How do I get my nine year old to stop hitting me?

Tracey - posted on 01/16/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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My nine year old hits me and throws things at me. I have tried timeout, taking things from her, not letting her have a sleep overs, and no friends over or going to play with them. None of these things are working. I have her in therapy also for help. I do not think that is going to work either. She does not do what the therapist say to do.

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Elissa - posted on 01/19/2010

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I have been through this too... and there is NO EASY ANSWERS... it is a matter of being insistant that it will stop and just keep searching for what works with your child. My daughter went through anger management techniques with a therapist, but I also had to learn what I was doing to provoke it as well. I had to learn to LISTEN TO HER and be positive... and to appeal to her emotions which is what really worked with her. I have been ruthless with removing possessions... I have taken everything in my children room away including her clothing... I would return what I chose for her to wear and only one day at a time until she earned the privilege of choosing for herself. Although this worked with my older child, it did not work with my emotional child. She didn't care... and getting a child to go to school when they are more interested in running around the neighbourhood in their pyjamas is an impossible task. I have tried hitting her back... but she screams that I'm abusing her and that I'm a horrible mother and she listens even less... and the sad thing is, she feels that. Her emotions are so strong and so over the top intense that it prevents her from being able to reason. I like the idea that someone previously said about calmly putting them in time out... but you do have to remember that you as the parent also need to protect yourself from being hurt as well and often when you grab hold of an overly emotional child, they will lash out and do things that they don't want to do. Their nervous system is often working overtime as well, so something that you feel is a light grab, feels to them like you are taking their arm off because of that heightened sensitivity. I know that with my daughter, I have to be very careful that I do not make her feel trapped. She does not have to talk with me if she chooses not to (although she doesn't get to do anything else until she does, but at least she controls the timing.) If she runs out of the room, I will not follow her. If she runs out of the house, I will not follow her. If she screams at me from the basement, I will not answer her. (because answering her will provoke her) I am not avoiding the problem, I am simply giving her space and time without reacting to her... as hard as that is when your child is freaking out yelling screaming, fighting. At first she often came back saying, mom, you don't love me, why didn't you come after me? why didn't you answer me? And I have told her that I love her enough to show her what is right and wrong. That I love her so intensely, that I have given her time and space to process her feelings so that she and I can talk calmly about them when she is finished. I love her so much, that I care about our relationship, and that I can't allow her to treat me that way. (Also, making sure that you discuss the new approach before it happens, so that the child knows what is coming... and then expect them to challenge it almost immediately... and to continue to challenge it to test out how long it will take you to crack) I also recently took CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) training which has helped quite a bit in learning to protect myself and the person in crisis from injury. I highly recommend it. Children are darlings sometimes arent they?

Beverly - posted on 01/18/2010

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Well I know Im a little late but I went through this with my child and I can say that she has never hit me again after I did this. I sought out the power of prayer and the word of God at that time. My child was 7 the last time she ever thought to hit me. Call me crazy but the last time she hit me I hit her back with the same force. I did it with no anger in my heart but I felt that she had to learn her lesson. Then I told her this is how I feel when she raises her hand to me and that it is wrong for us "both" to be hitting on each other. When she seen how hurt I was she apologized. We talked and I understood why she had been displaying her anger this way. Come up with alternatives for her to express her anger. We scream. Call me crazy but it releases so much stress. Just go outside together and let it go. (It feels good,people gonna look at you crazy but your mental sanity is worth more than what people think. After that I started to be proactive with discipline no matter how tired I was. If I said no, or dont do this and have already established a consequence for that action I enforced it no matter how late or tired I was and after about 2 months it worked. My daughter now knows that I say what I mean and If I say that a consequence is going to follow an action she knows that I am not playing and I jump when she disrespects me or any adult for that matter. It is hard but we have to put our tiredness aside and raise these children. Although I do believe in spanking children, time out and restrictions on children are just as effective when used in combination and consistency. You have to find your inner strength. We are women, we have more endurance and patience than any creature on the planet earth. We were made in God's image and with a little extra touch of love and compassion. We got this. You got this. Be blessed, you are good mama, dont let noone make you think otherwise. Be patient, cool, calm, and strong. And always discipline in love not anger. Remember you discipline to teach not to retaliate. My mama taught me that. Smooches. and I hope things get better

Melissa - posted on 01/26/2010

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My good friend used this technique when her daughter was totally out of control, and it worked like a charm. One day, when her daughter was away at school, she cleaned out her bedroom...I mean EVERYTHING. She removed her toys, clothes, furniture, books- you name it.


