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Old 09-07-2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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How do you get your child to stop hitting???

My ds is 2 y.o and he gets frustrated because my daycare kid (also 2 y.o) keeps taking his toys that he is playing with. After the first 5 times of him taking the toy my ds gets tired of it and starts to fight back and hits the kid.

I have had my daycare kid for over a year now and take care of his baby sister (4 months) as well. I love the family, but this is getting ridiculous! It is almost like the other kid wants my ds to hit him so that ds gets in trouble.

I have tried talking to my ds about not hitting, we have done time outs, I have tried to get him to use his words. I try to catch it before it happens, but with 2 infants as well (my ds#3 is 3 1/2 months and a 4 month old).

What do I do?? I am going crazy because this happens on a daily basis every morning and continues throughout the day!! My ds shares with every other kid and doesn't hit anyone else, but this one kid!!!

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Old 09-07-2006, 08:35 AM   #2
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

I don't have an answer, but I'm interested in what others have to say. Our 15 month old DD has recently taken to lashing out when she's frustrated, and I'm at a loss as to what I can do at her age to teach her that hitting is not acceptable. I was so embarassed when we were at the doctor's the other day and she kept hitting me in front of the pediatrician. I usually ignore bad behavior or sternly say that it's not acceptable, but that doesn't seem to be working. And I really think she's too young for time out.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:44 PM   #3
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

My DD is 20 months old and hits sometimes out of frustration, sometimes just for fun also. It is very frustrating to me because i don't hit...period! I have found that when she hits me, i put her down and walk away from her and that has helped to stop that a bit. When she hits another child, i remove her from the situation and that seems to help. I don't give time out, i just take her away from the other child and the whole situation. After a few mins, i go over to the other child and apologize for DD hitting her/him. That way DD sees that we are sorry and she usually gives the other child a hug ( i don't force her, she just does). As for the other boy taking your DS toys, i would limit the toys they can play with each day. Maybe put your sons favorites away when other child is there. It would really frustrate me if another child seemed to be bullying my DD and i would not tolerate it!
Good Luck!
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

Thanks for the input. My ds does not hit anyone besides this one little boy. I think he hits him because that boy is constantly taking his toys. It doesn't matter what toy it is he wants the toy that is in my ds's hand.

The first thing he does when he comes to my house in the morning is run in and take whatever toy Qai (my ds) is playing with. I try telling him do and that he needs to share, but it doesn't work. His parents just kind of laugh it off. Qai will usually give in the first 5-6 times and give him the toy, but then he gets tired of having to go get a new toy and will hit the other boy because of it.

Qai understand that he is not supposed to hit. When you ask him if he should hit this other boy he will say "No we don't hit." I just feel like my ds get the raw end of the deal here because it happens everyday all day until I just put my ds in his room with the baby gate up so they don't fight anymore and my ds takes it as a punishment!
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:49 PM   #5
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameransmommy
My DD is 20 months old and hits sometimes out of frustration, sometimes just for fun also. It is very frustrating to me because i don't hit...period! I have found that when she hits me, i put her down and walk away from her and that has helped to stop that a bit. When she hits another child, i remove her from the situation and that seems to help. I don't give time out, i just take her away from the other child and the whole situation. After a few mins, i go over to the other child and apologize for DD hitting her/him. That way DD sees that we are sorry and she usually gives the other child a hug ( i don't force her, she just does). As for the other boy taking your DS toys, i would limit the toys they can play with each day. Maybe put your sons favorites away when other child is there. It would really frustrate me if another child seemed to be bullying my DD and i would not tolerate it!
Good Luck!
Great advice. It takes persistence but it will work and they internalize the desired behavior.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

He will tell him sorry and give him a hug and will go back to playing and the boy will take his toy out of his hand again and then the cycle starts over!!
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

