Both of my children (girl age 5 and boy age 2) have started hitting/kicking/hair pulling. Mostly each other, and me/DP. We have a zero tolerance policy to it and will always put them on the step, or dd into her room. This has been going on for a few months .
It is like they don't give a damn about being disciplined for it. Or rather, they get upset but then a short while later will do it again.
I can't stand violence and we have never, ever smacked or anything. I'm ashamed to say though that, esp with dd who is old enough to know better, I have sometimes (like today) lost my mind at her- and cried, actually. I know this is probably Doing It All Wrong- but I'm at a total loss, it is so frustrating. It's awful, actually. We praise kindness and good behaviour, we sanction the hitting and hurting. But it carries on.
Needless to say they can be absolutely lovely, sweet and kind. Dd (5) KNOWS it is wrong and sometimes feels very upset with herself. Ds (2) knows he shouldn't but is obviously less able to control himself. But yesterday he was hitting strangers at an event and I was mortified.
Am so upset- and clearly struggling to manage my own emotional response....
I'm not sure I have much in the way of advice but I wanted to reply none the less. I have two DS is 6 and DD 4. DS has been quite over bearing for a while, greedy with toys and possessive at times. DD 'worked out' that hitting him was the quickest way to stop him. The tables have turned and DS will hit her now for pretty much any reason whatsoever. I am told by so many people that it's just a phase, it's normal, I'm not alone, although at times that hasn't helped me much.
With DS, regardless of who started it, what happened, if he hits her he is shut in his room. Depending on the day and mood etc I have to switch between things I know he hates, taking away his favorite toy, going to be bed early. I hate that I have to choose something so emotive for him to demonstrate that hitting will be punished. Slowly it's working.
With DD I have to watch her like a hawk, once she has lost her temper that's it, all all hell breaks loose. Where ever possible if I see where the situation is heading, I just pick her up and go and do something else. It#s time consuming, and can be really disruptive, but I'm trying to get her to understand that you can walk away and calm down. She is getting it, but again slowly.
I hope you find something that works for you x
Thanks, it's good to know that we are not alone. Yes it's hard to take away things that dd loves (we do those sanctions too) but this is the one thing where there really is no room for compromise. You don't hit.
But I definitely need to stop reacting to it so emotionally... I burst into tears and then wonder why she does it again next time she wants a response/some attention.... daft.
From everything I have read and been told, I believe/understand/it might be possible that the bad behavior is to try and evoke a bigger response. Don't let them see that if bothers you more that they are getting more of a response. DS hates it and calms down quicker if I literally put him in his room and walk away, he knows why he is in there, and me not arguing with him seems to work better.
I totally understand how you feel. My mother in law came to stay a couple of weeks ago, we get on really really well, she has never undermined me, or told me I'm doing things wrong and always listens. DS was having one of his fits about not being able to play on the tablet or something silly and was screaming, throwing himself around, saying the most awful things. I was in the middle of trying to do several things, and I didn't want him to get his way and make me stop. For the first time ever, she said "I don't normally interfere, but this is silly" and took him and did exactly what I normally do, put him in his bedroom and left him there. I didn't know how to feel, she actually apologised for doing it, and she knew I didn't want him to get his way. She said she thought that perhaps coming from her when he didn't expect it, it may have had more impact. I felt so embarrassed by him.
My two take chunks out of eachother on a regular basis and I feel awful. I'm working on DD atm, as we've recently had a big change (we emigrated) and it's been mentioned that perhaps she has regressed a little and isn't coping too well. I try and treat her if she were younger, I have reduced Kindergarten hours and we now have alone time, fingers crossed she is improving.
Keep doing what you're doing, try not to let them see you get worked up, and perhaps look at having alone time with each of them. DS generally has a better day if he gets to spend time with Daddy, and DD with me.
My older teens used to do this, and an old lady advised me that fighters like an audience. She advised leaving the room in a nonchalant way as if I was busy as soon as it started.
I was very anxious someone would get hurt, especially the smaller one, but tried it anyway. It carried in for another two weeks, then stopped. We've never looked back. They get on very well.
It's worth a try anyway. Partly they do it for attention, and to curry favour. The yelling is to bring you running. If it consistently fails to work they stop bothering and learn to resolve their differences.
If you try this,I will say it is hard to do and hold your nerve. But it does work.
"Fighters like an audience"!
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