Here's the good part: her daughter had to EARN everything back. She got a sleeping bag the first night, and the next day she could earn her pillow. My friend's daughter cried herself to sleep the first night, but straightened up real fast.

I think this method works well for extremely bad behavior. Kids should learn to show appreciation and respect for the things you, as a parent do for them. Good luck.

I have tons more solutions for single moms here: www.thrive-after-divorce.com

Brittney - posted on 01/16/2010

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Ok so some of you are saying to teach her daughter that hitting is not ok she needs to hit her...? Do you hear how confusing that would be to a kid? I think what you need to do is sit her down when she is not upset and talk to her about how it makes you feel when she hits you and teach her how to express anger with words. When she gets mad maybe you can ask her in a calm voice how she feels and why. If you are being all crazy and yelling it's only going to make her worse. You can't fight fire with fire. You need to be the water. Cool calm and collected.

Megan - posted on 05/02/2013

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Hitting your child back is NOT the answer and shame on those who think it is!

This is your child's way of expressing her pain. No it is not an okay way to express her feelings but it is unfortunate for you.

Think "positive reinforcement"

There can be any number of reasons why she feels the way she does and getting to the roots of that will be your hardest challenge. Is school work getting harder for her? Is she being bullied at school? Is your relationship with your daughter different than it used to be? Is she going through puberty? These are all things to consider and talk to her about.... In time. For now I would suggest positive reinforcement. Give her compliments about every thing good she does. Tell her you love her. Thank her for doing little things. Give her chores (if she doesn't already have some) and reward her for doing them with little things such as your treat to a movie with a friend or allowance.

I know it is very hard NOT to get angry with your child when they do things to hurt you on purpose but staying calm and positive about it is the best way to deal with it. I hope your baby stops hurting you soon and you can both get through this.

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LaDena - posted on 01/07/2014

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I try I really try. I used to scream and yell back. I tried holding her untill she stopped fighting me. I tried walking out of the room. She wouldn't let me leave untill one day I left and spent the night at a hotel. Told her that I would not live with a person that abused me. Things have gotten a bit better after this. I can leave and I do not yell as much. When she is scared about an up comming event it is bad. Anything can set her off and it is directed at me and her twin brother. She even tries to get me upset by pulling books out of my hands, cartwheeling just as I am walking past. She doesn't do it at school or with her father.
She tells me that I love her brother more than I love her. But I must protect him. If she starts to fall then, if I do not try to catch her, she claims I do not care. I am sorry but I am not as fast as superman. I can not reach her from across the room. She tells me that she doesn't want others to know that we are a bad family so she doesn't want to go to a therapist. I tell her that we are not a bad family that we just need help to resolve our problem.
Sometimes I loose it. I have anger issues too and after being hit hard and having had sissors and things thrown at me several times in one week I yell and hit back. I am not proud of it but one must defend ones self. I know why she is upset sometimes but I can not do anything about it. For instance, recently she promised her uncle that she would play the piano at his party. We did not tell her she had to nor did he. She wants to do it. But she is afraid of making a mistake. Is it may fault? if not then why am I the one getting hit?

