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How to deal with a 16 month old hitting

(6 Posts)
kitkat321 Wed 30-Mar-16 12:29:01

My little girl has developed a bit of a bad habit - whenever she gets annoyed/tired or just feels like it she'll hit/scratch - usually she aims for the face!

I seem to bear the brunt of it but she will do it to her daddy/gran also and on some occassions has struck out at other children - she hit a little girl in her toddler group on the head with a plastic fire engine the other day just because she came into her space. Mortified!!

We've spoken to the nursery and the staff haven't witnessed any of this behaviour thankfully and apparently she plays nicely with the other kids.

When she does it I try holding her hand away to stop her hitting and telling her that we don't hit, hitting is naughty but she just laughs and keeps trying.

I've also tried lifting her away from me and sitting her on her own and ignoring her for but that doesn't have much affect either athough seems to work better than giving it any attention.

Any suggestions how to help stop this behaviour? It can literally come from nowhere sometimes!

jannier Wed 30-Mar-16 14:34:41

Can I ask how many voices you have? Sounds strange but we all talk in our normal conversation voice then generally have a playful voice what many struggle with is the firm no I'm not happy voice...not a shout but a lower firmer tone. Generally when you get that right they know your serious and stop laughing ...the danger is they are not used to it so may be confused and cry first time around as its an unknown mummy and crying get a cuddle, but you have to resist more than a return to normal voice and explain Lo cant get the message that hitting gets cuddles. Explanations have to be short like NO hitting hurts. Many parents actually laugh or look happy I've known one child who repeatedly bit and dad would make a joke of it, until she bit a flap of skin in his chest, his scream of pain got through and she never bit again.
Hitting and biting are pretty normal until a child learns to share, take turns and have words to ask or say no...try playing sharing turn taking games giving praise for waiting etc and give her the word she can use like no.
When you say ignoring her doesn't bother her what do you mean?

kitkat321 Wed 30-Mar-16 14:47:06

Hi - I have a very stern "No" voice - developed through years of having a disobedient dog!

I mean that ignoring her and not giving attention to the act doesn't seem to work either - sometimes she'll just keep coming at you trying to hit, others she'll happily go play herself although there are times when she's suddenly comes over all loving and looking for attention as if she understand that bad behaviour = no attention.

Totally understand that it's just an age thing and her only way of communicating her feelings untill her speech is further developed but it can be quite horrible when she's in one of these moods!

jannier Wed 30-Mar-16 15:08:59

I think if she stops doing it and goes and plays or tries to be nice (I would say the words are you sorry for hitting) then its worked if she come at you again you have to put away from you again and again so she's getting the message you hurt you don't play, it takes a long time for some children, The best thing is to avoid the action by distracting or providing the words...have you noticed anything setting it off in particular like you talking to others?

kitkat321 Wed 30-Mar-16 15:21:09

No it really can be triggered by anything - with other kids it seems to be them invading what she perceived as her space.

With me though she can be sitting on my knee reading a book all smiles and they she just turns, give you a horrid look and then wallops me in the face!

jannier Wed 30-Mar-16 23:39:27

I think I would try to stay close when she's with younger children until she's learned its okay, give loads of reassurance its fine and if you feel she's getting over whelmed distract her back to a bigger space so she's not trapped encouraging all the children to spread out, maybe she's been squashed and pushed and its made her nervous. Try to give her words like no pushing (keep it simple and quick).
Is it after a few minutes as though she's not sure how to stop the activity and move away? You could again give her words like finished or all gone, play now, down please....if she hits you say it hurts and then use your words say down please/finished. I've had children who cry and get very distressed in these circumstances and over time this method has helped them. I try and judge ifa child has had enough by watching body language and remembering that if you were to use time out it would be one minute per year so 5 minutes of anything must feel like an hour would to us.

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