Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

DS being really naughty recently hitting me and the cat - people are saying tap his hand but I feel really uncomfortable - am I being soft?

(50 Posts)
SemperEadem Mon 03-Aug-09 18:53:00

DS is 2.4, recently he has started hitting me when frustrated - once so hard around my face at toddler group that I heard a few gasps amongst the other Mums. I took his hand away, told him that was wrong and that Mammy was very upset with him and promptly took him home.

He has stopped doing that but has now started hitting, kicking and throwing things at the Cat. I have repeatedly told him it is wrong, removed him form the room, got down to his level etc etc but he simply carries on.

I am fed up with it as the poor old cat doesn't deserve that at all. She simply puts up with it and has never retaliated but its just not fair.

People are saying I should tap his hand. I've never done this cause I feel uncomfortable about smacking and surely a tap on the hand is still smacking? Or am I just being tooooooo soft?

Any tips on how else to deal with this or are the rest of the family right in sayiong I am too soft?


wonderingwondering Mon 03-Aug-09 18:57:36

I don't go for the idea that hitting back stops hitting. When mine hit me, I used to respond by using my size to sort of impress on them that I was boss - standing over them, rather than getting down to their level, and using a deep voice. It sounds bizarre (mummy gorilla!) but it did work.

Don't hit if you are not comfortable with it. Listen and take advice, but make sure the decision is your own.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Aug-09 19:01:55

I think you are doing the right thing already.

Some behavior takes a while to change.

Hitting to tell him not to hit is just silly.

wingandprayer Mon 03-Aug-09 19:02:21

Just bookmarking this thread as my DS does the same. If we tell him no, he just does it again harder. We remove him from room then he comes back in and starts again. All a big game to him, he just laughs at us. So I either shout myself hoarse at him or feel like smacking his hand - and realise the irony that smacking him to get him to stop smacking makes
no sense to me let alone a 2.2 year old. So, I would love to know of anyone has magic answer too...

SemperEadem Mon 03-Aug-09 19:04:42

wing and prayer - you have described my ds exactly. Its all just one big game.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Mon 03-Aug-09 19:08:02

A 'tap on the hand' is a pointless excercise - it won't teach him anything.
What people are trying to get you to do, without making it sound bad, is to smack him.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it then don't.

I agree you should persevere with what you are doing already, it will sink in eventually. Could you distract him with another permitted throwing game - maybe throwing teddies into a bucket or something? Maybe the novelty of throwing will wear off quicker.

scoutandjem Mon 03-Aug-09 19:14:59

I have never hit my boys or tapped them as the reason they get into trouble is from fighting one another. DS1 aged 7 DS2 aged 4. Seems silly to tell them off for fighting by my tapping/hitting them!

Naughty step works have been using it since DS2 was two years old - it works - time out.

If I was out I would do exactly what you did, get them back home........and then naughty step. Don't forget after naughty step to get an apology and have a kiss and cuddle. Also make sure they understand why they are on said step wink

Boys get one minute for each year they are. Best of luck. S x

nellie12 Mon 03-Aug-09 19:15:30

no dont tap him on the hand apart from anything else the hand has lots of delicate bones in it so not the best strategy for that reason. Tbh it is just a stage. just keep removing him from the room as you are doing and emphasize that the cat is very upset..can you tell how many mad conversations I have.

ProfYaffle Mon 03-Aug-09 19:19:12

When dd1 went through this stage the naughty corner worked a treat. dd2 (2.5), however, doesn't give a toss about the naughty corner! I told her dd1 wouldn't want to play with her anymore if she carried on hitting - ie the 'natural justice' model. She looked genuinely shocked and (fingers crossed, touch wood etc) it seems to have worked so far.

Umlellala Mon 03-Aug-09 19:28:09

'No hitting' firm, strong voice. Hold arm/wrist so he can't.
'Stroke the cat/me instead/be gentle' happy, calm voice, use his arm to stroke gently. Smile, 'that's NICE'

Every time. Eventually, it will sink in.

You can go into more detail as he's older but you can do the above from v small. As he is older, you can add a consequence - 'if you hit me again, I will put you over there where you can't. Why don't you stroke my hair instead?'. Then if he doesn't 'ahhh that's nice'. If he does, follow through with your (simple) consequence and repeat 'don't hit me'. No big deal but a firm message.

Kids need to know what they SHOULD do though, as well as what they shouldn't. IMO if you 'tap them on the hand', it only reinforces the hitting behaviour.

