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Toddler hitting/kicking parent problem

(6 Posts)
KimSkl Thu 02-Jul-09 11:18:22

Hi there,

I'm new to the board & have a huge problem at the moment I was wondering if anyone could help with. I have a 2.3yr ds who is being very abusive to my dh. He hits & kicks him all the time.

Its strange though because its not like ds is being angry aggressive - he thinks it is so funny to wind his father up & get a reaction & he will go out of his way to slap & kick even though we keep telling him that it is a not nice. He doesn't do it to anyone but my dh.

It is really driving my husband crazy & I found him in tears this morning because he doesn't know what to do. We have tried everything to get ds to stop, but it has been going on for the past 9 months on & off & I am scared my husband is going to snap just now. Some days ds is ok & will be lovely to his dad, but most days he will start the day off by climbing into our bed & kick & hit his father.

We have tried walking away, ignoring the behaviour, not reacting at all, talking to him, shouting at him, even had to resort to trying to give him a smack which definately didn't work. Naughty step is just a joke to my son. We are both going up the wall & my dh is starting to not want anything to do with his son which is breaking my heart. I am 7 months pregnant & need to get this solved soon as I don't have the energy to keep putting myself between them. My dh tries so hard with ds, but it seems the more he tries to be a good dad the more ds is horrible to him. All he wants to be is a good dad & not be hit by his son

I'm sorry this is long & rambling, but I have done countless searches on the internet & spoken to people but nobody seems to have the same problem. Anyone out there encountered such a problem before?

thank you for listening!

MangoJuggler Thu 02-Jul-09 11:28:12

It's so hard, this parenting lark

At this age it's all about attention, and your son cleverly has worked out a very effective method of getting it

So what to do?

This will take time, as in all things child related

Ignore distract and praise:

If he kicks DH, then Dh gets up and walks away, you too,no discussion, ignore the child, make a cup of tea, whatever you can think of to show that you are not interested in the slightest

Sounds a bit mean or cruel but needs must with the new baby coming

Distract - if you can see in your son's face that he is coming in for a blow, try distraction - ooh look at the bird out of the window/where are my shoes/whatever comes to mind in that instant

Praise - without mentioning the kicking or hitting, find lots to praise your son for, catch him being 'good' as often as you can

You have worked out for yourself that smacking doesn't work smile

Good luck

oh, and welcome to MN

Reesie Thu 02-Jul-09 12:32:34

dd1 was like this with my dh. Dh is a lovely dad who does fab things with dd and spends a lot of time with her.

However, she was often say that daddy is 'yuk' and would happily pinch him and push him away. She would also say 'shoo away daddy'. Dh used to get quite upset about it too.

We just kept saying that pushing etc is naughty and that daddy is nice because he does painting/football/dancing etc etc with her all the time. She's now 2 1/2 and is getting of this phase. Infact she ran down the stairs when dh came home last night and into his arms. I had left the baby talker on a few nights ago and they were both upstairs after dh has bathed dd and I could hear them chatting and they didn't know i was able to hear them and they were so sweet and funny together. It brought a little tear to my eye to think I had such a lovely family smile

I think this has also coincided with the fact that I have dd2 now (10 weeks) and dh does more comforting things with her rather than the playing things (ie settling her back to sleep if she wakes up at night, running towards her to pick her up if she has hurt herself - if I'm busy bf new baby).

Get your dh to repeat the mantra 'this phase will pass, this phase will pass' and that I suppose it will be something to tease his 6 foot son about in the pub after watching a game of rugby grin

pamelat Thu 02-Jul-09 12:41:24

My DD is 18 months and is a bit agressive to my DH if I am there. Sometimes its like she thinks she can only have one or the other.

I make sure that DH has a couple of hours by himself with her on a Saturday morning and that really seems to help. Otherwise he is just the person who drops her at nursery and who seems to takes mummys attention away from her. She definately gets jealous of us talking to each other blush

If we hug or kiss bye she will often shout "no" scowl at him and put her arms out to me, so although my DD is younger I think some of it may be about jealousy?

Time alone may help.

KimSkl Fri 03-Jul-09 20:03:49

Thank you so much for the feedback. Its reassuring to know that my situation is not unique, although I was surprised to read that it was dd's that are doing it to their dads. I thought dd's were supposed to be sweet angels. I guess I'm in for a big wake up call when my DD is born!

We are currently back to the 'ignoring behaviour' phase. I just hope ds grows out of it real soon!

thank you again

MangoJuggler Fri 03-Jul-09 20:05:02

good luck !

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