My 2 year old hurts me when he's mad.

Kimberly - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My 2.5 year old boy is a lovely smart boy. Very energetic as most boys are. When he gets mad, when he is told to do what he doesn't want to do he hurts me. Examples, pinches my face, scratches me, spits in my face, hits, runs away so he doesn't have to listen, screams bloody murder, and bites. I cannot get through to him. He also fights with his 1.5 year old brother constantly...knocking him over, hitting, biting. It frightens me that he is this aggressive. It makes me feel like the worst mother in the world. I've been trying the 1-2-3 magic method with the timeouts. it doesn't seem to be totally effective since when i am putting him in the timeout he hurts me along the way. Since i don't want to spank him or hurt him i find i get emotional which could be worse. I try soooo hard not to let him see me like that but sometimes i can't help it. Any methods or suggestions for this type of child and/or for myself. Should i talk to my doctor?

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Liz - posted on 01/29/2013

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Hello, you have to put him to sleep after lunch, like 12 or 1 o'clock pm, they get stress and angry when they don't sleep enough. They have to sleep 2,5 after lunch then after that you count 4 hours a head to put him a sleep at night. For example he goes a sleep 12 pm so he will wake up 2.30pm, then you count 4 hours, and you put him a sleep at 6.30 or 7 pm. Another point is the fact the parents let theirs kids watching tv for a long time and before bed, that's wrong. Tv just for half hour after the lunch nap or 40 mts. Let him play with books, bloks, and give him lot of hugs and kisses, let him feel loved. If you have a tablet let him play for 20 a 30 mts, you have to understand that tv and computers, tablets, are to fast and with a lot of things that put them alert, it's a lot of information given at the same time, for their lit brains. So have a control on theses things, because they contribute for stress and confusion in theirs minds. They nead a calm space to sleep, not loud tv near the room, no loud voices, or no thone calls, put some calm music very low so they get well with some noise. Every time they get angry make sure if they nead water, change the diaper, eat or sleep. Or if they are alone for a long period, they can play alone but you have to play with them to. When he does something wrong say no, not with a strong voice but make sure that he anderstand that you don' t admit what he is doing. And calm him with a hug and hold his arms at the same time and say that it is ok to be angry but not hit people, and then say" its ok calm down". If he came angry with a toy or another thing, you take that thing out and give him back and he is calm, after you make him anderstand that is wrong to heat things. Another thing don't have desagreements with your husband in front of him, about your marriage live or economics problems, or about your child missbehaver,that is bad to your child. And above all this trust in God por help and to help you raise your child according to God' will. GOd bless you all.

Gloria - posted on 02/06/2010

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Put your child in time out, or put him in his room and reverse the door lock so ou can lock from the outside if you need to to keep him in there. He has to understand that this behavior is not acceptable under any circumstances and he cannot be part of the famly unit if he behaves that way. Keep him there for 3 minutes and then try again. It will take some work with him but it will work. He is not alowed ot hurt his brother, or you, or anyone. Kids dont want to be removed from the action of the family. He is expecting you to set boundries for him and enforce rules and when you dont you are increasing his anxiety and giving him permission to misbehave. I would also make sure you have some time away from your two babies for yourself, even hire someone or ask someone from your church to help you. You need some time for yourself to separate from them a little and get your "self" back in line. Good luck.

Caren - posted on 02/02/2010

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I am so glad that you posted this problem. We are experiencing the exact same thing at our house. Our boy is a wonderful little guy most of the time...really he is. Smart, concerned about others, really loving...and then he just gets these jolts that make him really nasty...but the weird thing is that he doesn't actually get mad. He just startes the kicking, biting, hitting, pulling while laughing the entire time. I almost feel like he is doing it out of frustration and not out of meanness. We have tried time out...that didn't work. I tired spanking even though I didn't want to...that led him to think that hitting was the answer when you were upset. We tried holding and that seemed to help. Let me add here in response to Beck Amy that questioning where he learned the behavior is useless. We have in home child care and I work from home. He did not pick it up at school, he doesn't go to school. The nanny isn't hitting him, I am here all the time. It wasn't a lack of attention from mommy and daddy either...he sometimes has episodes on the weekend when we have been spending quality time with him all day long. He just figured out that this behavior got him attention and went with it. Here is what we have done to try and lessen the problem. First we have REALLY limited his TV time. We were finding that if we allowed him to watch TV while he ate dinner then the bad behavior would begin as soon as we started to put him to bed. If we sit at the dinner table as a family...even if we aren't eating with him he seems to be less amped up when the bedtime routine starts. We eat, we have a bath, we get into our jammies and sleepsack, we read a story, we sing a song and then we go to sleep. IF the behavior starts we simply put him in his room...no matter what stage of the routine we are in...and leave him there until he calms down, thus taking away the attention. We also do not allow TV with lunch for the same reason. We moved bedtime to about half an hour ealier as well. I'm not sure what has worked but things seem to be getting better. I would really love to hear how things are going with you. If you have found a solution that works. We are still on the look out for ways to deal with this very frustrating behavior. Thanks again for your post.