Girl - posted on 08/09/2013

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Send her to her room even if you have to drag her and don't talk to her about ANYTHING until she has calmed down. Also buy her a stress head and put it in her room so when she gets angry let her take it out on that instead of u. Then talk to her about what you and her feel like when ur angry. Oh take her out to the cinema and stufd so she isn't behaving for nothing

Sam - posted on 05/01/2013

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Really people I can't believe so many parents think the answer to to hit back by doing this you are showing them its OK to put your hands on other people, lead by example, don't confront them while they are angry let them calm down first then speak to them then, try and get to the root of the problem what's caused the outburst and why its not OK to act like that, listen to them and try to help them find a way to deal with these emotions, ofc there should be sanctions in place the stripping their room thing and making them earn their stuff back worked for me also getting a police officer to speak to them may work too but hitting them , I can't see how that would help anything :-/. Some people may think this is touchy feely rubbish but it works and builds a great relationship with tour kids , tea and sympathy teamed up with consistency rather than just smacking them back.

Caleigh - posted on 03/21/2013

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Call the cops!! I don't know where you are from but in my state we have a none emergency police line. When an officer is not busy they will take the time to come out to your house and give your child a scare. Naturally she will want you when he places her in the car with the impression she is leaving with him. He can release her saying he will cut her a break but WILL BE BACK if the behavior continues ....... Ive seen it work on a few kids but im not sure how it works years down the road when a teenager can figure out they wont take her........ unless its my child because I WOULD PRESS CHARGES! A night in jail will wake them up. May sound harsh but that is the world we live in. And when she is older it will not be tolerated better to learn know I think.

Dolores M - posted on 01/24/2013

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My daughter just threw a necklace at me and hit my face with it...she was angry with me...I had to walk away because I would and could have hurt her in anger...Her father popped her behind twice..of course, she cried and said she didn't mean to do it....She just started therapy...I lived this life under my mom...I'm reliving it under my daughter...

Kristine - posted on 04/24/2012

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I have tried everything too. Taking stuff away. Hitting back. Knowing when he will hit and holding him. Even had him talk to school social worker. I am at the end of my rope. I have prayed something comes along to help. I hope it all stops soon cause I am tired of being bruised up from my son.

Tsitsi Nicole - posted on 01/25/2010

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Sorry about that, I think you must start by been open to her. Start by taking her to a movie or something, Build your relationship by doing things together and other activities as well. Maybe been friends and more friendly will help and make her know that what ever she is doing is wrong....

[deleted account]

I too am going thru this. Im interested in what others will say. so far, for me, taking away texting priveleges and computer time and diff looked forward to playdates has slowed it down but it still pops up.

Jane - posted on 01/24/2010

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I totaly agree with Maureen Carter comment below-

-hit her back, not to the point its rediculious, but u got to show her whos boss. ur her mother not her hitting toy. dont be afraid. she may say she hates u and she will be mad. but she will get over it, she needs to learn some respect- You;v got to give her a smack, this will also jolt her out of whatever or why, shes angry about!!! and put her up in her room , even if u'v got the drag her up there, make her stay there -lock the door, tie it up, so she can't get out and tell her she can come out when shes calmed down -and for her to sit and think why shes being punished, even if it takes all night!!! When she has calmed down and only then, give her a cuddle and try to talk about why shes so angry, but also let her know that your not having it!!! You wouldn't let an adult treat you the same way, would you?? Next time when you see her getting anoyed, straight away 'up to your room' -take her out of therapy, it obviously isn't working and maybe let her have sleep overs or whatever she wants to do-as long as shes good -shes got to earn it but make her realsie that she can have good things if shes good!!! praise her when shes good etc I know its easier said than done but you've got to stop it now-its a game to her and at the moment shes getting the upper hand!! shes playing u all u gotta make her realise that u can play too!!!! Good luck , she will grow out of it -if u put ur foot down now !!!!

Jodell - posted on 01/23/2010

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Are you a single mother? Have you tried joining a church? It will be hard to get her to go if she is rebellious but this is one idea. Me I have a 14 year old and she sometimes talks back, but not very often I would take away all of her favorite things and take the door off her bedroom and if she hits you call child services and have them get you help.

