My lovely, gentle ds has in the past week started it tapping other kids, sometimes gently-ish other times pretty hard, not just when they come into his space - the new thing is to go up to them and do it! I know he's probably just trying to communicate but I'm finding it very hard to know how to deal with - I keep saying 'we don't hit' and try to show him how to touch gently whenever possible but this afternoon I must have told him about 20 times to stop! Is it best just to avoid situations with other children for a while (for my stress levels!)? Also he's just started nursery - the settling in period - and finding it tough (crying for 5-10mins, I've only left him for 30 mins max so far, he'll be going for three 2 hour slots per week) - could that have something to do with it? Any thoughts? Advice? Thank you!
He's too young to understand what he's doing really. He's doing it for the reaction. It's just a phase that they all go through. Where possible, ignore, for example, if he is at home with you and he goes to hit, gently hold his hand back and distract. A firm 'No, we don't hit' is all this needs. He won't understand but you are just getting yourself into the habit or explaining right and wrong. Teaching him to touch gently is a really good idea too, one which has finally sank in with my DS at around 17mths.
Agree with Desperatehousewife, at nursery, or with other children, prevent the hitting before it occurs where possible.
Thanks for the sensible advice! It's just such a new thing, I think I felt a bit panicked by it yesterday. I'm pretty sure it's about communicating / getting interested in other kids, but still... Thanks again.