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Mara'sMommy 12-09-2012 01:45 PM

21month old behavioral issues
Hey everyone. I could really use some advice. My 21 month old has gotten into this really bad habit/phase of hitting and kicking.. She does it to people and things. When you tell her no or she doesn't like something/situational. Pretty much all the time. I have been doing time-out, redirection and ignoring. Nothing is working. I put her in time out for hitting and when I'm taking her out and explaining why she was in time out she's hitting me as I'm talking. I just don't get it. We don't hit, her or the animals (we have two big dogs, 9 puppies and 2 cats). And we don't hit each other (me and dh that is). Where did she even learn this behavior? And how can I stop it?

mibarra 12-09-2012 01:49 PM

It is developmental and totally normal. To some degree time will be the only solution. We did time outs and redirection, in addition to verbalizing their feelings and talking about why no (hitting hurts mommy). We also use positive statements like "gentle hands" instead of no hitting. :)

Mara'sMommy 12-09-2012 01:53 PM

Thank you . I have been showing/telling her about being gentle for a while especially with the animals. How long should I expect this phase to last? Its been about 6-8 weeks. This was one of the "new" and wonderful behaviors she started when dd2 was born 10 weeks ago. I got the others under control with time out but this is stumping me.

my2sweets 12-09-2012 02:40 PM

Completely appropriate. She hits b/c she doesnt have the words she needs yet. Having a new baby is what more then likely started it off. When TO is over and youre explaining why she was there if she strikes out again have TO start over. Have your key phrase-short and to the point-'hitting hurts! Time out.' and walk away.

Introduce appropriate ways to show her anger too-as soon as you see her upset and by example. I taught my girls to slap their knee and say 'bummer dude!' which came out 'bum due' lol but let me know they were upset so I could then try to calm them. The best thing I did was the caveman talk 'oh dd mad. Dd want x, mama said not now, dd mad mad mad.' Or whatever emotion and have it reflect in facial expressions and tone. Then tell her when-if possible- she can x or offer y instead. If you can see her getting upset start caveman talking to her right then. 9 times out of 10 knowing you understand her frustration will stop the undesired behavior/s. If not, then back to the 'hitting hurts! Time out.' and walking away.

Also try to limit the no's. Instead of 'no, you cant go outside' say 'after we have lunch we'll go outside! :) ' Offering as many choices as you can will also help. Her world has been turned upside down and its scary and confusing for her. But if youre consistant-and calm-this too shall pass.

EmilytheStrange 12-09-2012 03:49 PM

Re: 21month old behavioral issues

and it takes time.

My friend started putting her 15month old in timeout for hitting. And now he's coming up on 25months. He knows and most of the time he can stop himself..... but.... he still hits sometimes. and then he goes into timeout. Most of the time now, he starts to hit, then hugs because his mom taught him to hug instead of hit.

and I totally agree with teaching them other ways to show emotion. DD responded quickly to the whole 'let me kiss your ouchie' idea. Now instead of wailing like she's dying, she usually asks one of us to kiss it.

Suzi 12-09-2012 05:09 PM

Re: 21month old behavioral issues
Don't try to talk to her when she is doing that. She's not in the right mind set to get anything out of it. U can say something really simple but less attention is better. Remember to praise like crazy when she handles things well

luvsviola 12-09-2012 06:05 PM

Re: 21month old behavioral issues
We do time out in the PNP with our 21 month old. I know from my older two that as vocabulary gets better, some of it stops.

cdeweese 12-09-2012 10:20 PM

Re: 21month old behavioral issues
We just said, "Ouch!" really loudly then walked straight to time out. When time out was over, it was over. We didn't talk about it because if we said, "hit" it restarted the process. We are huge advocates of recognizing feelings and saying them as its happening. "Oh no! S wanted that toy, but C had it first. That makes you mad." He really loved that and would "talk" to me about it :giggle:

Mara'sMommy 12-09-2012 11:21 PM

Thank you everyone. I am definitely going to start utilizing these ideas tomorrow

jam's mum 12-09-2012 11:46 PM

Re: 21month old behavioral issues
I'm in a similar boat with my 18 month old daughter. Does anyone have any books to recommend that don't involve corporal punishment? I particularly like the talking about the feelings thing...

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