(PS it is only a phase and he will get over it smile)

piscesmoon Mon 03-Aug-09 19:34:59

I can't see the point in doing something to tell him not to do it-very confusing. It takes time-just stop him every single time.I would agree with Umlellala's approach.

Podrick Mon 03-Aug-09 19:41:26

Hitting your child shows him it is OK to hit others - not that it isn't OK!

SemperEadem Mon 03-Aug-09 20:57:13

Thanks all - you have reinforced what I already thought. Tapping on the hand is still smacking and you can't chastise smacking by smacking!!!!!

I think I knew this all along but its amazing how repeatedly telling you that you should do something starts to make you doubt your own feelings. I am firmly in the anti smacking camp and have explained all this to my dh and family. They accept this but sometimes, when ds is really playing up they seem to think its because i haven't tapped or smacked. I disagree with this and think its natural behaviour and that we have to teach him why its wrong and not just, you get a smack if you do that.

Thanks all, Umlella - great advice. I do show him how to stroke the cat nicely and praise him when he does but this tends to be at anytime of the day as opposed to when he is being naughty with her. When he is actually hitting her, I often just remove him and tell him off. Will endeavour to remove, tell off and demonstrate all at the same time smile

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 03-Aug-09 21:05:31


"hitting is naughty" <thwack>


Do people who do that not see the stupidity?

Reminds me of a woman the other day, she was telling me about her child who had been in trouble at school for swearing. and without a trace of irony she said "And I said don't you fucking swear and I sent him to bed. I'm not having him fucking swearing"

I nearly bit my lip off trying to stop myself from smirking!

SemperEadem Mon 03-Aug-09 21:12:03

Hecates shock, how did you manage to keep your face straight???????????

I knew I was right, and am so glad for Mumsnet to reinforce my thoughts on the whole issue. I just think I was being turned to the dark side worn down by the constant remarks form the grandparents!

I shall show them this thread next time they start!

Umlellala Mon 03-Aug-09 21:12:38

Oh yes, Hecate, might have done 'STOP SHOUTING' before blush

Umlellala Mon 03-Aug-09 21:13:26

And Semper, keep the faith grin

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 03-Aug-09 21:18:01

Message withdrawn

SemperEadem Mon 03-Aug-09 21:20:13

Oh yes - Umlella - I too, have also done the STOP SCREAMING thing before and then calmly said after, I just don't know where you get it from blush

puffylovett Mon 03-Aug-09 21:23:56

I agree, don't smack. I have blush lost my temper twice with DS and lightly smacked him, have never forgiven myself so plse don't beat me up. Anyway, my point being - that for quite a long time he thought it was OK to hit / smack. It's taken me a couple of months to drum it in to him that hitting is not nice behaviour.

Am finding that lots of demonstrating gentle stroking to the dog and getting him to also gently stroke her is whats helped most re being overly enthusiastic with her ! he now often shows me how 'gently we're supposed to stroke poppy' smile

agree with others, perservere with what you're doing. am sure it's a phase

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 03-Aug-09 21:44:01

Oh god Semper - it was SO hard! My eyes were popping and I could feel little snorts at the back of my throat! I just had to sit there and nod as she was saying how fucking terrible it was that her son was fucking swearing at fucking school and how she wasn't one of these fucking parents who'd let them get away with it..

Oh my. You couldn't make it up!!

Gateau Tue 04-Aug-09 09:45:39

'No hitting' firm, strong voice. Hold arm/wrist so he can't.
'Stroke the cat gently' in a calm voice, use his arm to stroke gently. Smile, 'that's NICE', good boy etc etc..

We did that with DS, time and time again when he hit our cat - and it worked. He is now just 2.3 and he hasn't tortured our poor cat for ages smile
Good luck.

KTNoo Tue 04-Aug-09 23:20:53

Semper I am very impressed with your self-control in how you dealt with your ds hitting you around the face. I don't agree with smacking but I do think we sometimes react instinctively in these situations - I can't honestly say I would react calmly if one of my dcs bit me unexpectedly for example!

And maybe it's only a matter ot time before the cat gives your ds the natural consequence of tormenting it....?!

kateecass Tue 04-Aug-09 23:35:22

Been through this with our DS too with our big dog. When nothing else worked we tried tapping on hand. Did not work and just made us feel rubbish. This was when he was too little for naughty step.

We've always said "we don't hit in this family" and hitting anyone/thing gets him sent straight to the naughty step. Also bizarely, if we tell him anything is dangerous he really takes note. As does putting on our best shocked faces.

Nowadays he's got a little sister to push anyway so the dog is getting a rest!

LeninGrad Tue 04-Aug-09 23:52:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now