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DD (23 months) can be very loving but is also prone to aggressive behaviour - biting, pinching, scratching....

(11 Posts)
josben Fri 18-Jul-08 16:27:56

and I'm at my wits end with it...

Both me and DH have tried to get her to stop it but without much success. DD has 2 older brothers and she loves wrestling with them and playing with them - hence she's pretty tough. She is also a very physical child and is quite heavy handed and doesn't seem to understand how to be gentle.

I have just been to a friends for lunch today and it is quite obvious that DD is very different from my other friends Dc's who are a similar age. They don;t have older siblings and were much calmer and more gentle. DD played okay to start with but then she lashes out if she wants a toy and is just a bit of a handful. she was also a bit rough with my friends 7 month old ...

I feel a bit low about it all and would like to get her behaviour better. Has anyone been in a similar situation, any advice...?

TIA smile

josben Fri 18-Jul-08 18:14:56


ancientmiddleagedmum Fri 18-Jul-08 18:32:30

It is not the same but when my autistic boy used to be aggressive at aged 2 (including biting his grandpa so badly it looked like an animal bite!) we would immediately wash his hair (which he hates). It was partly because he was non verbal at the time and therefore other things wouldn't work as would involve him understanding words, and partly because in behavioural terms he needed a short sharp shock to show that aggression was not an acceptable response. After a couple of weeks, we just needed to say "hairwash" if he looked like he was losing his temper, and he learned to edit his own behaviour. This might not at all be right for your DD, but is there some other "aversive" thing you can do (nb, I would NEVER hit or in any way be violent towards a child, particularly not to teach them not to be violent themselves, but I do think small children need more than a naughty step or a star chart sometimes). There are kids in my DS's class who are still aggressive at 5, and it is actually getting them into quite serious trouble at school.

Wallace Fri 18-Jul-08 18:56:54

ds2 who is almost2 is the same, and is also the youngest of three! I remove him from the situation. We also talk a lot about how it hurts when he bits,hits, etc. I try to link it to something he understands like "Do you remember when you fell and hurt your knee, and you were sad and you cried? Well, that is how you have made xxx feel. See, look at her face she is sad and crying because you hurt her when you bit her" or something like that.

We also talk about gentle ways to touch, like stroking the baby's soft hair gently.


josben Fri 18-Jul-08 19:10:59

Thanks for your posts smile

Wallace that sounds like a good idea to link it to something thats happened to them - i've never done this possibly because I never think DD could comprehend and understand something like that. Although I possibly do treat her too babyish. So i think that I will try and talk to her in a more grown up way in future.

Does your 2 year old have much if a concentration span - DD has very little - she is not interested in tv and will only play for 5 mins or so with a particular toy...

noonki Fri 18-Jul-08 19:16:06

my DS1 was a total nightmare from 19 months getting worse and worse-

always attacking DS2 from a newborn,

I tried everything -

talking to him about it lots
time out (from a bit older)
saying no
taking toys away
and he received his one and only smack to date when I discover his 6 week old brother with blood running down his face and he ran past me laughing with a naked little bottom,

the only things that worked and we had to keep going back to it were:

totally ignoring him but giving whoever he had hurt attention (not too much as any sort of fuss resulted in more bad behaviour - "what will happen this time!"

and really praising any kind behaviour, telling other parents/kids/the dog how good he was/sticker charts (from about 2.2 years)

he would go in cycles, I would forget my own rules and he would get worse then return to, ignore the bad, praise the good, and he would improve dramatically.

difficult when he hurt kids he didn't know and the parent would be waiting for me to discipline - I got bored having to explain it

good luck I sympathise - I got to the point when I would almost be pleased if he was the one getting the hit/bite/shove etc!

josben Fri 18-Jul-08 21:38:50

Yes, exactly Noonki, i know that feeling when you witness another child doing it to them... grin

I will try the ignoring bad behavior and praising good - as you say it might be difficult but if it works it will be well worth it.


Sexonlegs Fri 18-Jul-08 21:43:31

Hi there. My dd1 was the same - and had no older siblings to copy/wrestle with.

She was always the loudest/more inquisitive/more physical of my friends dd's.

We tried various things - naughty step etc etc, but they didn't really work if I am totally honest. It was just a phase and she grew out of it.

I do feel for you though.

Jacblue Sat 19-Jul-08 10:38:40


I'm having exactly the same prob with my ds. He pinches and bites with no warning and often for no reason.

Dh and I have tried what seems like everything, to no avail. Have no support from extended family, who we see often, as ds has such a cute face and 'butter wouldn't melt' expression that, even when they see him do it, they look away and laugh v unsubtley about it. Ds then thinks they think it's hilarious so does it again. angry

Will try the positive praise. I do positive praise in general, but will try doing it particularly about pinching/hitting. Wish me luck!

josben Sat 19-Jul-08 10:49:04

Let me know how you get on Jacblue... I am also going doing PP. I am also trying to make life and our house as calm and serene as poss - (not easy with 2 Big brothers charging about!)

Jacblue Sat 19-Jul-08 20:24:11

Okay, so I tried the PP thing all today. It worked a treat. Was at a friend's house all afternoon/evening and explained what I was going to try. We both made an effort to praise him what must have been every 20 mins at first and then maybe a bit longer after a while. Where he usually was pinching a few times each hour, he pinched his big sis once and hit friend once. Great result.

We'll see what happens tomorrow, but am feeling positive. Thanks all. Nice not to feel so alone.


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