How do i get my 4 year old to stop hitting me and my 1 year old son?

Casey - posted on 06/30/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I need Help moms. I just don't know what to do anymore. My 4 year old son is constantly hitting me and my 1 year old. today he slapped my 1 year old so hard across the face that he knocked him half way across the living room. I am to the point that i can not take it anymore. Please help me!!!!

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Stacie - posted on 07/09/2011

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I have a 5-year-old boy who has been hitting a lot lately - he only hits me. I have taken him to see a child psychologist and she has suggested he might be ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). As far as I understand it doesn't really suggest that the child has a disorder but rather there is something dysfunctional about the relationship between the two of you; this is not to say that there is something wrong with you as a parent. His councilor suggested that it our problem might be as simple as not having a structured enough bedtime routine. I put him to bed when he gets sleepy and let him sleep until he wakes up. My son thrives on structure. His preschool teachers love him; he never acts out at school and it's probably because of how reliable their schedule is. It seems my parenting style is a little too relaxed for him which causes "trust issues".



It's possible that something that small can cause big problems. There is a lot of information on it online and it's something you can work on at home and dosn't always require medication (especially with children this young). I was shocked about how much of it sounded just like our problem. My son and I are going to a parent-child workshop for ODD next month.

Margaret - posted on 07/04/2011

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Put your son in time out for 5 minutes every time he hits you. If you hit him back, it's counter-productive. He needs to know his limits since YOU have YOUR limits! Especially with the baby around, hitting ANYONE is a big no-no! Assert yourself as a parent - YOU are in charge, do NOT be afraid of him! If MY 4-yr-old daughter hit ME, she'd be sitting in time out for a LONG time! If your son doesn't respond well to time out's, start throwing out his toys in the garbage...if that doesn't work, then a professional behavior therapist should intervene. Was your son ALWAYS like this or did his behavior change after the baby came? Bottom line is that a Mother asserts her authority and commands respect by setting boundaries and expectations based on what is and what's NOT acceptable on the part of her children.

If you can intervene w/ your son as he's about to hit YOU or the baby, then firmly grab his wrist/arm, look him in the eye, and tell him, "NO HITTING!" without screaming at him....trust me, I know that's difficult, but the more that you show NO FEAR, the more he'll get the message that you're in charge :)

Hope that helps, good luck, God bless!

Laura - posted on 07/03/2011

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ok ladies this sit is for welcomed advise from moms with issues...we put questions and answers on her to share problems and try to get new ideas that might (we hope) work....if the suggestions don't work then yes totally talk to your doctor but most problems asked about are just normal kid like behavior...my family is full of child profesionals (doctors and such) we all agree that most attitudes with young children should first try to be corrected throu "reinforcement " stratagies then if that doesn't work you move on to the "why" solutions...this is an information sight for helpful feed bag from those that have ben through it...

Shanna - posted on 07/03/2011

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you sound like you have a boy like mine. my son did that same stuff and i told his ped. and he got tested for adhd . not saying your son has adhd but may need some calming medicine thats what they did with my boy and he has been on it for a month now and he is so changed. he loves everyone now and attiude has change . im not saying anything can be wrong with him just trying to help. shanna

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2011

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this sounds exactly like my house...my 4 1/2 yr old has me on constant alert when he is near his 16 mth old sister..i totally hit my limit!! same as you i can no longer tolerate it and nothing in any disiplinary form is working..i took my son off to the paediatricion and he is currently in the process of being assessed for ASD austism spectrum disorder..it has given me hope that the violence he is currently subjecting us to is not something he does for fun its something that he just cant help...and has helped me find the strength to cope....i definitely suggest the paediatrician be your next port of call!!!

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Sophia - posted on 09/29/2012

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make an appointment with his Dr. explain whats going on. from there you may get some answers. dont sit on this too long.

Camille - posted on 08/21/2012

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Whip his behind. If he keeps this up imagine what he will be like when he gets older.

