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what's the best way to deal with a slap-happy 20 month old?

(10 Posts)
divastrop Sat 25-Aug-07 21:50:14

dd2 has turned from a perfect little angel into a full-blown toddler in the past month.shes started hitting her older brothers and sister,dp and i,and now she is even hitting dd3(5.5 months),and she was nothing but gentle and loving with her before.

she also throws toys at ds2 then laughs.she is not hitting in temper,she just seems to think its funny.i say 'NO' to her but she just looks at me blankly then carries on.

i want to take her to parent and toddler when the schools go back but im not sure how to deal with this.

any suggestions?

Trinaj Sat 25-Aug-07 21:57:50

The best suggestion is the tried and tested 'time out' routine.
- Give her One warning, then when action is repeated remove her from the situation- wherever you are - and put somewhere safe - a step or chair out of the way.
Leave her there for a couple of minutes (one for each of her life).
Then bring her back into room explaining why she was removed and making her appologise, and do this every time.

rantinghousewife Sat 25-Aug-07 22:03:00

I'd agree, be consistent and discuss it with anyone else who cares for her, they will have to use the same strategies. I would still take her to mother and toddler, she will learn how to interact with others in a reasonable manner. If you avoid taking her out because of it, it might make it worse.

divastrop Sat 25-Aug-07 22:11:38

isn't 20months too young for time out?would she understand what saying sorry means?

dp says i am too soft on her and still treat her like a baby instead of a toddler.ds2 behaved the same at this age and it didnt stop untill dp moved in with us when ds2 was 2.5.i did do time out with ds2 but he just laughed at me.

i dont understand why they do/did it though.i have never smacked either of them,the only hitting they have witnessed is that which used to go on between my older 2.when ds2 started nursery at 2 the staff there said it was very common,particularly among those with older siblings.

rantinghousewife Sat 25-Aug-07 22:22:26

It's controversial but, I think they do understand, I never actually timed out like they do on Supernanny but, I ignore bad behaviour (and obviously tell the child that what they're doing is naughty and praise the good). Even at 14 months, I think they still get the gist.
Some children do go through a hitting phase and I don't think it's always a behaviour they've learnt, they're just testing the boundaries. And she probably is just a little jealous of your lo and trying to get more attention off of you (that's not a criticism, it's just how children are).

divastrop Sat 25-Aug-07 22:30:03

i think i will try picking her up without saying anything and putting her on a chair in the corner or something.she understands pretty much everything i say from what i can gather.the M+T group is at the nursery where ds2 went and where she'll be going in january so i want her to go so she can mix with the other children and get used to the place.

she's certainly going through a jealous phase as she has a hissy fit every time i give ds2 a cuddle and tries to pull him away from me.i think she's starting to realise shes not a baby anymorehmm

mrschop Sun 26-Aug-07 21:31:42

My DS did this at about 22 months - hit me whenever I told him to stop doing something which meant every telling off escalated into a big telling off about the hitting rather than the orginal badness. As it meant I couldn't discipline him for the small things at all, the hitting was an absolute no-no for me. Time out/reasoning etc didn't work for that - he seemed to see hitting me as a game or the final point scoring. I stopped it, over the course of about a month or so, by sort of using my physical presence to demonstrate who was in charge - I def never hit him, or ever threatened to, but I would assert myself by standing over him and saying "no" in as deep as voice as I could, and holding eye contact until he backed down. I did feel a bit like a mother chimp on a nature programme, but he worked out that hitting me was in a different scale to other naughtiness, and it did stop. I continued to use immediate time out for hitting other children etc at the same time, and now, at 2.5, he rarely hits others, and never hits out at me.

mrschop Sun 26-Aug-07 22:11:12

Shd also say, as others have, I combined that with lots of cuddles and praise when he was playing nicely and behaving well (which I think also has the advantage that you also register their good behaviour yourself - is easy to focus on the naughtiness and feel despondent about quite normal testing the boundaries behaviour). Also, my DS has only recently got the concept of actually saying "sorry" (is 2.5). He previously would cuddle and generally look contrite, but 20ths might be too young for an actual apology.

divastrop Sun 26-Aug-07 22:18:49

thank you mrschop.sounds like a good idea.i have a no violence rule in the house which applies to everybody,although i dont wish to know what goes on with the older 3 when they are upstairshmm.i suppose i need to show her who's in charge...although i need to show all of them who's in charge according to dp.

i will have to get over feeling guilty about telling her off,though,but thats a whole other thread.

divastrop Sun 26-Aug-07 22:21:55

i think she was doing a little test earliersmile.she slapped me,i said 'no' then she cuddled me so i said 'oh thats a lovely cuddle,thank you,'etc .then she slapped me again...then cuddled me again,she did it about 4 times but ended with a cuddle,so i assume she like my reaction to that bettergrin

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