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Biting and hitting - does time out work

(17 Posts)
ghost Fri 01-Jul-05 20:02:33

My ds 2 1/4, has started hitting, biting and pinching other children. It is quite distressing to meet up with friends and their children at the moment. He doesnt like to be hit by other children ,though, and always makes drama out of it, but he is happy to hit them. I am trying timeouts but so far no joy. He really wants to play with other children so I think it is just a phase, but I know that I have avoided other children when they have been going throught this phase themselves, I always felt their parents were too relaxed, and now ironically I find myself in the same position. I have dd3 yrs 5months and a 9 month old. he loves playing with both of his sisters ( always asks for them if they are not there etc makes sure he gets treats for them as well when he is given treats etc, but dd1 is often on the receiving end of temper. Has anyone tried timeouts or anything else that might work.

coldtea Fri 01-Jul-05 20:16:23

My dd is 23 months & has been biting etc since her 1st birthday.

Last week i started to do time out with her. Immediately she does something spiteful i put her in her room for 2 mins. It can be a real pain if i'm cooking dinner or something but i'm so determined to crack it that i'm letting nothing go!

I reckon i've seen a 75% reduction in her spiteful behaiver since doing it.

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck!

Whizzz Fri 01-Jul-05 20:22:19

I think sometimes its fustration when they don't know how to get what they want. My DS grew out of it pretty quickly. I tried to make him understand that it hurt & that he really didn't want to hurt his friends. We also used a star chart which seemed to work (well it did with DS anyway !)

spidermama Fri 01-Jul-05 20:28:02

Have you tried silent and immediate removal of son from scene of crime accompanied by making a big fuss over injured party?

zingiber Fri 01-Jul-05 20:45:13

Ha I read this as 'time out does work' and was hoping for a success story!
My ds (18m) is a biter and a hitter. At first it was exuberance but now it's frustration and anger. He was under the weather (though not ill ill iyswim) last week and bit a lot at nursery but this week has been a dream child. He has bitten, but more importantly we've been able to see the fruits of our labours so to speak, in that he now 'knows' immediately that he has done something wrong and has even stopped himself doing it biting down.

We've been doing time out in a travel cot which is reserved for this only. We remove him, put him in his cot, say 'No biting/No hitting' very firmly and then leave the room. The fly in the ointment is nursery, where on the whole I would like them to be a little stricter, but they have no 'time out' area where he's left out of things so they try to put him by himself as best they can.

It is working for us, but like someone said further down, 75% improvement rather than complete cure.

ghost Sat 02-Jul-05 13:57:49

Thanks to all - I will perserve with the timeout strategy, a 25% improvement would be brilliant at the moment.

Betty1970 Mon 04-Jul-05 21:29:53

Oh how I can relate to this. My ds - 25 mths went through and to some degree is still doing the same. It wasn't so bad when I was with my close friends, as they are fortunately extremely understanding of the situation. However, if we are out in the park, I have to watch dd like a hawk which is such a shame. She was also hurting me, and the girls at work couldn't get over the bruises on my arms. I was so embarrased, ashamed and hurt.

We tried "time out", and would put dd on the naughty step. However, she kept peeing on it as a way of getting attention, and we are now not using this method. We also didn't feel it was working 100% We just take dd to one side, get down to her level and explain in a calm but firm voice that biting/pinching hurts and to stop it immediately. This seems to be getting through, but I think it is the fact she is just growing out of the phase as much an anything.

I feel for you, and wish you well.

coldtea Mon 04-Jul-05 21:40:13

Betty, that is so interesting you say your dd peed on the naughty step as that is exactly what my dd does when i put her into her room for time out. People thought i was mad saying that. It's good to hear my dd is not the only one that does that!

TrinaJ Mon 04-Jul-05 21:58:59

I can so appreciate your anguish! My dd -2 1/2, bites, I'm a nursery nurse and work at the nursery she goes to ( in a different room), she mainly only does it at nursery and i've had other parents complain about her!! We tried time out which seems to work in the short term. But we've now started a chart where she gets a smile for being good a cross for being naughty, at the end of day if more smiles she gets a star, at end of week if she has mostly stars she gets a special outing! So far she's loving it couldn't be better behaved, having more effect than anything else we tried.
Sorry for long message but hope it helps.

Betty1970 Tue 05-Jul-05 13:12:49

Hi Trina, do we have the same daughter!? We were on the potty training thread too with the same problem!
Hope you are well.

Heathcliffscathy Tue 05-Jul-05 13:29:14

ds is a biter, and we're trying timeout. yet to see results...but he seems to be beginning to know what happens when he does it...

TrinaJ Tue 05-Jul-05 19:32:04

Betty, It goes to show age does matter - our problems seem to be age related, fingers crossed they'll grow out of it sooner rather than later! It's just a shame not all parents are able to see it from our point of view.

Betty1970 Tue 05-Jul-05 20:17:07

Hi again. Yes, it definitely is an age thing! Fortunately most of the people close to me realise it is a phase. It is just the general public I find difficult to cope with. I feel like they are judging me and feel (paranoid or not) that I am encouraging it almost. Oh I love being a parent!

purplehaze Fri 08-Jul-05 12:09:27

oh my god it is really good to hear all your stories my little boy 18 months first of all started to cuddle everyone which I thought was so sweet and what a lovel child I have ( yeah right my head must of been in the clouds) as when he cuddles he then finishes off with a big bite on a childs arm!!!!!! He has only doen this twice, but then started to fit himself in the face and laugh which then went onto hitting me in the face and now other children. I try telling him off but he just looks upset and hides away away for a bit, but still hits. We went to a farm park the other day and a little girl would'nt let him in the house so he hit her in the face. I really did'nt know what to do so I just removed him from the situation.
help help help i feel i have to watch his every move and am started to dread taking him places. i feel so bad thinking like this.


Betty1970 Fri 08-Jul-05 13:56:50

Purplehaze, I completely and utterly empathise. I feel like I have to police my dd whenever we are near any other children. She used to just pick on kids younger than her, but now it's all sorts! I just remove dd from the situation, get down to her level and say hitting/pinching/biting hurts - stop doing it. Sometime she laughs so I repeat myself. Sometimes she looks really sheepish. It is such a nightmare though.

TrinaJ Mon 18-Jul-05 21:30:46

I completely understand and sympathise with everything. We just had a holiday in a cararvan park, my dd loved to go off and play with the other children but i felt i had to watch her constantly, I'm pleased to say she was as good as gold, and made me proud - at last! It has also opened my eyes to watch lots of other children and see them all behaving exactly the same, at some point they all went through it!! I've realised she's not the devil, just a normal 2 yr old! Persevere and it will get better it's taken me ages to realise this so take from experience, time out and a reward system - sticker chart - has definately worked for us.

Betty1970 Tue 19-Jul-05 21:46:29

I am gutted! For 3 weeks we had no pinching or biting of me or anyone else. Then last week whilst on holiday, my dd bit our friends 2 year old twice. It was so embarassing; he had 2 huge great marks on his arm. Every time she went anywhere near him, I just couldn't help but leap up - not a v relaxing holiday!

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