Savannah - posted on 08/20/2012

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hi casey i have a simaler problem i have a five year old who used to hit my 10 month old daughter so hard she had handprints i got jo frost and that helped hope this helps u hun good luck

Taylor - posted on 07/10/2011

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try time out chair, try as soon as he hits him, take him away and put him in a corner for like 5 minutes, let him know hitting is wrong and make him say sorry before he is allowed to play again

Laura - posted on 07/03/2011

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ok first take a deep breathe...really think why is he hitting...is there something he is trying to say but doesn't know the words....if he is hitting because he is mad sit him down at a time when he is happy and in a listening mood...let him know that it is not ok to hit you or brother and from know on if you hit it is a quick trip to time out for 3 mins...follow throw....no matter what if he hits he is in time out...even if you are out stop and take him to the car for time out....be paticant it will work if you are straight up faithful...you hit your out

Karissa - posted on 07/03/2011

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Stop being idiots! This is about a FOUR YEAR OLD not you guys.
Friggen immature women!
Answer the question then shut up.
I believe that Casey needs to go to the childs school if he has one and see if he acts the same there (if you have already not done so) If he is predominantly only acting this way in your house then you can eliminate some problems, or teachers might have found something that works. However good luck girl

[deleted account]

If you feel calling me incredibly rude and judgmental is a good way to ask for an apology... I'd say you should work on your strategy. I mean, do you really want me to see your point? Or have you decided I am so inhuman that I lack all compassion so you'd just as well verbally beat me up. Because that's all your post amounts to.



I do think that moms on here should not give advice when it is clear professional help is needed. It IS a complete waste of time. And it's not actually helping anyone. It's not fair to the mom who actually needs real help to sit and read at length another moms personal history with parenting.



With that said. Were my remarks rude. Probably. Should I apology, sure. I should not have been rude. But really, moms shouldn't give advice on matters that are above them... not that they are not good moms (they probably are) but if they are not trained professionals, then something like, chronic hitting isn't in their jurisdiction. Once again I state, that I am not qualified to give advice on this matter and so would not presume to. Other moms who felt qualified and were clearly not should be made aware so as not to do damage with at length advice that might otherwise prevent a mom from seeking the trained help she might truly need.



My intentions were not to be rude and insulting but rather to set a better precedent for giving advice so as to be more helpful rather than less. If you are beyond understanding my motives then I think we are done discussing this. Thank you.

Jodi - posted on 07/01/2011

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Ashley, most mums who give advice will give it based on what works for them, and so will actually advise based on what is working for them. It's not a site where you are going to get professional advise, that's a no brainer. I would hardly call it bragging, simply providing something to try the the OP may NOT have done yet. Who died and made you queen of making judgements about that? Really, I think you are being incredibly rude and judgemental. We all know who you are talking about, and I think you owe her an apology. But then, that's just my opinion.

[deleted account]

Well, you're right Katherine. That does not sound like bragging at all. It does sound like good advice.

Katherine - posted on 07/01/2011

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At any rate I'll state it again:

Hold his hands until he STOPS> Don't say a word to him and don't make eye contact. If he goes to hit again , do the same thing, over and over. Get him a rewards chart. Never remove a sticker though. If he hits he just doesn't get a sticker that day.
Take him to a behavioral therapist. He obviously has some anger issues about something. Maybe he's jealous of his little brother?

Katherine - posted on 07/01/2011

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I stated my advice in her other thread. Now I don't know where it went......actually, there was a lot of good advice in that one.

[deleted account]

I do not see your advice. So, no... not from you. If you feel qualified to give advice on this matter, then you should do so. But the ranting that I've heard on this post (again, not from you) has not really seemed like "qualified" advice, but rather just some proud moms listing their successes. Which isn't really helpful... is it?

Katherine - posted on 07/01/2011

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From whom? My advice? I've done ABA with autistic children and have a concentration in behavior modification. Not an expert by any means but I have some sound advice.

