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    My angel is a hitter :(

    It’s true. G hits!

    For awhile now he’s been throwing temper tantrums. Well, he’s now taken it to a whole other level. G got a hold of the remote control in our bedroom this morning while I was getting dressed. He sure loves those buttons! Once I was ready we needed to go, so I took it out of his arms. Yeah, I was expecting his normal screaming in disapproval, but I was not expecting a smack and a head butt.

    S and I are not voilent people. We do not hit him or each other, so this behavior is very foreign to me. I understand it can come with G’s age: he can’t communicate to tell us why he’s upset so he’s turning to physical expression.

    I asked one of his daycare teachers if he hits in school and my heart sank to hear her say “Yes!” She said when he’s upset he’ll bang his head against a table (that explains the forehead bruises), which they redirect to the soft padded area of the room. He’s also started to hit. Why has no-one brought this up before? She didn’t sound concerned about it and used the “Well, he’s a little boy” reasoning. I’m hoping the focus was more on  “little” than on the “boy”, because irregardless of gender, I can’t stand for a child that’s abusive to those around him. The good news is he doesn’t do it unprovoked, so there’s no danger of him walking up to you and behaving violently.

    However, hitting is not acceptable in our home and I want it to stop. Pronto!

    I think we’re going to have to start with time-outs. I’ve read 1-2-3 Magic and really get behind the principles behind it. My hold-up has been his comprehension. The other day when I said that I feel it lets him get away with a bit more than if he was older is biting me in the rear. I just feel like he’s not really understanding what I’m saying to him, so what’s the point of a warning? The book even states it’s meant for kids 2+. I’m reading Love & Logic Magic now which can be applied to younger kids. Hopefully it will give me some better techniques with his age.

    Meanwhile, I think I’m going to re-purpose the Bumbo chair to his time-out spot. I don’t have a dedicated time-out area in our house yet, and I guess it’s time to assign one. The Bumbo feels as good as any: he still fits in it and can’t get out without assistance. I don’t use the Bumbo for anything else, so I’m also not fearing him associating any other activity while in that chair as punishment.

    Also, I need to be clearer why he shouldn’t hit. I’ve told him not to, but not what his hitting causes.

    Ugh… toddler-hood. I’m seeing a glimpse into the terrible two’s and I’m not thrilled.

    Oh, and for the record: while unpleasant to listen to, I think I still prefer the tantrums.

    6 responses to “My angel is a hitter :(”

    1. maydaygirl says:

      As I wrote on the bump, I really think all kids (or at least boys) go through a hitting stage. We’re dealing with it too (only us, not any other kids thus far, but we’re 2 months behind you!)

      and Brighton has been hitting his head on things for a while now! Alas, the hard stuff is here! lol.

    2. Katie says:

      Oooh, good idea with the bumbo! I think I’ll get ours back from my SIL and try that as well.
      FWIW, I did like Love & Logic’s basic principals and think it was helpful with S’s tantrums.

    3. Rebecca says:

      Heidi’s going through a hitting phase now too, but not as part of a tantrum, she just randomly hits us in the face. At this age I wouldn’t worry to much about why.. stick to trying to prevent the hits (catching his hands) and give a firm “no hitting”… unfortunately you have to repeat this until you feel like a broken record and then keep going. If he hits when he’s not mad, I’m having good luck with redirecting to “gentle” touches on my face instead of hitting. It seems like it would be harder to handle when he’s doing it because he’s mad, but either way he’ll get over it eventually.. good luck

      • avalikelava says:

        Rebecca,
        I’m trying to show G “gentle touch” too… especially when it comes to Neko. It’s hasn’t really worked out yet. He’ll do gentle caress immediately followed by a smack. I’m continuing to reinforce the “gentle” though and not giving up.

        BTW, I’m glad to hear this isn’t a boy thing only. I just can’t reconcile thinking this is an ingrained gender behavior.

    4. Alison says:

      I don’t think the Bumbo is the way to go at this age… mainly because I doubt he’ll stay still if he doesn’t want to and you need to keep him in timeout for a minute, and I’m not sure he’ll understand exactly why you want him in one spot. Our DCP uses the pack n play for timeouts right now and as a solution, it makes the most sense to me because they’re contained so you don’t have to reason with him about staying in one spot.

      My 2 cents 🙂

      • avalikelava says:

        Alison,
        I’d like to stray away from using piece of furniture that has a designated purpose aside from punishment. If I put him in his crib or a pack-n-play, I don’t want him to start associating bed-time/nap-time with being bad.
        Also my intent isn’t to keep him still, just away from his trouble-inducing activity.

        The reason I also am choosing the Bumbo is because G can’t get out of it on his own 🙂 He’s not stuck in it, but now it’s getting on the tighter side of exit. In a few months when he’s older and has a better sense of consequence and comprehension I will probably assign a chair in the dining room as the time-out chair.

        Just my thinking anyway. I need some literature confirmation this is the way to go.

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