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4 years 3 months and still hitting other children

(14 Posts)
mrscostello000 Thu 12-Feb-15 01:24:26

As the title says, my son is still lashing out very quickly if he doesnt get his own way or even for absolutely no reason at all at other children.
He has a sibling 18 months younger who occasionally he argues with however they generally aren't physical with each other however at play centres, my son just cant seem to keep his hands to himself.
Some days he plays so nicely, making friends everywhere we go, and others he just seems to turn into a really angry child, to other children and also to myself and his dad.
Weve tried every parenting technique we can ( other than smacking as we dont believe in it ) from positive parenting, really trying to understand why he was losing his temper ( however as i said at times there was no reason at all ) to taking his straight home for any hitting at all, taking away a toy for a day, reward charts, not giving him his pocket money and so on, but none is really seeming to work.
My husband just thinks he is a boisterous boy and he will grow out of it, im worried he is going to spend his life getting into trouble with the teacher or that someone is going to hit him back harder and really hurt him.
We have him invloved in lots of activities and he never behaved like this there, and at pre school he has never hit which makes me think is it just because he knows he can??

mrscostello000 Thu 12-Feb-15 06:44:29

bump as posted late

lotsofcheese Thu 12-Feb-15 07:12:07

Mmmm, I personally think this type of behaviour at 4 is unacceptable. I don't agree with "boisterous boys" & wonder if your son is picking up that his dad thinks it's ok?

I would have boundaries of steel & jointly reinforce them. Try to be "on him" all the time & try to offset the behaviour before it starts eg "don't you even think about hitting" or ""do you want to go home? Because you will be if you hit"

I think you're right to tackle it, as he will soon become the child no-one wants play dates with.

Good luck.

goshhhhhh Thu 12-Feb-15 07:21:25

I think you are probably doing all the right things in tackling it. Keep going. It will take time & then your dh Can say he outgrew it.

FragileBrittleStar Thu 12-Feb-15 07:30:16

My 4 year old son occasionally does this - he generally plays quite boisterously and I think crosses the line (bit too much pushing and shocing)- but also has occasionally hit others (big thump) - he does seem to be getting better - he was told off at school about hitting which he really didn't like and DP took him home from a party.
I do agree with what lotsofcheese says though- DS gets I think mixed messages from DP who likes to play fight etc- i think DS finds it hard to distinguish when its acceptable ( I think it is unclear too- even when playing with DP, DP seems to find the same level of play acceptable one moment and not the next) - so we are trying to tone it down generally.
I don't think this excuses the hitting which is clearly wrong and he knows that - the teachers focused on the fact that he generally did it as retaliation and he has been encouraged to always tell someone if another boy does something to him.

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 12-Feb-15 08:42:36

It sounds like you're doing everything you can OP, although I would agree that your dh must not display to your ds that his behaviour can be explained away. How is your ds's vocabulary? How does he deal with strong emotions? Have you explained to him that it's ok to get angry, but he should use words?

Ds lashes out when his buttons are pushed and you can see it coming in most cases so intervention is key. It's generally when he's tired and he believes he's been wronged and not listened to, but it is very rare (used to be more frequent when he was younger). Neither dh nor myself tolerate it and use similar methods to you. We also explain that anger is not wrong but he must always use his words to say he's angry and that hitting or kicking is wrong. We've just enrolled him in Taekwondo classes too, so he knows that kicking etc is only allowed when he's wearing his special clothes and the teacher is holding up pads. It helps that they reinforce this message with the little ones by checking their understanding that there's a time and place for doing what they do and it's wrong to do it against other people outside of class. It seems to mean more coming from a relative 'stranger'.

As i said, in our case the lashing out is rare and never without provocation, but he does have a strong sense of injustice and is very strong willed. He can also be quite sensitive/ emotional and you can tell he still struggles with strong emotions - like he becomes overwhelmed by them. It's all very well saying this behaviour is unacceptable, but some children just need a bit of extra help so you have my sympathy.

TheFecklessFairy Thu 12-Feb-15 15:08:04

that someone is going to hit him back harder and really hurt him.

^^ is what is going to happen when he starts school - and I guarantee he will then stop. Peer pressure is a marvelous thing.

mrscostello000 Thu 12-Feb-15 15:26:12

Hi again, no my husband does not play fight or encourage any such games. He is a bit of a nerd my husband loving all thinks technical and was not a boisterous child at all according to his mother.
His brother on the other hand appears to have never grown out of it even now in his 20s :-(
But when we talk about it, and why he may be doing it and what we can do to correct it my husband thinks at 4 he is just being boisterous and gets carried away.
I do agree to an extent as it seems to happen mainly at soft play facilities were the kids are running around with very little room between each other and also no matter how many times I have said out he can't seem to not hit back, he is very logical and will clearly state he hit me first so I hit him back / he wouldn't share so I pushed him but can't see that what he has done is now also wrong whereas if he came away and told me the other child would be in the wrong not him.
He has been hit back by older kids and yet still seems to behave like this .
He doesn't do it at pre school the worst he has done is snatch a you back fom someone who took it so is it just he is taking the nick because it's me and not a teacher??
Honestly we have tried relentlessly with everything and it's so hard dragging him out of places when my other child has don't nothing wrong, maybe there's been too many chances, too much talk of taking a toy etc that by the time I actually do it he has gone past caring :-(

goshhhhhh Thu 12-Feb-15 19:17:53

I think I would do sanctions straight away. Time out there & then. Have ypuooked at 123 magic?

mrscostello000 Thu 12-Feb-15 21:02:18

We do time out, he's very good at sitting and understanding why he's been taken out etc but then will do the same thing again within 10 minutes

mrscostello000 Fri 13-Feb-15 08:14:09

Thanks for the replies smile

goshhhhhh Fri 13-Feb-15 20:02:23

I'm not sure what else to suggest except the opposite - positive reinforcement. What if you tried going to a play place with a sticker chart & reward for every 15mins good behaviour & a treat for gaining so many in a row. Might be hard work to police it but might be worth a try if you can relax in the long run.

mrscostello000 Fri 13-Feb-15 23:31:08

Thats a good idea, we had a very good day today and a little boy pushed him in a playcentre and my son told him he was unkind an walked away
Lets hope its starting to sink in!

goshhhhhh Sat 14-Feb-15 07:27:46

That sounds good!

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