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18m DS has started hitting.

(12 Posts)
thecatwiththesilveryfur Mon 26-Oct-20 09:10:11


He's started hitting his books (no discernible trigger that I can spot; one minute he's enjoying them, the next he's slapping the pages). It doesn't mean that he doesn't want to read the book; when that's the case, he closes it and pushes it away.

He's also started hitting me and DH. Nursery say he doesn't do it there, but I've been smacked in the face twice with a toy car over the last two days and I'm worried we're not handling it correctly. It's not so much deliberate hitting as flailing his arms around (perhaps in frustration that we don't understand him or won't let him do what he wants?), but I'm keen to get a handle on it quickly.

When he does it, we say in a stern voice, "No, DS!" and put him on the floor (i.e., remove attention when he's doing it) - is that right? The problem is, sometimes he thinks it's funny and tries to do it again; other times, he gets very upset at being told off and gets more angry and hitty. At that point, he doesn't want a cuddle (he's not a very cuddly child at the best of times, and certainly not when he's upset).

Any other strategies anyone can recommend? All ideas welcome!

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thecatwiththesilveryfur Mon 26-Oct-20 11:03:12

Hopeful bump.

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ArrabellaAM Mon 26-Oct-20 11:46:28

We are in the same boat. We say no we don't hit daddy/mummy/whatever he's hitting and move him away.
I think it's just a stage, they're frustrated cause they can't communicate.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Mon 26-Oct-20 18:54:38

Thanks, Arrabella. How does he react when you do that? I'm worried that DS doesn't seem to understand why and often thinks it's funny.

Nursery said he was 'such a good boy' today, so that's something!

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ElspethFlashman Mon 26-Oct-20 18:56:21

I used to pretend to cry. That usually shocked them enough to get the message across that it hurts.

Findahouse21 Mon 26-Oct-20 18:58:21

At his age I'd go with a distract and redirect, especially as you say he isn't deliberately hitting you, but getting a bit 'flaily' - so I might suggest a simillar movement but remove the toy car eg oh, you want to dance, well let's put the car down and dance, that looks fun. Or you want to wave something around? The car might hurt, let s find a flag. My approach would be more like yours (removal of positive attention) if I felt that he was deliberately hitting.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Mon 26-Oct-20 19:16:41


I used to pretend to cry. That usually shocked them enough to get the message across that it hurts.

I did cry, yesterday. (He smacked me full in the face with a car.) He didn't notice. sad

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thecatwiththesilveryfur Mon 26-Oct-20 19:17:38

Thank you for the ideas, finda, that's really helpful smile

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RubaiyatOfAnyone Mon 26-Oct-20 19:41:41

Nothing directly useful to add but in case it helps, dd1 went through a bitey phase 12-18m, mostly of me but twice mortifyingly of other children at nursery. It was very much driven by frustration at not being able to communicate and disappeared once she could talk more.

In the mean time a strict “No! NO biting!” And being put down. If i saw her coming in to do it, i would quickly distract (“Ooh, look, dd, a magpie” etc).

She’s a perfectly lovely and well behaved yr1 now. You’d never know...

thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 27-Oct-20 08:49:32

Thank you smile that makes me feel better! I'm not worried he'll do it forever - just want to try to manage it properly now so that he doesn't become 'that kid' at nursery...

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TigerQuoll Tue 27-Oct-20 23:49:02

Instead of just telling him No can you tell him what to do instead?

So if he slaps you in the face, say "let's be gentle", take his hand and make it stroke you softly on the cheek and praise him and say, "good job DS! That's so nice and gentle! I love your gentle hands!" and similar for anything else he hits. If you can tell when he is about to get violent you can just remind him, "gentle hands please" rather than "don't hit!" where all they might hear is the "hit" and think "ooh that's a good idea"

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 28-Oct-20 01:13:50


I used to pretend to cry. That usually shocked them enough to get the message across that it hurts.

This. It (so far!) works on my 10 mo when he bites me too.

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