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How on earth can I stop my toddler from hitting me?

(28 Posts)
TheProvincialLady Thu 15-May-08 17:00:31

DS is 20 months and a lovely, affectionate little boy. But over the last few weeks he has taken to pulling the hair of other children when they take a toy from him/have a toy he wants/stand too close. Not attractive but fairly normal I think and I have been dealing with it by saying No he musn't do it quite firmly and that it isn't kind, etc. He can't say sorry or anything yet so I have apologised to the other child for him.

This week he has added whacking me to his skills. From nowhere he will just smack me in the face or chest, sometimes quite hard. Sometimes it is because he is tired or wants something and I haven't responded quickly enough, other times I have no clue why he has done it.

I have tried being firm, saying no, ignoring it, explaining that it hurts me, even wailing and crying (this afternoon he split my lip with a hard plastic cup)blush So far nothing makes a difference. Is this a stage he will just grow out of or should I be doing something I haven't tried yet? It is especially wearing as I am 9 weeks pregnant and feel pretty crappy most of the time. I am still playing with him/reading/taking him out as much as ever though.

All advice would be welome, and if anyone has any body armour for sale that would be useful too.

LadyOfWaffle Thu 15-May-08 17:06:00

I either say no firmly, making eye contact and looking stern, or if DS keeps going holding his arms (not harshly) and saying No. If he does it with a toy more than once (ie. after I say no) the toy is put on the table. Sometimes he will still come back and bonk it on my head, but it just goes back on the table, or in his room etc. and eventually he gets the idea about playing with toys properly. That's what's working for us ATM anyway.

itsahardknocklife Thu 15-May-08 17:06:41

You have my sympathy although I can offer no advice. My DS is nearly 19months old and has taken to hitting me in the face and biting me. But only me angry
Telling him no hasn't worked so I now leave the room when he does it. Don't really know what else to do so I shall be following your thread to get advice!

LadyOfWaffle Thu 15-May-08 17:08:24

Yep, tngs like leaving the room work well (well sometimes the follow you!) - ending the situation at this age rather than 'telling off' because (in the case of DS anyway) they just don't understand.

TheProvincialLady Thu 15-May-08 17:08:42

He laughs at me if I look sternblush I think it is because I don't really need to most of the time as he is generally very well behaved, and so he's not used to seeing me like that.

It sounds like you have probably been doing it for longer than me and if the message sinks in eventually that is good to know, thanks.

itsahardknocklife Thu 15-May-08 17:09:21

Ds laughs when I tell him off angry He can't follow me out of the room because I have stairgates everywhere grin

LadyOfWaffle Thu 15-May-08 17:12:21

DS has taken a long while to really understand it, he still ignores the "Nos" most of the time at 2.2. I googled up a few weeks ago about toddler behaviour etc. because DS can get very... toddlerish and what I came to again and again was at this age the focus is on distraction. Like when they throw a toy, swap it for a soft 'allowed to throw' toy etc. Although I still tell him off aswell. Toddlers, eh?!

thebecster Thu 15-May-08 17:15:23

I had this exact problem - here's my thread

www.mumsnet.com/Talk?topicid=67&threadid=501936#10153465

I followed gagarin's advice to the letter - and it WORKED - hurrah! DS has stopped hitting, biting etc. almost completely now. It was a horrid phase - you have my sympathy. Also DH and I suspect it was due partly due to frustration because he was just starting to learn to speak but couldn't really communicate properly. Now he's made a bit of a leap forward with his speech and can tell us what he is upset about, which is much better. Good luck, you have my sympathy. I still have scars... literally.

llareggub Thu 15-May-08 17:28:50

Yep, I get this too. You are not alone...

TheProvincialLady Thu 15-May-08 17:43:56

Thanks thebecster, I too will follow gagarin's advice and keep my fingers crossed it works for us. Am I a bad mother for thinking that 10 seconds out of his company every now and then would not necessarily be a bad thing?grin

Sounds like it might work for you as well itsahardknocklife.

itsahardknocklife Thu 15-May-08 17:52:36

I'll give it a go smile My little angel has just eaten all his dinner like a good boy. He's so sweet 99%of the time.

