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DS hitting other children- advice much appreciated

(10 Posts)
ShinyShinyShiny Thu 18-Feb-16 20:32:59

DS has just turned 2 and whilst generally sweet and lovely aside from the odd toddler tantrum has started hitting other children when we are out and about.

He does it with both his friends and children he doesn't know, usually when they've tried to play with the same toys as him or even in the vicinity if he is feeling particularly possessive. This happens very rarely at nursery but pretty much every time we go out together. He doesn't hit hard, hardly a tap, but I realise that's not the point.

I always intervene, tell him that's it's not kind to hit and ask him to say sorry and repeat "no hitting". He gets a warning that if he does it again he will have to come and sit down to have thinking time (the phrase they use at nursery).

This generally results in melt down and me wrestling a rigid, screaming child. I've started to dread going out anywhere as this always happens.

Any advice on how to deal with this? Is it a 2 year old phase that will pass? I really don't want him to become 'that' child.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 19-Feb-16 11:47:51

Hopeful bump.

mouldycheesefan Fri 19-Feb-16 11:51:44

Thinking time is an odd one, does the child sit there and think about their behaviour? Unlikely! May work with older ones but not at two.
I think withdrawing him from the activity immediately if he hits is a good idea with the clear message that you can't do the fun stuff if you hit. Then let him join back in.

mouldycheesefan Fri 19-Feb-16 11:52:48

Also praise him all the time that he doesn't hit, stickers etc. Well done you didn't hit anyone at toddler group hurrah let's tell daddy what a great job you did here is a sticker etc etc

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 19-Feb-16 16:14:24

Thinking time is a few minutes out of the activity they were doing, like a toddler version of time out. I've copied the phrase from nursery as he's used to hearing it here.

How long should I make him sit out of the activity for? I struggle to get this right as too soon and he goes straight back and hits again and much long and we hit complete meltdown tantrums.

I will focus on the positives too and definitely make a big deal of the good behaviour, which is most of the time- honestly! It's just that when it's bad it's really bad, I keep expecting to see a post on here about him from the parent of some poor child he took a dislike to.

waterrat Fri 19-Feb-16 20:35:17

I doubt a two year old understands thinking time. I would perhaps keep the situation more simple and say no hitting very firmly and then remove from situation or just hold him firmly and keep saying no hitting.

Try not to worry he will grow out of it ! It is really really normal at this age. I have had my child be on the receiving end and always felt sorry for the mum whose child was hitting. ...

Re. Tantrums. Hard as it is they may be a necessary evil while he learns that hitting will end in him losing out on fun

lenibose Fri 19-Feb-16 20:39:08

Yes, one warning and remove. Thinking time is what my 4 year old has. At 2, I have removed my rigid screaming child from many situations. You have to persevere and persist. You can also stroke his hands and say 'gentle hands.'

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 19-Feb-16 21:13:24

Thanks everyone. Guess it's just a case of persevering (and trying to block out the memory of crawling out of soft play on my hands and knees with a screaming rigid child under one arm).

Chocolatestain Sun 21-Feb-16 07:27:22

I had a lot of this wth my DS - only sometimes it was hair pulling as well. Just keep doing what you are doing, calmy and consistently. This sort of behaviour is perfectly age appropriate and doesn't mean your DS is going to turn into a little thug - he simply doesn't yet understand that other children want the toys as well or how to express his frustration. I found things improved dramatically once DS was talking and now he is brilliant at sharing and negotiating taking turns.

It's also worth bearing in mind that some situations will be harder for him to deal with. So, for example, if he's starting to get tired take him home sooner rather than later (there were many occasions I regretted staying somewhere a little bit too long and DS lost it). If friends' children are coming to your house think about putting his favourite toys out of the way so he doesn't have to deal with other children playing with them.

ShinyShinyShiny Sun 21-Feb-16 07:40:06

That's great advice, thank you. I spoke to nursery on Friday and they told me that he has been frustrated that he can't communicate with the other children as well as he'd like and has been doing so physically instead of verbally, although without any malice.

We had a good day out yesterday, before we went we spoke about how he needed to come and see Mummy if he was cross or upset and not hit. He didn't come and see me, but he didn't hit either so a bit improvement.

I think tiredness does explain a lot too, especially when he is over-excited too.

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