Brandy - posted on 01/23/2010

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I talk to my son all the time about certain situations and I do give him a voice in our house. Its always about comprimise, and allowing him to feel whatever he wants but also learning how to deal with those emotions in a positive way. BUT!!...talking will not be the only answer to getting your daughter to stop hiting you. I think this discussion has fallen off the original topic of how this mother can learn how to get her daugther to stop hiting her. And that means when an action happens there has to be consistant consequences....not just a "hey lets go talk about why you feel this way"....
I do agree that when all dust settles you should def talk about the situation..but you have to be in control of your own emtions and behavior if you expect your daughter to mimick it. But there has to be a consequences to bad behavior......period!

Malinda - posted on 01/22/2010

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When my kids need a gripe session, we go in my room. They can gripe about a teacher, a sibling, our rules....whatever. But, I won't let them "bash" or "trash" anyone and we are in a private setting, not on public display. I will advise, I will acknowledge their thoughts and ask them what they think they can do to change whatever it is they're griping about. We also explore how they behaved both during and after to see if there was some point that it could have been corrected before it became a problem. I try to keep the ball in their court...let them find solutions to a problem because they can't change how someone else behaves, but they do have to learn how to behave in spite of someone else's behavior. It seems to help diffuse situations, especially if they need to gripe about a sibling, if they feel like they are having a role in fixing the situation or changing the way they react to a situation. We don't focus on the "who" or "what" that they're griping about, but on what that child needs to do to deal with it in a blameless way. If the teacher is wrong, it is my job, not theirs, to call the teacher on it and fix the problem, but my kid's job is to react appropriately to the teacher. So, that child gets re- affirmed of my authority in the family and their position of answering to me and reporting to me.....if you wrong my child, you will answer to me for it and if my child does wrong, they will answer to me for it. Goes hand in hand there.
This doesn't always work perfectly, of course. Sometimes they just want to vent and be mad without any analysis and just have someone acknowledge the injustice...you know how it's not fair that the older sister has a cell phone and the younger one has to wait a whole two years (that's a looooong time) until she gets old enough to get one.

Melissa - posted on 01/22/2010

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I find with kids it's about being so frustrated they just lash out. Try making a time each day that is a special sit down time for you both to talk. Let her tell you about what is bothering her, or anything else she feels like with an agreement that no one will be in any trouble for anything said at this time. Also, showering with praise for the good things. Kids don't take anything much in if they get punishment after punishment in my experience. She definately needs consequences for this behavour, but do not pay a lot fo attention to (yeah easier said than done I know) in the sense of giving her the consequence calmly and ignoring her for a while. She will soon learn that if she behaves nicely she gets rewarded and gets attention. My daughter was playing up (more picking on her sisters than violence but it's the same principal I'd say) and this really worked for me. Giving them a voice, and giving them rewards for the good things they do. Good luck

Brandy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Ok ive read alot of your replys and all sound like they would help...theres nothing wrong with tryin many different ways to get your child to stop hitting,. But if you start with one ...make sure your are consistant with the punishmets. Even if you get tired and lazy..keep at it. ...If you even lag once your daughter will know that she again wins over any situation. Although my son has never hit me heres what i suggest to you. I have read that you have taken all her things away..but have you ever thought of packing them all u p and giving them away. A child that disrespects me, as their parent, doesnt deserve to have the nice things that parents allow their children to have. Then i would strip her bedroom down to just her basics. Dresser, bed, sheets. Anything else is a luxury and needs to be earned to get back with good behaviour. Then I would go talk to the school and have her recesses taken away, ...drastic times means for drastic measures. Take things away that means smth to her....
Then after school..sit her down and make her write you an apology letter for hitting you and tell her to explain why she does it and what it makes her feel like. She wont have anything else to do....so even if she gives you a hard time..ignore her until she does it.

If all else fails...find things for her to do in your community ( like community service ) to show her that her future doesnt look good if she continues this behavior,...ex: Ask her school if they have any extra work after school that she could do to help clean her school...like pick up garbage....
But like i said...if you are not peresistant then anything that you do will guarentee fail.!!..one thing that i have learned with my son and I ..is that its always goin to be a power struggle...and if I you dont stay on her butt then everything will have been a waste of time. You let her get away with walking all over you for 9 years...it wont be easy to get the control back....but it will be worth it ...:)
Good luck!

