2 year old, hitting parents.

Heidi - posted on 01/07/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Ok, I need some advice. My daughter is going to be 2 in a week, and for the past two months we have been dealing with her hitting us (mom and dad). It started that she would kick when she was angry, and we would tell her "no kick" and put her in time out. Since then, it turned more to hitting and not limited to situations when she is angry or frustrated. She was an early talker and can understand things pretty well, but we still try to keep things down to a toddler level when discipline is involved, such as "No hitting". I do admit that we have swatted her bottom for hitting and put her in timeout. We keep her there for about one minute and then ask her if she is ready to talk. When we "talk" we tell her why she was in time out, and ask her if "hitting" is okay. She then has to say sorry to the person she hit (mom or dad). We then give her a kiss and tell her we love her and forgive her. The thing that really has me puzzled, is that in the past month she will come up to me and start gently hitting at me. If I try to ignore the fact that it is a hit, like saying "oh, are you giving mama five?" or something along those lines, she will "make it obvious" that she was hitting. For example: at one of our Christmas celebrations she came over to me, and started tapping my arn with a toy. Each time she would say "mama" before tapping my arm. I said "Oh, do you want to give me five?" and tried to give her five. She continued tapping me with the toy and finally slapped me in the face! She was immediately placed in time out. My husband says that this is normal 2 year old behavior, but it reminds me more of the behavior students that would be at the school I worked at for 6 years. When she hits, she wants me to know that she is hitting. If someone could please give me some advice, I would appreciate it so much! I know God gave her this personality for a reason and I don't want to break that, but I don't want my child to grow up to be rebellious and disrespectful. Hitting your parents, is NOT okay.

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Bety - posted on 01/08/2013

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I also have a two year old who has the same kind of behaviour. I am getting harder on her, to mean that when she hits, I hit her back and tell her that whatever she did was wrong. With time, she is stopping the hittings!

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Shea - posted on 03/16/2013

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Sometimes NO isn't always the best way to go about it. Children that age want to be in control so they tend to test boundaries often. If your child is hitting and kicking they are already angry/frustrated. If they are not angry they may think it is a game. When they hit and kick its better to be understanding and simply say ouch that hurts mommy.. Hitting isn't very nice.. If you want to hit lets go find your drums or whatever toy he/she may have that is acceptable to hit. or Lets go outside and kick the ball. That way you're not just getting upset but offering a solution. And make it a big deal anytime they fall down or get hurt to say "Ouch that hurts" they will remember that. Children don't want to hurt parents just get attention. So when you encourage good behavior they see they have impressed you and the bad behavior will stop. Even if you don't believe they are capable of understanding you because they are fluent verbally they often do. And your reaction to the negative situation is key. If they get a big reaction from negative behavior they will continue on. They are emotional wrecks at that age and throw tantrums because they don't know how to express their feelings. It's up to you to help them sort them out. Maybe take a different approach to what initially set them off. Be calm and understanding. Even if you have to repeat this for several days/weeks. Kids who act out often just need some extra love and guidance. When she hits you the first time with a toy, Gently take her arm and bend on her level, Say "ouch that hurts mommy" I see you have a toy, What is it? A baby? Can you show me how to feed the baby?" Take control of the situation positively. If she throws it at you or hits you again say " ouch that hurts mommy, I can't let you hit me. Hitting is not a game, lets try feeding the baby gently" Whenever she does something nice reward her by saying " Great job" and smile or even " I really love it when you give mommy kisses that is very nice" Patience really is they key at this age. Good luck!

Gigi - posted on 01/08/2013

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The only thing that a child gets from parent hitting back is that hitting is ok (since mom does it) as long as you are bigger. I think you can't hit a child and at the same time tell it that hitting is wrong.

To Heidi - my daughter had a phase like it as well and it passed. It was very similar - she first started hitting when she was angry and then she started occasionally hitting for no reason. We consistently dealt with it in same way - stopping her strike (gently holding her hand) and telling her that "we don't hit" and that "hitting hurts mommy/daddy".and showing her how to be gentle. If she continued after initial "talk" we would walk away. Once when she hit me in the eye, I just picked her up and put her in her crib and closed the door. I put the timer on 10 minutes (she was 2,5 at the time and that was way too long but I wanted to make a point) and afterwards explained again that we don't hit followed by hugs and kisses. She still did it for a bit after that occasion, but then she stopped. I don't know did she stop because of that time out (I save mine for serious stuff) or just because we were consistent.

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