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Old 07-15-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Unhappy Constant hitting, kicking, and screaming!

My 2.5 year old son is very strong willed and over the last few months has escalated the physical violence. He is hitting me ALL THE TIME. Or kicking. Or I ask him to do something and he instantly starts flailing and SCREAMING no at the top of his lungs. Ok, I get that to a certain extent it is the age, but I just can't live with this, it is wearing me way too thin.

We made a decision not to do time outs or punishments a while back, based on belief but also because when we did try them, they really didn't work. He seemed to enjoy time-out as a kind of game and it had no effect on his behavior. The I read Unconditional Parenting and have been SORT OF going with those ideas. Anyway, usually when he hits I remove him physically from me, if possible, and tell him that hitting is not nice and it hurts. Sometimes we talk about how it makes the person sad and ask what he could do to make them feel better. Sometimes he will hug or apologize but mostly he seems to not care and just think the whole thing is funny.

Should I just cool it and hope he grows out of it soon? Anyone been there? What to do!

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Constant hitting, kicking, and screaming!

My son is special needs, and sees a developmental pediatrician (Dr. Klemsz, the head of Dev. Peds at Riley Children's Hospital) and a therapist. He is a hitter.

Both have suggested 1-2-3 Magic to us, and we've used it pretty faithfully. I know you are resistant to do time out, but the method really does work, and we've seen a big change in our son.

Time out for DS started out to be strapped in the stroller (he would throw anything he could reach, including his shoes) pushed in the corner (per his therapist) where there was zero stimulation to escalate the problem. As he got more used to time out, we were able to not do straps in the stroller, and now we are able to do a normal time out on a chair and have him stay there.

I would suggest that if you are having a problem like this that you bring it up with your pediatrician or talk to a therapist. I thought the therapist would be a complete waste of time, but when my daycare told me either get him some help or she quit, I called, and it has been really beneficial for him and us.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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Pick a method, be firm and consistent, and he will get it. It is a normal phase, and won't change overnight, but with consistency it will get better!
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Re: Constant hitting, kicking, and screaming!

It is a normal phase. I know you don't believe in time out, but it does help. it doesn't have to be a punishment. DD2 is 2.5 and currently going through the same thing you describe. it's very frustrating and annoying,especially as she was such a sweet child up until 2, but I know it will be over sometime soon. When she is well behaved I lavish her with attention to try to reinforce that. When she kicks and screams I ignore her and say that i can't understand what she wants, she will need to talk to me nicely. If the behaviour continues I give her another warning, and then I tell her she can go and sit on the steps until she is ready to be nice to people. She understands, and usually at that point she starts cooperating. Many times when she acts out it is due to the fact that she is overtired, so I do make sure she has rest time, even if she refuses to nap, she still has to sit quietly in her bedroom for an hour. If she is well rested she is generally much more pleasant and accommodating.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: Constant hitting, kicking, and screaming!

DS is not into hitting (yet) very often, but he does scream some and he will hit if he is frustrated. We do 1-2-3 magic, as well.

If it's really bad, you might investigate his diet and see if there's something in there that might be causing him to overreact to things?
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Constant hitting, kicking, and screaming!

Time-outs don't have to be a bad thing. We use them as a way to calm down and get control of ourselves. A quiet comfy cushion in the cornor can be just as effective.

We are dealing with hitting here and it's so difficult sometimes...hugs mama!
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by *KaiMom*
Time-outs don't have to be a bad thing. We use them as a way to calm down and get control of ourselves. A quiet comfy cushion in the cornor can be just as effective.

We are dealing with hitting here and it's so difficult sometimes...hugs mama!
Absolutely! We do the same! TO is about going to a calm, safe place to collect yourself. My 2 yo puts herself in TO when she feels overwhelmed. If going to TO stops the deatructive behavior and escalation of the tantrum then it isnt a bad thing that he enjoys it. We have TO rules (no toys, no talking, stay til mom comes and talks to you) but it isnt a negative experience persay. You have to give it a few weeks of consistency before the child understands the rules.
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