Debbie - posted on 01/22/2010

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I don't think it's a phase....it's only going to get worse if u do not nip it in the bud. I think it is time for a little "tough love". Send her somewhere or visit a girls detention center and have , set it up....they should have some girls who will relate their stories and tell her how much THEY miss their moms...she should be grateful. She may have to go thru some tears bf she gets better. What she is doing could become criminal when she gets bigger and older.

Chestina - posted on 01/21/2010

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Well...That is one of them questions you as THE PARENT should not be wanting a answer about. Your child should not put their hand on you and you as the parent shouldnt let them think that its okay. If she was doing this prior you should have snipped it in the behind because that is a issue that can go to far and something not good could happen. Personally there is no law against hitting your own child, especially when they think its okay to hit you...GOOD LUCK

Malinda - posted on 01/21/2010

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There are many different opinions presented to you on your post. I have 5 children ranging from 11-18. I have 5 different personalities to deal with. The more spirited ones (there are two in my home) can really challenge you. Let me first clarify that for me, discipline is not hitting or beating a child, it is licks on the rear end with a belt and there is a set number of licks for different things and it is never done in anger. I would say that the very first thing you need to do is fall on your knees at the feet of Jesus. Who knows beter than the Lord how to raise children? The Bible does say "spare the rod, spoil the child". It also says not to bring your children to exasperation. So, when it is time to discipline your child, don't do it in anger. And acknowledge good behavior. It is ok to be angry at a child, but don't lash out at them at that time and spank them just because they ticked you off. This teaches them to control their own temper. My children know that it is worse, by far, to have me too angry to spank them. I think they fear that more than they fear the spanking itself, even though they know I won't lay a hand on them when I am too angry. Discipline is not about anger, it is about raising a person to adulthood who is well behaved, responsible and can display themself correctly with good morals and values. We have set rules about discipline in our home....some things require spanking. For instance, lying is a no no and if you lie to me, you get two licks. (even if they weren't going to be in trouble for what they did in the first place) And, there is just enough bite in those licks that they don't like it and don't want to keep getting it. Kids are going to mess up so not everything requires spanking. Hitting would fall in that catagory though. Your child does need to know that there are boundaries to behavior and that she needs to control hers. On top of that, there is the matter of respect. If you are a single mother, then you are serving as the mother and father. That is hard stuff filled with guilt and other unpleasant emotions that we beat ourselves with. But it does not change the fact that your daughter needs to respect your authority in your home. It is a tedious chore to teach our children correct behavior, but God has entrusted this to you which means He will help help you with it. Be consistent in your discipline, whatever you choose, and you will get results.

Terri - posted on 01/21/2010

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I honestly mean NO DISRESPECT, but, BEAT HER TAIL! She has NO RESPECT for you as a parent, and you have to show her who the parent is. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH DISCIPLINING YOUR CHILDREN! Don't get me wrong; I have tried the time-out thing, and it works...at first. Until they learn that it's only for the (in your case) 9 minutes and then they go right back to doing what they were doing at first. The Bible even teaching "Spare the rod, spoil the child." I am sure we all got some form of physical discipline growing up. We don't want our kids to feel as if they can run over us, but we also want them to know that you are a fair and impartial person when dealing with them. BTW...I have 3 kids, 17, 10, and 8 and they are respectful, responsible children. I hope this helps

Colleene - posted on 01/21/2010

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Beverly,
That is excellent advice! And may I suggest that after the punishment look your child in the eyes and ask them what they did wrong and then tell them know you love them and give them a hug and a kiss. Prayer is the best thing you can do.

Ileana - posted on 01/20/2010

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she is old enough to understand what she is doing!! So she deserves a spanking for thinking she can get away with it!!! What 9 year old thinks its ok to walk around hitting the parent or throwing things at them!!! I SAY SPANK HER...She will get the fright of her life and i doubt she'd do it in a hurry again!!! She needs to learn respect to you whether she does it infront of people or not...she clearly does not respect you as her mother and you need to put your foot down and take control of the situation before she enters her teens and then things get worse!!!!

