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Hitting and pushing - how do you handle it and how does it make you feel?(9 Posts)
Ds - 2.5 - has just started hitting and pushing other children. We have a three month old DD who he adores but also hits.
I think...I hope I'm handling it ok. Mostly calm with either prevention or telling him I won't let him hurt that child/showing him what I want him to do/gentle hands/ Etc etc. Have used a lot of Aha Parenting suggestions.
Inside it upsets me and stresses me out. So much. I don't feel calm. I feel stresses and angry with him. He's just a toddler and I know they all go through it but I am really struggling with this. Sometimes I've shown him I am angry and sort of manhandled him out the way. I feel like I manhandle him a lot and I hate it but I feel so frustrated in that moment.
I try to get him to look at me, get down on his level and explain why hitting is wrong but he refuses to look at me/acknowledge me.
What should I be doing and what should I expect from him? How do I stop letting it get to me? It doesn't help I have a baby in a sling, and toddlers are so...physical. I feel pretty useless and powerless.
Are you me?!?
I have exactly the same scenario, my DS is 3 this month and loves all things loud and physical. He bashes all his toys, hits anything and everything (except his little sister, thankfully!) and is just so, so rough with all his friends.
I too end up having to physically remove him and just this morning was practically dragging him away from a trampoline. Unfortunately, I also had my DD 11 months in my arms and I tripped with both of them. Tears all round and my little girl cut her lip :-(
After everyone calmed down, I spent 20 minutes explaining that he can't hit, push, bash, etc and he says he understands and that he won't do it again but I just know tomorrow will be the same. It just doesn't stay in his head.
Both kids are waking at 5.30/6am most days lately so I know he's tired and I know he gets frustrated playing in big groups so I should manage these situations better but it's so hard. You have my sympathy, even if I have no advice....
The problem is that it can take months & months for it to really sink in!
I think it helps to have a stock method of how you will deal with hitting so you can go through the motions. Also pretend you are being filmed
So for example, ds hits, you say in a very firm voice 'we do NOT hit! Hitting hurts. If you do that again you will go in time out'. If it happens again you calmly but swiftly remove them from the situation & put them away from attention/action saying 'we do NOT hit, etc etc'. Try & get an apology after 2 mins or whatever you feel appropriate.
The consequence could be either time-out, going home, basically the message is if you hit you cannot play with other children. It is a natural consequence.
I got so fed up with ds1 hurting his younger brother that I skipped the warning part & every time he hit he was removed, and every time, it was explained to him.
It does sink in eventually & yes I felt all those things you describe.
Going through it now with ds3.
Thanks both. I'm finding it so hard I think it's also the arrival of DD...I'm so tired and sleep deprived, I think it's making me overly emotional about it.
Is it normal that toddlers just never ever seem to listen to you? I've realised I don't understand his age at all. I just bought Taming Toddlers because I've literally no idea what I'm doing.
When my DS was 18 months old, he flapped at another kid and got him on the head at soft play. He didn't stop, for the first time ever, when I told him a few minutes later and did it again. It wasn't a slap, it wasn't a hit, it was a flapping at the other kid as he laughed but got him on the head and made the kid cry. The mother came screaming over to him , got in his face and told him he was a nasty little boy. I said he was only 18 months old and didn't understand (and was about to say it was my fault for not being there, because he'd literally never done that before so I didn't even think he would) when she replied "well he's a nasty little boy". All the other mothers sitting silently watching nodded in agreement with her. She told me she would never raise her children to be so nasty like I obviously was.
I was so shaken, I never went back to ANY toddler groups or soft play again. My confidence was just utterly shattered. He's now 23 months old. I just can't handle the stress of dealing with other parents (I have a 7 month old too so can't always be trying to run around after him whi;st safely looking after her). After that, I worked hard on his behaviour and he now doesn't hit at all, but I'm still far too scared to go back to any groups with him and his sister, so I just take him to the park instead. He'll be starting nursery soon, so I'm just hoping that'll all be ok.
I would tell him firmly "don't hit. Hitting hurts" and put him in a "naughty corner". It only lasted a few weeks but I was ruthlessly persistant, even with my newborn in tow. Its worked wonders though. We also discovered he would hit only when he was very frustrated/hungry, so feeding him helped as did the older he got because he's steadily come to understand more of what's going on.
God what an awful experience for you! The judgement from other parents with children the same age can be horrendous. I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of people in the park who just shrug and say their kid went through the same. I try to be very proactive - I know the danger times, I know he's prone to lashing out and so I am very present when he's playing with children and can either stop him or act swiftly.
I just find it so demoralising though. I get down his level to tell him firmly and calmly that he must boy hit. I show him the upset face of the child he has hit and explain why they're cryinh. But he just refuses to look at me. I've no idea if it's sinking in. As for naughty step - how do you even get them to stay?!
You could also try making a big fuss over the child who has been hit.
If you always focus on the hitter then they are getting attention from doing it.
This tends to work at that age.
Sadly by the time they get older, my dds still hit each other although mostly one hitting the other. She knows it is wrong. She knows there are consequences. She still does it.
Watching with interest. I'm due to go through this shortly with dd who'll be 2 next month. She's been a dream so far but when ds went through challenging behaviour at that age it was awful. It sounds like you are doing great so remember that.
I like the thought of thinking you are being filmed but everyone gets pushed to their limits. I think a planned method, warning (when appropriate) and then time out. It's so hard to get them to stay but I just don't talk to them & rapid return if they move from the spot. Eventually they'll get it. Just steel yourself. Good luck
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