[deleted account]

fair enough. just sounded like bragging to me. but I would never claim to know what to do with a 4 year who chronically hits... so I hope you can understand why it would sound that way to me.

Katherine - posted on 07/01/2011

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Ashley, what are you talking about? Advice is now deemed bragging?





****Edit to add: Other moms HAVEN'T tried EVERYTHING that's why they come here!!!!!!

[deleted account]

sounded more like they were tooting their own horns and not really being helpful... could be wrong about that but when some one goes on and on about how "they" do things so well it stops sounding like help and starts sounding like bragging.

Jodi - posted on 07/01/2011

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"But I do think the egos of the women who think they can just offer some sagely advice online is priceless.:

That was a bit rude Ashley, especially as these women are just trying to help someone.

[deleted account]

Hehe, I think it's silly that people thought you needed discipline advice. I would imagine that any mom facing an assault from their 4 year old would have tried a few things already. And I mean even if by some chance the issue was your technique in dulling out discipline it's not like some online mom is going to magically know how to help you. No, either way you're going to need someone actually, physically involved who has had some training in order to help you with this one. But I do think the egos of the women who think they can just offer some sagely advice online is priceless. Once again. Good luck. You're doing the right thing seeking help.

Casey - posted on 07/01/2011

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I have tried everything. I have tried taking his toys, no tv, time outs, and even spanking. nothing works.

Lynn - posted on 06/30/2011

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You could ask your pediatrician about possible solutions or resources that may help. What about making him stay in his room until he can treat you nicely? (with a lock, if needed). If you really make an effort to only pay attention to his positive behaviors, and reward the good things he does, (while ignoring him when he misbehaves, but not if he's hurting your little one) he may try harder to get positive reinforcement. Maybe if he is trying to get your attention, he'll realize that praise is better. I've also found that a swat on the butt can make them understand that what they're doing, hurts! I've had a home preschool for 15 years, and I've seen lots of kids that are horrible to their parents, and good for other people. Does he behave that way when you're not around? If not, then he can control himself when he wants to, and is doing it to see how you'll react. He could have some sibling jealousy going on. You could empahasize how you need his help with his little brother because he's such a big boy, and come up with little ways he can be a good example. You could make a point of spending one on one time with him (like when the little one is sleeping) and make a big deal about how can do things his brother is too young for (computer games, board games, etc.) Does he spend alone time with his dad? They could go do some special things, just the two of them, but only if he earns the privilege (bike ride, go for ice cream, swimming, soccer in the park). If you're consistent with your discipline, take away favorite toys, t.v. time, whatever he likes, and only give it back when he earns it, he'll know you're serious. If you really want to see a difference, you could try taking everything out of his room except his bed, and make him "earn" everything back with good behavior. I know people usually do that with teenagers, but it can't hurt to try. If you make him stay in there with nothing to do and really stick to it, you may find that he'll respect you more. Whatever you decide to do, don't let him win this battle! Imagine what he'll be like as a teenager if he gets away with this much longer! Dr. Phil has some great ideas about disciplining kids, though he doesn't agree with spanking. I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever swatted my kids, but they know that if they cross the line, I'll do it if I have to, and that's all that's needed.

Casey - posted on 06/30/2011

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Thanks Ashley glad to know that i am not the only one that feels professional help is need.

[deleted account]

Yeah, it's possible he has something like ADHD or a high functioning autism... but there is really no way for anyone who isn't trained to spot those kind of things to know. And I imagine you've tried time-outs and other means of discipline. It sounds just so difficult and I know I would be seeking serious help in the same situation. You have been a very strong woman to go through this and I wish you the best of luck in finding solutions.

Casey - posted on 06/30/2011

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I am beginning to agree with you Ashley. He hits me and everyone else. He is constantly tell me he hates me and i can't make him understand how much it hurts both the hitting as well as the words>

[deleted account]

wow. nanny 911? I mean you should get outside help, not just from Circle of Moms. But a counselor... or someone trained in this kind of thing. Good Luck, keep seeking help!

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