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Oh, HELL NO. I'm not a big spanker but I would tear her butt up. If you continue like this she will never have any respect for you. She will continue to walk all over you as long as you let her.

Tracie - posted on 01/19/2010

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Shpuld have nipped it in the bud the first time she done it. My daughter did it to me once and after a panned bum, a telling off and a grounding to her room she has never done it again.

Jessica - posted on 01/19/2010

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i went through this with my oldest one time, and i repeat, one time, and last time if you know what i mean, you have to show them you are the one who runs the show, not them, your the parent, they are the child, period

Jackie - posted on 01/19/2010

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Hey im Jackie my son is only 6 months, but i have 6 sibling, if i was in your situation i would calmy not raise my voice, grab her hand put her in the corner and leave her there, if she gets off do it agian, and when she stays in the corner quietly and properly then you start timing her, and the only time you let her off the corner is if she apoligizes to you, first, dont tell her why shes going on time out just put her there, and when her time is up you just ask her if she has something to say to you, and if she doesnt say sorry, leave her there. It might take some preserverance on your part by continually putting her back on time out but she will evenutally realize. but make it a game. if she behaves for the week she gets 2 stars,. that would mean ice cream or go to the park with mommy. there has to be something for them stirve to get, otherwise for kids its pointless. I really hope that helps a little. but the time out is the best way to do it, and just let her apoligze to you directly, and ask her why she was put on time out in the first place, if you let her realize that then it should make a difference, but it does take preserverance on your part! hope that helps a little

Jessica - posted on 01/19/2010

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give her a good smack, then ask her how she likes it. your the parent. you do not need to barder with your child, or continue to try punishments that are not working.

Jacey - posted on 01/18/2010

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embarassment is the best med! try to tape it or record it when it happens then u show it to her friends... It will help her to c how she looks when she is doin it!

Nicole - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hit her ass back and let her know you are not playing with her then she will stop.

Marissa - posted on 01/17/2010

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to need to take her down to juv and turn her over to them for a lil while or give her a whooping

Ginette - posted on 01/16/2010

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well the only solution I can offer you is to physically stop her ffrom hitting you.......you don't have to hurt her to do that because as an adult you are stronger physically and mentally. You need to puta stop to this before she gets bigger and more problems arise. I found myself that the worst punishment was when other people would see me in the corner...........my mother would put us against a wall facing it not being aloud to watch TV but in plain sight of anyone who came over and that was embarassing........Maybe this will help.........seeing as she tends to do this without others around.........

MaryJane - posted on 01/16/2010

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The advantage is we can play it better and they soon learn its not a good game to play with adults. Respect is necessary and needed in order to have well mannered kids.

MaryJane - posted on 01/16/2010

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I am a firm believer of instilling the fear. When my kids think its ok to disrespect me they find out it is a bad idea. I dont hit my kids butI do spank them when needed. And it says in the bible "Spare the rod , spoil the child." It means if you dont show them who is in charge they will walk on you. Being a friend to them isnt an option they need that later in life, but now they need to fear you and then they will respect you and stop hitting.

Maureen - posted on 01/16/2010

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hit her back, not to the point its rediculious, but u got to show her whos boss. ur her mother not her hitting toy. dont be afraid. she may say she hates u and she will be mad. but she will get over it, she needs to learn some respect

Tracey - posted on 01/16/2010

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My daughter only does it with me and nobody else. She is good with her big sister, at mom's house, school, and at friends houses. I am going to be black and blue by the time she gets out of this faze.

Patti - posted on 01/16/2010

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I wish i had an answer for you.. i am going through the same thing with my seven year old.she seems to think shes in charge and that its ok to hit me or throw whatever is in front of her. i also did therapy but it didnt change anything.. i believe she knows its wrong because she doesnt seem to do it in front of many people..but i dont know how to make it stop..hopefully someone will have the answer until then keep your head up.

Lenise - posted on 01/16/2010

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well, i think maybe u should have set the grounds rules when she first started to try to hit u.now u have a child who might think that when u don't get your way,then it's ok to hit.I think u should ignore her and let her know that acting out won't get u anywhere.

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