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toddler hitting and shouting

(19 Posts)
nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 08:00:31

my dd (2 yrs 3 mths) has started hitting me and shouting/screaming whenever she doesnt get her own way.

i know,i know, its 'her age' etc but i dont know how to handle it. i ask her not to do it, i threaten her with sending her to the naughty step on the stair, i send her to her room and shut the door etc. when she comes out of her room (i usually leave her 2-3 mins) she is smirking. (which drives me nuts). she does say 'sorry mummy'. but she just does it again.

it gets me down, i sometimes cry and she gives me a cuddle saying 'its alright mummy' and i say 'mummys crying cos you hit me' but i dont know if she connects the 2.

anyone got any tips on how to handle this?


KatieinSpain Fri 14-Jan-05 08:23:50

Hi NP,

DS doing the same and my lovely Goddaughter, too. It does get you down, doesn't it?
I'm wading through a load of positive parenting books and they are full of good ideas. The ones that do work, sometimes are: distraction, giving them something else to do, spotting something (even when it doesn't exist!) out of the window, pre-warning ("we're going in a minute" "you've got two more minutes in the bath" etc), and limited choices "do you want your boots or shoes on?" rather than trying to get him dressed. I repeat the same phrase everytime he does hit "no hitting". Like you, I use a naughty chair in our corridor, after one warning. I know the key is consistency and calm but arrghhh there are moments .....
Does your DD get worse at particular times of the day? Hope you're having a good day today and will be reading more later for some inspiration.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 09:03:53

the one yesterday was she finished a carton of ribena and she said 'more please'. i said 'its finished and i dont have another, do you want the other juice?' she went nuts, swinging her arms (think she does this to pretend its not proper hitting) and everytime i opened my mouth to speak she would squeeze her eyes shut and scream!

little madam

its also worse after she comes home from childminders (2 days a wk). she goes there with another wee boy who is a few mths older and i know they wind each other up (they play together ok, just shout and chase each other around)

i have a sneaky suspicion the childminder is not very strict with things like screaming and hitting. she is very soft

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 09:43:29

ive tried the distraction thing 'HEY LOOK AT THE DOGGIE WALKING PAST THE WINDOW!' but she just screams louder 'NO mummy' and keeps arm-swinging. think shes wise to it

Bagpuss30 Fri 14-Jan-05 09:57:45

My dd is Queen of Strops at the moment (2.4) and I tend to shut her out of the room in the corridor and hold the door for two minutes until she calms down or just simply walk away and ignore. It's tedious and irritating I know, but I have already noticed that she takes less time to calm down when she realises there is no audience. I really do sympathise with you NP and hope your dd manages to stop soon. It is just another phase <sigh>.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 10:10:02

hi bagpuss, thanks for that

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 11:35:40

no-one else? i really could do with some tips

dot1 Fri 14-Jan-05 12:01:27

The warning them things are about to happen tip is really good - "we have to go in 5 minutes" or something like that - puts the idea in their head and let's them get used to it.

No other handy hints but just to say our ds went through a huge phase of hitting other children - we were so mortified about it - but he's 3 now and just so lovely - sensitive and lovely and wouldn't dream of thumping anyone, so it really is just the age they're at - 18 months - 3 is a nightmare age...

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 13:01:05

thanks dot. the other thing i think of is frustration - if she cant fit the block in the hole/ cant get the trousers on barbie/ cant fit the jigsaw piece in the other she comes over and hits me!

then i feel sorry for her cos she is trying so hard, but i feel i should tell her off for hitting.

she also hits me when im making the tea, etc, when i cant give her my attention at that precise second. she starts off with 'mummy i want a cuddle' meaning 'pick me up' then when i say im making the tea, ill be a minute, she starts hitting

but mostly its cos she cant get what she wants

bakedpotato Fri 14-Jan-05 13:12:28

is it worse at the end of the day/when she's tired? DD went through a stage of always being really wild/unruly at bath/teatime, but this has gradually improved with age. in restrospect, i'm sure it was energy-related.

if she's still napping in the middle of the day, maybe it's worth letting her have a bit longer to see if that makes a difference?

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 13:30:40

she IS worse at the end of the day. i thought it was cos was back from childminders, or days she isnt there, cos daddy was home now from work. its a busy time of day, making the tea, eating tea, bathtime, then bed. she is always exhausted at bedtime and goes willingly at 8.

the days she goes to childminders - up at 7, no nap, childminders is too hectic. days at home, up at 8, 1-2 hr nap after lunch. still acting the same whether at childminders or not, but a little worse on days she IS there.

ive never really thought about it, but she IS worse in the early evening, thanks bp, food for thought

mummylonglegs Fri 14-Jan-05 13:51:55

My dd's also 2.3 and doesn't hit me but she does get very frustrated in the way you described when she can't do something. And she's always worse towards late afternoon /tea time even though she still has a good nap after lunch. I think even with the nap they're tired at that time.