Sarah - posted on 02/02/2010

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I would not use the 1-2-3- magic if he is hurting (pinching, hitting, etc.). I would teach him how to take deep breaths to calm himself down. Work on this when he is not angry. When he gets angry go to a time-out spot, but there is this kind of hold you can do that helps so he won't hurt himself or you. It might work best if you are sitting on a chair or couch. Have him sit on your lab, cross your legs over his (this prevents kicking), cross your arms over his like you would be giving yourself a big bear hug (this helps with hitting and also gives a hugging effect). You may need to manouver your arms a little to get a place that if he is a biter he can't bite you. Then as you hold him calmly do the breathing with him until he calms down. When he is calm then talk about the situation. Once he is able to do this more on his own then start having him sit in time-out on his own. Do not do the 1-2-3 magic when he has hurt someone....to me that is an automatic time-out. There are certain things that if you do they are sever enough to grant an immediate time-out. This lets them know that what they did will not be accepted NO MATTER WHAT. I would also talk with your doc. He/she will be able to give you some great info. also. Also watch what he eats.....sometimes food can effect behavior. Don't give much sugar or caffine. You may also want to try cutting out red dye. Red dye is in many things and sometimes that has a neg. effect on kids. Another thing that will help is keeping a good routine (if you don't have one already). Kids like structure and knowing what comes next. They deal with transitioning from one thing to another better when they are able to predict what comes next.

Danielle - posted on 02/02/2010

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My two year old daughter used to be aggressive. I tried nearly EVERYTHING!!! Finally it was some tough love then consistency that solved the problem. I tried time outs, ignoring the behavior, yelling and body language, I tried crying to show that it hurt, I talked to her doctor who recommended I softly smack her hand or bottom, when none of it work and I just couldn't take it anymore becuase she began smacking other adults and pulling their hair, I finally gave her what she gave others. It broke my heart to actually pull my Cheyanne's hair to inflict pain but I did. And yes I smacked her ONE time in the face. That didnt solve the problem immediately but it slowed it dramatically!!! After that when she would hit, pull hair, pinch, scratch, etc. all I would have to say is do you want me to do it to you? and she would think twice, she would immediately get a time out, but the violence stopped.

If you would like an alternative, many moms have taken their children to Chiropractors to help with behavioral issues. It can't hurt to check, and I'm sure you want to control this behavior before he gets older, stronger, smarter!

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Amanda Jean - posted on 11/21/2013

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The main thing do not spank him my son and my sister son are just like this almost word for word he needs a metal evaluation to see what mode thing he has. My son is 10 now and yes he still gets mad but he uses he words more than anything else. It took lots of therapy and when he was old enough we put him on meds. He is ODD,ADHD, and has bipolar . My sister child is 2 1/2 and she is working on finding the right help for her child now. On the spanking all the doctors have told us a child that hurts himself and other you should never show anger or hitting. There is doctors out there to help.

J - posted on 01/31/2013

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I think it may be a good thing for him to see you emotional, let him know that it really hurts you. It sounds to me that he is frustrated about something and doesn't really have the words to express it. Sorry I couldn't be of more help..good luck! Remember to keep your patience in check as you are punishing him because you are essentially showing him the correct way to behave. I think kids learn way more from the body language we show them than our actual words!

Colleen - posted on 02/06/2010

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My son is also very bright and has had anger induced aggressive tendancies (he's 9 now) from a young age. I got James Dobson's book "The Strong willed child" which really helped me understand my son and find ways to help him cope with his anger.



The first thing to do is to not show fear....I know it's hard to remain calm and not flinch when fists are flying but do your best to put on your "stern" face. Grab his hands and get down to his level (on your knees). Tell him that you know he is angry but hurting people is not allowed ever.



