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DS nearly 4 - reasonable to ban hitting?

(9 Posts)
Rebecca41 Fri 10-Jul-09 13:34:47

I've just had an argument with my Mum over this issue, so now I'm wondering if I'm being unreasonable.

DS is nearly 4, and has been quite a handful (not surprisingly) since the birth of DS2 10 weeks ago. But we're getting there, things are basically going OK.

Anyway, lately he's started hitting me if I tell him to do something he doesn't want to do, or if he's thwarted in any way. As far as I know he doesn't hit other children. I've never hit him, or threatened to.

My response is to tell him not to hit at all. He's been told many times now, so when he hits me I send him into another room to calm down, then he has to apologise (which he readily does).

I asked my Mum to back me up in this when she visits next week, but she's not happy to. She says that he's too young to be expected to control his hitting impulses, and as a parent I should just take it. She did, however, say that he should be told not to hit other children.

I feel that it's more confusing to tell him he can hit some people and not others, and a blanket ban on hitting full-stop is easier to understand. And I think that, at nearly 4, he is old enough to practice some self-control.

Am I wrong?

LilRedWG Fri 10-Jul-09 13:39:48

You are very much in the right here. DD (3)sometimes hits me and she gets in BIG trouble for it, especially if DH is around.

At the age of four he is more than capable of learning restraint with regards to hitting.

slowreadingprogress Fri 10-Jul-09 13:43:14

no, you're not wrong. Hitting should not be something he feels is ok to do to you.

With ds, at exactly this age and through being 4, he did have this impulse to hit sometimes. I usually sent him to his room for a minunte's time out; I just feel they need a strong boundary on this.

I did not get all hung up on '4 minutes because he is 4' etc, I just gave it literally a minute mostly as that was enough; you know your own child.

And very, very occasionally, I would skip the time out if I could see DS was literally beside himself with upset and if I could see where he was coming from really....but I'd always tell him no.

I have always listened to my dh on this one as he worked for many years in a boy's school (and is one himself, after all!) - he says that boys NEED to know where the boundary is and they need it to be VERY clear.

Doesn't mean you've got to go over the top with consequences but IMO he does need a strong, clear message about hitting you, as well as other kids.

Your mum's attitude is unhelpful, isn't it - but be strong, you're right!

Pyrocanthus Fri 10-Jul-09 14:06:56

You're right - there aren't degrees of hitting.

smee Fri 10-Jul-09 15:09:26

Ach, he's nearly four not two. Hitting's a definite no and he's more than old enough to understand, even if it is in response to his new little brother. Congratulations by the way smile

AMumInScotland Fri 10-Jul-09 15:31:47

Nearly 4 is quite old enough to understand that hitting is not ok. Your mother should support you in this, it won't help if he's getting mixed messages from her that its somehow acceptable just because you're an adult.

If he's angry and feels a need to let it out, you could perhaps suggest he goes to his room and hits a pillow.

But hitting people is wrong, and nearly 4 is old enough to understand that and that he'll be told off for doing it.

SarahL2 Fri 10-Jul-09 15:36:29

Having different rules for different people is just confusing. Hitting is a No-no no matter who it is and this needs to be the clear message.

No hitting means no hitting anyone!

growingup Fri 10-Jul-09 15:39:33

Message withdrawn

gigglinggoblin Fri 10-Jul-09 15:47:51

4 is more than old enough to be told no hitting. My 2 year old isnt allowed to so no way I would allow it from a 4 yo. Start as you mean to go on, even when very little they shoud be told no. Much harder to stop them if you allow it to go on in the beginning and then try to re-train them

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