I don't have clear advice about hitting as I've escaped that little treat for the time being but I was going to say that little children are quite 'sadistic' without meaning to be as they don't have proper empathy yet. So making you cry is as fascinating as making you laugh if you see what I mean? My dd's obsessed with the idea of me crying. She says 'if I spill this on the floor mummy might cry' with a terrifyingly malicious smirk on her face. I always say 'mummy doesn't cry over silly things' in a bored voice and it seems to swerve her away. She also plays games in which her toys cry. I think any extremes of emotion that they can provoke, especially when they're in the throes of that emotion themselves (when they're happy they want you to be too / when cross they want to provoke you) is how they work.

What am I trying to say? Well, that I wouldn't take it personally that she hits you because she's experimenting with that as much as cuddling you. However she also has to know it's not acceptable and IMO the only way to get that across to a toddler is to totally blank it, show no response whatsoever. Act bored, change the subject. As soon as it gets no reaction it might stop.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 14:04:24

fantastic advice, really. thank you so much. its funny you should say that, but when she hits me she forgets what she was so upset about, and starts patting my back, saying 'you alright mummy' if i cry. she IS fascinated. then 5 mins later she asks 'are you happy now'. she is totally fascinated with emotions, that is very interesting you should say that.

if i am crying she sometimes copies me and screws up her eyes and puts her hands up to her face. like its a game.

i am going to try the bored, havent heard you, not interested approach as well as distraction.

sometimes its takes a third party to see the obvious, and i get that thanks to you guys xxx

ourdarling Fri 14-Jan-05 14:32:42

Poor nailpolish - not a nice time. Bagpuss30 gives good advise. You do have to do your best and walk away, because you can not reason when someone is behaving like a teenager/menopause drama queen. Mine has thrown the best in all the best locations. l remember once picking her up in the middle of a small shop as she was screaming and hitting me and running to the nearby park. l put her down on the grass and she went crazy. l was crying, l rang my husband saying l have had enough, come home! Still ignored her. After a few minutes she sat up and we cuddled. l was still crying. dd looked at me and said 'would you like to gallop?' They all do it and sometimes it can feel like it is everyday, but ignoring is best, avoid eye contact when you are not able to walk away, a tight hug when you can not walk away, removing them a safe place on the floor for a full blown kick & scream, when they have calmed down a big hug & cuddle and then you can explain you are not happy with this or ask what is the matter. My dd is now 4.5 and will still have the odd wobble and l just remind myself that if she can not release whatever is building up inside with me then where else can she do it.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 14:46:25

thanks. sounds likes theres lots of cuddles in your house, ourdarling. cuddles are great

bunjies Fri 14-Jan-05 21:47:48

Glad I found this thread as the same is happening with my 2.4 dd. She started by taking it out on her baby doll and has now escalated to hitting one of us and then having the cheek to get really upset if we say 'no hitting' in a firm voice. She also hits back if she is being reprimanded for things and she does it with a look of real contempt on her little face. She also does a nice line in tantrums. So glad to hear it's a phase as we didn't have this with our ds now 6 years old.

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 21:52:38

result! i am in total shock

tonight, after bathtime dd came down stairs for supper (as usual). she usually gets milk and a biscuit. after her biscuit she started whining and asking for another, as usual, and instead of saying 'no you only get one' over and over again while she goes nuts and 'arm-swings'/'hits' me, has a tantrum, she kept on asking and asking, and i just ignored her and changed the subject. she did a big sigh and sat back in the chair with arms folded!

it worked!

i just hope its not a fluke but i really cant imagine it is. oh thank you all so much for the advice.

it worked
it worked
it worked

jollymum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:56:17

I work with SN kids and one little girl screams and pinches. She has to sit on a chair and loves to get "praise" and "claps". We sound like right silly people but she loves the "whooping" and "well dones". She has a card with 2 hands on it's called a "pec" with "hands down" written on it. If she does "naughty" behaviour, we hand her a card ad if she's positive, well, we go overboard. I realise it's diferent, but you can tell she's looking at this card and is embarrassed by it. HTH

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 21:59:21

not sure wht you mean jollymum.

does she have to sit in the chair with the card if she is naughty and do you praise her if she doesnt hit/pinch?

is my dd too young for a starchart do you think?

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