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Our 2yo ds has discovered hitting

(4 Posts)
ComingRoundTheMountain Mon 31-Aug-15 22:19:17

He is usually very lovely natured etc but in last few weeks has discovered hitting, mostly 4yo dd who never retaliates (though is annoying in other non hitting ways of course) or us when he is cross with us. We are coming down hard. First saying no hitting and asking him to say sorry. This usually makes his hit again and refuse to say sorry so we remove him from the scene into time out for a couple of minutes, and eventually he says sorry mainly because he wants to leave time out.

Any hints for dealing with it though? DC3 due in couple of months so want to nip this in bud. I know it is normal 2yo behaviour bt dd never did it so we don;'t really know what to do.

I will also talk to his key worker when nursery starts again next week to check he doesn't start doing this to other children at nursery.

TheAussieProject Tue 01-Sep-15 03:47:20

I didn't use the time out/naughty step when my DSs were small and misbehaved. I had the black bag. A big industrial size black rubbish bag and I would put the thing they liked most in it and pretend to bin it.
I would say talk to him and tell him you understand why he is doing it. Sometimes you feel like that too, but you have learned it is wrong. Very very wrong. So hitting is never acceptable. Every time he hits, he will lose something. And only receive it back if he doesn't do it anymore. Otherwise it will go to someone else.

ButIBelieveInLove Tue 01-Sep-15 04:04:26

Don't ask him to say sorry. It means nothing to him, and is a fruitless power struggle that prevents you all from moving on, and escalates things, not least your anger.

Decide on a strategy, down to the wording eg "We don't hit people, I won't let you hit [name]" while you hold his hands if need be. Remove him from the situation if need be, but only as a last resort. And then be prepared to do this, using the same tone and words (in large part so that your reaction to it doesn't start to drive the behaviour) over and over and over again. Because it takes a long time for little ones to learn not to do things.

I think time out is inappropriate for young children (unless you are simply removing them from a situation because they're hurting you / someone else) - this article is excellent: Resist the urge to punish him - he's too little. Think of it as teaching him (not to hit) instead.

I'd also keep an eye for earlier signals he's losing his ability to control himself. DD had issues with biting, and I became practised at spotting the signs of tiredness and aggravation (shouting, toy snatching) and taking her off for quiet time before it got to that point.

Good luck. It's tough, but you must stay calm.

ButIBelieveInLove Tue 01-Sep-15 04:05:55

I meant also to say - in place of the apology, once you have dealt with DS, and are checking that DD is ok, say to her too that you won't let DS hit her and you are telling him that it is not ok. This is a more meaningful and effective way of taking care of her, too.

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