TheProvincialLady Thu 15-May-08 17:56:41

My little angel ate not a bite of his and is currently shouting singing into his daddy's microphone while I have a 'break'.

itsahardknocklife Thu 15-May-08 17:59:28

I understand the fine line between singing and shouting. People in the supermarket don't appreciate his singing. I can't understand what their problem is...

Broodymomma Thu 15-May-08 20:47:05

Ohh Im having this problem too and my ds is only 14mths. Huge row with my mum today when she decided to hit him back. Where did my sweet little baby go?

PosieParker Thu 15-May-08 20:50:20

All you can do is keep saying it and if you're holding him put him down, my dd is the same age and is the same alhtough not hitting anyone else. I say no and ignore her for a very short while... 30 seconds or so. i don't expect her to stop straight away but know I must condemn that behaviour.... it's a long slow process!!

Monkeytrousers Thu 15-May-08 20:52:57

DS does this. I leave the room. Nothing else works in my expereince and even this only teaches them they get no attention for it - they have to realise that themselves though. Thankfully he likes my attention more

Monkeytrousers Thu 15-May-08 20:53:46

only for a minute so so - I can see through into the living room too so can see he's okay

justabouthappy Thu 15-May-08 20:54:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theangelshavethephonebox Thu 15-May-08 20:54:45

I'm having this problem too - ds nearly 2 and keen on suddenly smacking me round the face and laughing like a maniac. He has just discovered hair pulling today sad. Off to read becster's link!

bristols Thu 15-May-08 20:58:11

My DS is the same age and does the same thing. It is sometimes directed at his 12 week old brother too sad

I say 'No hitting' and walk away from him and ignore him for a minute or so. If he has hit his brother, I say the same then take the baby into another room and make a fuss of him. If I am holding him, I put him down immediately.

I totally understand your frustration as I often feel the same. It's all worse with pregnancy hormones racing round too. You're not alone!

Monkeytrousers Thu 15-May-08 21:21:05

Does that not make the jealousy worse Bristols? Not judging just asking.

zazen Thu 15-May-08 21:32:32

You could try teaching him sign language.
I did with my DD and she hardly ever threw a hissy. She would just sign that she was thirsty, tired or wanted to go home.

On hot days toddlers need a HUGE amount of water to drink, so don't be shy about giving him lots and lots of water. And Low GI snacks - fruit, raisins and rice cakes, so he doesn't get stroppy cos of low and then high blood sugars.

Good luck. This phase doesn't last forever, and good luck with your pregnancy also!

TheProvincialLady Fri 16-May-08 09:33:17

Blimey I'm definitely not alone am I?! I am going with Gagarin's suggestion for now and it has certainly given him something to think about. He has only tried to whack me twice since I posted and he was surprised when I left him. Not really bothered, but certainly surprised. Let's hope it works.

Zazen it's a good suggestion about sign language. I have been signing with DS since he was 6 months and I think it has helped enormously until now, when he has dropped most of the signs as he has quite a good spoken vocabulary. We have avoided a lot of frustration. That is partly why I have been so puzzled over this. Good suggestion about tha water too - I don't drink enough myself and I am apt to forget sometimes that he might need a drinkblush

Thanks again and good luck everyone.

Umlellala Fri 16-May-08 12:54:46

Think Gagarin's advice is spot on.

Since very small, I have tried to say 'no hitting, stroke me' and show dd an alternative instead. If she does the alternative, she gets happy 'ah LOVELY stroking darling' mummy. If she continues to hit, she gets boring 'NO hitting' and putting her out of reach/walking away Mummy.

Very much agree that after a beat (10 secs is good - have never counted, just left a moment to let it sink in), you can be back to doing something else happy mummy again.

Think this is just Gagarin's advice in my words - but it DOES work. Dd is 2 now and very rarely hits!

Umlellala Fri 16-May-08 12:55:52

PS all children will do it again though - don't feel like you have 'failed' just because they aren't 'perfect' all the time.

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