3y4m DS hitting - advice please(5 Posts)
Hi, I'd welcome any wisdom anyone can offer. My son started this morning by repeatedly hitting me when I was trying to clean his teeth/help him get washed and dressed. I told him firmly this was not acceptable, held his arms to prevent him doing it, every time I let go he started again, and was smiling doing it. Eventually I started crying and said I was going to my room to calm down. I went back, same behaviour. I suggested he could go and hit his pillow instead if he was feeling angry, but it was not OK to hit me/anyone. I then decided to ignore him, got myself ready and in a few minutes he came back to the room with a toy and played and seemed to have forgotten all about it.
What should I have done?
We have just come back from a few days with DH parents, previous similar episodes when my parents have come to visit etc, not sure why this is.
We've tried "thinking chair" etc in the past not sure whether he really sees it as a punishment or not. Removing stories at bedtime works if he misbehaves when getting ready for bed, but don't think that would be appropriate for behaviour first thing in the morning.
I've read toddler taming and how to talk, although might re-read them. I find the spectrum of parenting styles and advice out there very confusing. Advice welcome!
I am not sure telling him to hit his pillow will ever help, it is just teaching him that to deal with anger you need to hit something or someone.
Remove toys. Tell him hitting is never acceptable and that sometimes it is hard to deal with emotions but hitting is wrong. Warn him that every time he hits or hurts you, one of his toy will disappear in a big black bin bag .
Do you think he might have wanted to do his teeth himself? Just a thought.
My ds has had the odd phase like this and really it's to push my buttons - he likes to see me lose it and get mad at him. But also, I'm at a loss with punishment really. We've tried taking toys but how/when do you give them back? When he asks? When he's 'reversed' the bad behaviour? Just curious what other people do. And I also found that he would do bad things just to see what I would take away and wouldn't be bothered about missing it after a while, became really detached from all of his toys as if protecting himself from being punished. We've had much better results from star charts, i.e. rewarding the good behaviour, but you can't exactly say you'll get a star every time you don't hit
I know that Janet Lansburys methods aren't for everybody but she's done a podcast on children hitting at this age. I find her techniques really work (sometimes).
My child went through this at a similar age. I have her warnings about time out for about a week, after that, no warnings, straight to time out for 3 minutes, do not pass go, do not collect £200. It's no longer an issue.
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