You need to have an area to allow him to express his anger. We use our jungle gym for this purpose. It's like a timeout but my son is allowed to smack the swings, claw at the monkey bars, scream and shout.....watever he needs to do to let the rage out. I have taught him that I understand he needs to get rid of the rage but he may only do this there and never take it out on others. I have also taught him that his rage is his and while we understand it, we do not have to share in it.



As we have been using this method for years, I very rarely have to tell him to head to the jungle gym as he will take himself there when he feels that he needs to unload. It definitely has helped him to take control of his own anger and manage it more effectively. I believe that if you force children like these to keep the rage inside, the day it blows could be far worse than unleashing the monster when it needs to get out. Just my opinion!



We are now battling with emotional blackmail which is a new trick he's adopted but good old Jame's Dobson has been dusted off and is back in action!!



Goodluck and hang in there.

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2010

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I've dealt with kids of all ages in a public school- some special needs kids who cant talk and I have a toddler who tries the same thing, especially hitting. I grab his hands and tell him firmly "No, I will not let you hit me" and put him in time out in his high chair until he calms down. I let him sit there for about 10 minutes and dont acknowledge his screaming. He just wants to get his way and see what he can get away with. At this age it's all a social experiment in their mind. You control their results.They also want attention and have to learn that screaming and misbehavior isnt the way to get it. He's safe from harm in his high chair and cant get out of it easily. When he does real good, really praise him. Reward him by letting him play with something thats intended only for a reward. If he throws something at you, take it away immediately. Also control what they watch from others including on tv. A lot of times my son needs a nap when he gets that frustrated, so we go for a ride or he falls asleep shortly after being put in his high chair. I let him sleep it off and he usually wakes up in a better mood.

Ashley - posted on 02/05/2010

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I hate to say it but there also could be a mental problem. Talk to the doctor about it. Also you can video tape his behavior if nothing works and find a professional to review it.

Ashley - posted on 02/05/2010

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That's what 1-2-3 magic teaches you. When your child hurts you or someone else you are supposed to put him in time-out right away. You're not supposed to count if he's hitting. The 1-2-3 magic worked for my 2 year old daughter. It could be that you are altering one little thing which i making it not work. Try watching the movie again and pay attention more. Maybe there's something you missed.

Brittany - posted on 02/05/2010

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First, I would suggest putting him in a position that does not allow him to hurt you. I have used this techinique when I worked with young children when then they become violent. Cross his arms around his chest holding his wrists from behind him. You should be able to support his weigh while lifting him. This will restrain him from
pinching, biting, and spitting. I tried it on my son just to see if it worked on someone so little and he's two and it does.
1. Be the Authority!!!You have to regain control of him because it sounds like he has more control over you at this point. Take it back!!! You are the mommy and what you say goes! Children thrive when they know who is in charge and has authority. Sometimes, spanking is necessary! It helps them to realize you mean business! You are not a bad mom if you spank your kids!
2. Give him structure- help him to get it to a routine that helps him to focus his energy. Let him know what to expect when he is being defiant.
3. Be consistent- Don't threaten to do something like put him in a time out and not do it. This gives him the idea that you don't mean what you say. Follow through with what you say. If you say you are going to spank then spank him right then and there. Kids are master manipulators! Don't allow him to manipulate you with his violent behavior!
4. Don't become emotional- Don't let him see you cry. Be stotic.... stonefaced because if you allow him to see your blood boiling and tears flowing in frustration will take advantage of it.
5. Make him apologize- It may seem that children that young don't understand the concept of apologizing but they do. Its important for them to understand that their actions have consequences that effect others. It will help him to understand the concepts of sympathy and emapthy.
6. Just love him- Give him some one on one attention. From what I read he maybe acting out just to get attention from you. We need to understand that regardless of whether it is good attention or bad attention it is all attention just the same. He maybe just saying "I want you to myself" the time you are taking to deal with his violent behavior iss time away from everything else. Try putting baby #2 down for a nap at a different time and spend that time with him. He needs that positive interaction with you!
I am no expert but I truly believe that these are key things that every mother should stick to! Its important for you as a mother to feel like you are doing a good job of raising your kids since being a mother is such a big part of who we are. We want to feel and know that we are good at it! Hope this helps!
God bless,
Brittany

Janelle - posted on 02/04/2010

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every child is different - just because it works for one.....

