3 year old hitting when frustrated or upset - strategies please(10 Posts)
Awww bless him, I had similar age gap between my youngest and her older brother, it must be hard for them as even if they're excited about new baby what you have to remember is they've been the baby up until now and had your whole attention now suddenly theres the prospect of having to share you, hitting you could be his way of needing reassurance that you will still give him attention once the baby's here. If I can remember back that far (was nearly 5 yrs ago eeeek) I think I just went out of my way to make ds feel special, think it was a kind of concentrate on positive behaviour rather than give attention to negative behaviour type thing, simple things like take him to town and buy a little game from a toy shop and sit and play it with him, he will love this quality time with you before his new sibling arrives. Naturally you can't ignore him hitting you as its not ok to hit people but hopefully if he feels he's getting reassurance that you won't forget about him once the baby's here you might find the hitting settles down.
I agree with Kazzi79 that the arrival of of Number Two must be unbelievably hard. (I'm an only child myself, but i could see what a trauma it was for my DD1.)
Strategies for this particular situation include finding ways to help him to identify with you (the big, grown-up, clever, carers) rather than with the baby (small, helpless, not good at doing stuff), so that he will feel less like he is in direct competition with the baby, and more that he and you are allies in this new project.
General strategies for aggressive outbursts that have worked for me:
1) Total calm!! I can't tell you how much better things got for us when i managed to control my emotions when dealing with this kind of thing. (I was getting upset on some occasions and angry on others.)
2) "Hands are for making and doing; not for hitting." I know it sounds trite, but said with utter conviction and authority, it seems to het home.
3) Immediate and consistent refusal to tolerate this behaviour. This does not mean a harsh punishment, but a very consistent stance. ("This is not acceptable!")
4) Showing that you understand what they find difficult. (I see that you are frustrated because ... Instead of hitting, you can tell me ... etc")
Having said all that, we had a pretty p*ssed off DD1 for over a year following DD2's arrival, but things have really turned around now and all is well. -Time heals!
Cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles go down well here, as often as possible.
I usually say (very sternly) that he mustn't hit people because it hurts and makes people sad. And if he does it again he gets time out. DS is 2.7 and hits sometimes, but usually only when over tired / excited, I hope I've nipped it in the bud.
Don't say ow... just ignore him. When he does something nice, show him you've noticed!Talk to him about all the things he can do when the baby arrives and what a big help he will be to you ( which is very, very important!) XX
I agree with Shockers. The thing i forgot to say is Big Praise for nice behaviour towards the baby. It may feel over the top, but i really think this works and will help your son to have a positive image of himself and thus feel happy and more willing to continue this behaviour. It's simple conditioning and it works!
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