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Toddler starting to hit/scratch - any top tips for dealing?

(4 Posts)
chocolateshoes Tue 27-Feb-07 18:52:13

DS who is 20 months has just started hitting and scratching me and DP. He thinks its funny and is definately doing it as a game, rather than in anger, but obviously we need to teach him that this is not the done thing. At the moment he only does it to us so am keen to nip it in the bud before he thinks of doing it to other children or his grandparents.

So far I've been getting eye contact and saying no, Mummy doesn't hit, daddy doesn't hit, you don't hit. But this is met with more giggles generally. I'm a teacher so I do my 'teacher voice' but as yet I definately have a lot more impact on Yr 11 than my toddler!

I guess this is a phase that the majority of toddlers go through but am hoping that those more experienced than I have got loads of top tips!

chocolateshoes Tue 27-Feb-07 19:19:54


sunnysideup Tue 27-Feb-07 19:26:12

You're right, many toddlers go through this and I'm sure there have been threads on this subject here before too. I think at the moment your response is making it a game; the fact that you are giving your ds attention when he has hit or scratched is what's making him carry don't seem to hear words in this situation, you may be saying "No" etc in your best teachery tone but you may as well be saying "Go on, that was fun!" I don't know why this is except that the need for attention of any kind is so hard-wired into babies and children...

With my ds, we simply put him down immediately (with a firm "No") and withdrew attention completely. What I tried to do with ds at this age was play to his distractibility, and turn my attention to something else. In no time he was playing with something and had forgotten about it.

Don't expect him to sit where put, and don't expect him to have any set length of time without your attention, I think seconds are enough so long as it enables him to feel the lack of attention as a consequence of the hitting.

chocolateshoes Tue 27-Feb-07 21:04:22

Thanks Sunnyside.

Anyone else?

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