How can I stop him hitting?(2 Posts)
My 20 mo ds is generally a good boy and we are lucky with him. However, over the past few months I feel like his behaviour has gone down hill and he is hitting, pushing and pulling other children whenever we go out. He also does it to me and dh at home. He is a very strong willed and determined little boy who knows what he wants but is also absolutely lovely most of the time.
I know it's probably a phrase but I don't know what to do about it. It's not frustration with language as his speaking is good and he can say four/five words together as a sentence. His understanding is good too and he can follow instructions, respond to choices etc. I don't think it's for attention as he does it whether I am there or not, although when he does do it I go straight over. Usually it's in situations where someone is in his way, climbing onto something he wants to play on/do or pushes past him so I know it's him learning how to share and deal with other children playing on what he says is mine. But other times it's for no reason whatsoever. In these situations I tell him to share and it's not just his and the other boy/girl can play too.
I feel like I have to stand over him constantly in order for him not to do it and constantly remind him to use 'gentle hands' I try not to say no, as found this didn't work before and didn't want no it become a meaningless word used too much, so I go uhh uhh and say gentle hands or don't hit/push/pull etc and move his hands or him away. After a couple of times I say to him if you hurt again we will get down or we can't play anymore, this works when he s hitting me at home but not when out or at someone's house. I always follow this threat through if he carries on.
I get him to say sorry and I think he understands this as he goes up to the child and either hugs them or strokes their hair. Sometimes he does this without prompting from me. I always praise him when he does this.
I give him pep talks not to hit and use gentle hands before we arrive somewhere or before he goes to play and he repeats what am saying by saying don't hit etc. I feel like he knows he's doing the wrong thing as I can just give him a look and he stops at that time and gives me a sort of innocent look under his eyelashes but then hits or pulls someone else a couple of minutes later. He will also tell me I hit when he's done it. He can be delightful on a 1-1 play date and not hurt the other child at all.
I heard another women at the park say she ignored it and her dc stopped but I don't feel like I can ignore it when it's in public and to young babies. I feel other parents judge me when he does it and I spend the whole time saying gentle hands, don't hit to him totally ignoring me. I have also been doing informal time outs as I feel he is too young for proper ones. I take him away from the situation for a few minutes and he's not allowed to play. I tell him why. But when he's allowed back to play he hits etc again.
Any other suggestions that worked for you?
Rememeber little ones don't actually understand what is positive attention and negative attention.
I use share means everyone plays as the word share often tends to mean share with me not share with everyone.
If hitting simply move away, give him a minute sat watching no eye contact nothing. I do believe you need to teach children right from wrong but if he already knows you are teaching nothing new just giving attention. Make sure you praise when he is playing well before he hits so he is getting lots of attention.
Play games at home where you take turns.
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