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3.5 Year Old Hitting & Biting ~ How can I stop this?

(4 Posts)
vintagegirl Fri 11-Sep-09 21:53:08

My DD is 3.5 and started pre-school in Jan this year. She developed a habit (mostly at the pre-school, but sometimes on playdates) of pushing and scratching. I found it really difficult to accept that my little girl who is usually very sociable and affectionate was being aggressive towards other children. I felt that the other mums were judging me and I felt a complete failure. She is very much loved, is not smacked, and is an only child therefore not subjected to siblings rough and tumble kind of play. After a couple of months it seemed to get better, to the point where I started to feel much more comfortable about taking her to pre-school and playing with other children and felt that she was growing out of the aggressive behaviour. We tried at home to be consistent with the 'naughty step' telling her that hurting is wrong and we don't do it etc. Now, she has started a new nursery (3 days in) and we have been told that she has been hitting other children and today she bit (first time ever of biting!) an older friend that she has known a long time and always played so nicely with -what's going wrong and how can I stop this. I am so worried that she will find it difficult to make and keep any friends, and I feel again that we are being looked at as if we are doing something to encourage this behaviour which couldn't be further from the truth! Any advice would be so much appreciated as I am at the end of my rope!

Emlouwhite Sat 12-Sep-09 09:55:06

Hi...I have a DS the same age, he recently went through an aggressive stage, just after I had DS2 so it was clear it was a result of the sudden change. I always removed him from the situation, explained why it was wrong and got him to apologise. I also talked to him when he was in a calmer mood about emotions (very basically) which was very useful as it got him talking about how he felt angry when DS2 was crying and now he's much better about talking about his anger instead of letting it out in the form of agressive behaviour. We still get the odd bout of it but he's much calmer now he knows he can talk about it.

I found the naughty step compounded his feelings and made it worse... he wasn't wrong for feeling the way he did, he was just wrong for expressing it in that way. We don't use it at all anymore.

Also don't worry at all about what other parents are thinking... we have all had it, and if we haven't, we will do!!

Good luck x

mrsruffallo Sat 12-Sep-09 10:14:08

I think she is a bit young for naughty step (never use it myself). Just tell her off, and tell her not to do it, that's not how nice children behave. Warn her before she goes into nursery and check at the end of the day.
I do think a lot of people have forgotten that a good telling off works wonders, no secret to it atll.

lilymolly Sat 12-Sep-09 10:25:30


I am going to be brutally honest with you

I have a friend with a ds who is having exactly the same issues and unfortunately her ds carries out his agression on my dd.

He hits her, bites, pushes,pulls her hair at playdates and at nursery school.

His mother "in my very humble opinion" is far too soft with him. He never has consequences followed through, she tells him off in a too soft voice, and does not instil basic manners in him. She allows him to hit her and speak to her like shit.

He is not a pleasure to be around, and I now avoid meeting up with her as my dd is always physically hurt when she is his presence.

A number of other mums who this little boy has been agressive with, have all thought the same thing that she is too soft with him. and unfortunatley this little boy is now labeled as the "naughty child" which is a real shame as I know he is capable of being a sweet loving boy.

I dont think the mum is doing him any favours by not disciplining him in an effective way.

I really feel for you as I can imagine it is very very hard for you, but please please reflect on your discipline methods and be honest about them and perhaps ask yourself if they are effective.

Follow through with your threats

Get down on her level and speak to her in a loud tone "no we do not hit"

Punish the behaviour - no sweets, tv programme, take her home.

You will probably hate this posting, but I wish I had the balls to say to my friend what I am saying to you, and stop this little boy getting a label

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