Sunday, January 13, 2008

Our Hitting Toddler

My most recent Google search? Toddler Hitting.

The most applicable result: Why Does My Toddler Hit Me?

He'll walk over to one of us and hit...and hit and hit and hit. Then, the laughter starts. We stop him, and firmly address his behavior, but he just seems to find the whole thing laugh-out-loud funny. Über frustrating. Are we doing something wrong? He stops doing other naughty things after one or two requests, so why is this behavior so hard to break?

Per this website, it turns out he's testing boundaries. So when he hits us and laughs, we're meant to firmly say "no hitting" while looking him in the eyes so he focuses. Keep cool and be consistent. He will continue hitting...I guess until he gets over the novelty of it.

Ugh.

Any other experiences out there? How did/are you handling it?

3 comments:

Chief Family Officer said...

Does your son understand what it means to "hurt"? Alex went through a biting phase and it became clear that he didn't understand when we told him that it hurt (I'm not exactly sure but I'd say he was about 18 months at the time). My husband flicked him with a finger on the hand or arm and explained that that's what "hurt" means, and once Alex got that concept, the biting ceased over the course of a week or two.

You could also try time outs and/or rewards/punishment, but the effectiveness of that seems to vary so much depending on the child's age and temperament.

I know this is no fun, so you have my sympathies. Hang in there - this too shall pass!

MamaGeek said...

Yep, our son has started this behavior too. I have no idea where he learned it from (we don't hit and Elmo doesn't hit - so I'm not sure WHERE he picked it up).

I've read to firmly say "NO HIT" and to not make a big deal out of it.

So there's my completely, useless piece of advice that is much easier said than done! :)

MetaMommy said...

@ Cathy - Thanks! That's an interesting thought. I'm sure he doesn't know what pain is, so I'll keep that in mind as his behavior...um...develops. I don't think he's ready for rewards/punishment yet, but I'll keep that one on the back burner for when he is.

@ MamaGeek - Puh-Leez! If there's anything I've learned over these past 16 months it's that knowing you're not the only one going thru awful things like sleepless nights and tantrums is the best thing to calm one's nerves. I didn't break my child! YAY!!