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18 month ds hitting & headbutting - how to make it stop??

(8 Posts)
MooMooMama Thu 30-Jul-09 14:02:32

My 18 month old ds has recently started hitting & headbutting - not in anger (usually) - but just, I guess, because he likes the sensation. However, I'm generally the object of his violence - the headbutts in particular seem to happen when we're having a cuddle in bed first thing in the morning and I think he just gets carried away with the excitement.

I try telling him "Gently" every time he does it and demonstrating what he SHOULD do -by stroking his hand over my face instead of whacking/headbutting it - but it doesn't seem to do anything. Worse still, he usually laughs and tries to do it again!!

Does anyone have any other suggestions that may work? Is it just a phase they grow out of? Or is my ds showing psychopathic tendancies at a young age??!?!?

GoldenSnitch Thu 30-Jul-09 14:10:22

My DS headbuts too. He's 2.4. Just like yours, he doesn't seem to be doing it maliciously, just gets excited and headbuts.

I've tried telling him no or walking away and ignoring him when he does it but neither tactic has worked so far.

Luckily, he doesn't seem to do it to his friends only me but when he does headbut me, he tends to go for my tummy and I am pregnant.

No tips for you MooMooMama but I'm hoping someone else can help us both... At least we're not alone

scottishmummyofone Thu 30-Jul-09 15:50:30

my 17 1/2 month old is exactly the same and I was going to post this so will be watching with interest.

Eralc Thu 30-Jul-09 15:56:19

My 20 month old is similar as well, only he does hitting and pinching, often when overexcited, and (touch wood) only to me and DH. He also doesn't seem to be being malicious. We have tried the gently thing too,and also saying no and ignoring him, but it hasn't helped us either. Sorry - have no tips, but will be watching too.

MooMooMama Thu 30-Jul-09 20:54:14

Well - at least we're all in the same boat!! It's reassuring to hear that my DS isn't the only one...just feeling a little like a punchbag at the moment!

monkeybumsmum Thu 30-Jul-09 21:56:35

We had exactly the same problem a few months ago with ds hitting - one time he happened to have a toy train in his hand and caught me on the bridge of my nose. Cue an evening sat there with an ice pack on my face angry

Anyway, a work colleague (teacher) told me to get tough with ds and as soon as he hits say a firm 'NO', pick him up and put him in his cot. Instructions were to let him cry and once he'd stopped (and only then) go in and carry on as though nothing had happened. It took a few days of doing this and the number of times he was hitting decreased, and then just stopped shock
If we were out and about then rather than the cot he was to be put in the car.

It was difficult to hear him so upset but he seemed to figure it out pretty fast thank goodness! I now can't remember the last time he hit me, and considering it was such a big issue with us that I had even cried about it, that's amazing smile

Good luck - it is just a phase thankfully, but a rather painful one at times!

MooMooMama Mon 03-Aug-09 12:26:04

Thanks so much for the advice MBM! Friday was a terrible turning point - DS whacked another little one completely out of the blue while they were playing shock Didn't seem to be out of anger, but just to see if he could? I was completely aghast and felt absolutely terrible - cue much apologising to mum of battered child & huge telling off to DS. Went home and had a bit of a cry (was DS turning into one of those Nanny 911 nightmares, etc) but decided I needed to deal with this right now.

Have been very strict over the weekend - very firm "No" as soon as the hitting started and putting in his cot, ignoring DS's howls. Have had to make sure I get DS's eye contact when I do this, as otherwise he tries to pretend I'm not really telling him off hmm

Still - it seems to be working. In fact, DS actually seems to be much happier as a result actually - tantrums also seem to have disappeared overnight - which makes me think maybe I need to be a bit stricter than I have been...

I hope this helps anyone else out there with the same issue. If only all problems could disappear as quickly smile

monkeybumsmum Mon 03-Aug-09 14:26:40

So glad things are better MooMooMama, my ds started hitting other kids too, and it's just awful and very embarrassing!

I think sometimes they just like to push us to see what they can get away with, but when we give them a firm boundary it's almost a relief to them as they know where they stand. It's difficult to consistently be that that though - we've now got other problems with ds (nothing major) and I wish I knew how to solve them too! Will have to ask my teacher friend, whom I have renamed my childcare guru grin

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