target the WHY not the WHAT...

its normal for children to test boundaries and most kids will go through this and sometimes they just dont understand the wholeness of what they are doing- however its when the child get pleasure from hurting, that i would consider ALL options

if its frustration - theres some great kids songs to help with this
is it attention
do they just not know it hurts

its the why thats important

i too am having problems with this but i seem to be getting to the bottom of it with my daughter.

my biggest issue right now is trying to teach my 4 yr old son that even if his 2 yr old sister does hit him or hurt him etc that he is NOT to hit or hurt or back, that theres other alternatives to hurting girls and boys never hurt girls no matter what - but that it still is not ok for her to do this to him and he has a right to get upset about it but not to lash out and hurt her. its very hard , very hard when your 4

Leigha - posted on 02/04/2010

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i agree with alisha scott's response. my son is not so aggressive when he's mad but he sometimes hits me as well. he is turning 3 soon. i find that if i tell him "it's ok to be angry but it is not acceptable to hit when you are mad". even though he may not understand exactly what i am saying, eventually, he will. i also make him sit in timeout for 2 minutes no matter what. if he gets up, i put him back in his spot. sometimes i have to spank slightly. he will sit in timeout after that. i let him cry and get his anger out as long as he is still sitting in timeout. when timeout is over, i tell him he can get up and reitterate what i said before. 100% of the time, he ends up telling me he's sorry and tells me he loves me.

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Your situation reminds me of something I had seen on ABC's Shark Tank... this mom was having trouble trying to cope with her hyperactive son and started using breathing techniques to calm herself down. She realized that teaching her son to do this might be an even bigger help, so she wrote a story that he could relate to (monkey see, monkey do). She found that it worked wonders with him and decided to make a business of helping other children to decrease stress, anger and anxiety while promoting self-esteem. You can find more info at http://stressfreekids.com/. I haven't purchased any of the books myself, but I was thinking of looking into this website as we are starting to have trouble with our oldest daughter (3-1/2) picking on her little sister (2). She seems to lash out at her when she is feeling the need for attention; I say this because a hug can almost always turn her attitude. I find that separating them and giving her a hug before starting any discussion about what is going on is much more effective with her than putting her in timeout (causes a completely meltdown). The hug is also a way to physically stop the kicking and flailing. Once she has hugged out the anxiety and calmed down a bit, I hold her face in my hands and look right into her eyes to tell her why I am upset. This seems to let her know that things are serious and that I'm only trying to help her to work things out. She is much more receptive to listening when we are at the same level, so this has become our routine. Kids will be kids; they will fight over the same toys and often lash out at each other. Even the sweeties some would call little angels have their moments. Our reactions as parents are probably more important than most of us realize because they mimic us in all things. Against my nature, I try like heck not to yell and escalate the situation. In those moments when I'm ready to pull my own hair out, I take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone! Best of luck in finding the way that works for you :)

Nicole - posted on 02/03/2010

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I taught my son to use gentle touches. Gently grab his hands and show him gentle by rubbing his hand on your face. it may take a while before he gets it but it works.

Beck - posted on 02/02/2010

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Hi Caren, I understand that, for you it may have been useless to question "where he may have picked up bad behaviors" and that your son didn't need any extra attention in other areas, but it may not be the case for all. Sometimes there are reasons to question it and sometimes they do need attention in other areas. Just a thought.

Alisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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put him in timeout and keep putting him there until he does two mins and dont give up or he will think its a game. let him see you cry and maybe he will understand more that it does hurt mommy. my son used to hit alot too. but i had to start spanking him and since he started childcare, headstart he is less hurtful towards me. i also asked my childs doctor what i could do also and they told me to take his hands not hard but hold them and tell him that is not nice and it hurts then take his hands and rub them on your face and say gental touches.

Beck - posted on 02/02/2010

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Wow, This very very young lad definately needs to learn what he is doing is not ok. But at this age being so agressive would cause me concern, and I would question where your son may have picked up such behaivours. He definately seems to understand these things hurt you (physically at least), or he wouldn't keep doing them to you when in trouble. Only 2.5 yrs old, and not at all worried about what will happen if he gets in trouble. Maybe he really needs some space/special time, Having kids very close in age is great when they are much older, but at babys and toddlers, it can really cause alot of upset. Your little man does need to learn though that what he is doing is wrong and also needs some encouragement in behaiving like a good little boy. How does he behave in groups?

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