while, six months or so he's done this thing where he'll be playing happily with another child, then, i can see it in his face and he'll hurt the other child, push or hit, or pull hair. He's generally a really happy, friendly boy, and he's always really pleased with himself when he does it. I'm really strict about hurting, remove him straight away, and as it always involves another person or child, I'm very vocal about it. He doesn't do it at nursery, never has and has been going since 11 months.
Thing is, it's getting no better. For example, I might say 'let's go and see so and so' he will beam, he loves people, And say hooray, hurt so and so. Hit so and so, proper pleased with himself like he has a great plan!
I say no, we don't hurt, it will make so and so sad, and we want them to feel happy etc etc. it just isn't working, and now he's two I think it's actually getting a little worse, I have to watch him like a hawk, it's like his favourite game. He is always very upset if there is a reaction,if he thinks he's hurt the other person or child. It's so odd.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated,it's really stressing me out particularly as he's massive so people generally think he's much older and plain naughty. Is it normal?
Maybe it's because it gets so much attention from you. Even if it's negative attention, it is still attention. All of the explanation is too much - he's 2. My 3.6 year old is developing empathy. 2 year olds don't have it yet. So keep it short and sharp. No hitting and remove. That's it.
Try and show him how to play and give loads of praise for that.
At two years old he won't understand empathy.. So if you say so and so is sad because you hit him that won't really mean much to him. What he will understand are consequences. Hurting others = time out.
Is it specific praise and prolonged attention? Do you get down to his level and tell him exactly what he did well? Or just a "well done"? If the latter then he gets more time from you when he hurts someone...