The problem is not your son's hitting, it's the other child taking the toys. The other child is just doing it to get a reaction. We had the same situation in our house. We had some friends living with us that had 2 little girls (a 20mo and a newborn), plus my four (6, 4, 2.5, and 7mo). Their 20mo was CONSTANTLY taking whatever the boys were playing with. I even intentionally filled a toybox with toys that the boys don't even play with that I knew she would like (and she did), but still she seemed to love making the boys angry and getting a big reaction - totally normal for that age. This little girl was also very aggressive and would hit/pinch/grab/bite my kids. It was very frustrating for all of us. The best thing we could do was hover, hover, and hover some more. Exhausting, I know. (I've also dealt with this in a situation like yours when I watched my brothers kids and had a preschooler, two toddlers, and two infants in my house.) In order to "keep the peace" I would generally be found with baby in arms (unless baby was playing on the floor or sleeping), following said child around and preventing incidents. If she headed toward one of the boys (which she generally didn't unless it was with the intent of grabbing a toy from them), I would simply take her by the hand (or pick her up if necessary) and take her to another toy that she could play with and remind her that taking theirs is not ok. We never got the problem "solved" (they only lived with us for 7wks), but this really helped to keep the peace and reduce tension and bad feelings between the kids (and parents!).
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: How do you get your child to stop hitting???

Some ideas for you (not sure if you may have already tried some of these things, but here you go)...

1) Implement a "toy trade" rule in your house. If child A wants a toy from child B, Child A has to offer something to give Child B in trade. This works with 2-year-olds b/c it's a rule they can easily grasp and it's sort of like a game, too.

2) After the apology and hug part of the routine you've already implemented, quickly prepare all the kids and take them all on a walk/run around the neighborhood. A little physical activity can vent frustration and get good chemicals flowing through the body to calm everybody down. An alternative if it's too hot/cold/rainy/etc. outside, do the "jump up and down" game or put on some music and dance, do hokey pokey, make hopscotch squares with tape on the floor. Something to get them moving.

3) Take the non-offending child with you and leave the room, closing the door behind you, so you are "breaking contact" with the offender and that way nothing you do will inadvertently reinforce the bad behavior. (Of course quickly scan the room to make sure conditions in the room are safe before you walk out.) After a few minutes (once you are calm), go back in and start fresh with play.

4) Put the time-out ball in baby's court. If your child is verbal enough to grasp this (some 2yo kids are, some aren't): Do a time-out, but let the child "decide" when the time out is over instead of doing a timed time-out. So, if a child hits, put him/her in a time-out spot (this should be a fixed spot or a specific chair/mat/stool that you can move from room to room so the time-out spot is always clearly defined). The moment the first hit happens, do not speak or reprimand, just give stern direct eye contact and put the child in the time out spot IMMEDIATELY, no conversation, no discussion, no apologies. Then calmly, sternly tell the child he can decide when to get up and apologize. Go back to your activity. Make sure you can see him so you'll be able to put him back if he gets up and starts to do something else. When he's ready to apologize and join the fun again, he will. You may also want to rename it something besides "time out" which may have a negative connotation to the baby now, and might immediately make him feel like being defiant. For instance, you could call it "thinking time" or something like that.

5) Prevent the hitting and switch modes to quiet time. As soon as an argument between toys starts, before anyone has a chance to hit, get abruptly quiet and then stay sternly and calmly, but a bit loudly, "STOP" then say something like "now it's quiet time." Quickly remove both kids from the area with the toys and go to a quiet space, hand them each a book to look at or read them a book, or give them another activity they can each do independently. Even consider closing the blinds or dimming the lights and putting on some classical/soft music. This helps everybody bring their anxiety/frustration down a notch. And it's also a way to interrupt them and redirect them to a positive/constructive activity instead of engaging in the negative cycle of grab-hit-scold-hit more.

You can probably come up with other creative ways to prevent the hitting. Like some of the others said, figure out if certain toys trigger it. Either remove those toys completely, or as soon as an argument over the item begins (regardless of who had the item to start with) take it away and put it in "toy jail." It can stay there until you deem it the right time to reintroduce it (for older kids you can even make them "earn" it back somehow).

6) Don't get too caught up in the battle over who was "right" or "wrong" in the situation. They are two-year-olds and they are acting age appropriately and normally for egocentric beings. They have no awareness of the other child's rights. Playing court judge and dishing out guilty/non-guilty rulings is not likely to deter behavior AT ALL and it may start to seem that you are always favoring one child over the other (from their perspective for no apparent reason), it may inadvertently reinforce the bad behavior because the hitting gets a reaction out of adults, AND it may actually teach them that hitting "works" as a social tool, thus making it worse.

Of course you can't do all of these things in all situations (e.g. at the doctor's office), but there are ways to apply this logic in almost any situation. Hope this helps!
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