My 21/2 Year Old Thinks Its Funny To Be Mean-Help

Christina - posted on 12/10/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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We have recently become a stay at home mom and started watching others kids from my home. My son thinks its funny to be mean and hits all the time. No form of discipline works. I am past the basics here and would like to hear from someone who has gone through this with their child and has hopefully seen this sort of behavior pass, and i would also like to know what you did you tell help them. I am super frustrated which doesnt not help. Its hard to be gentle with him when he is fighting me and I have to physically carry him to time out. I also have had to spank him, this is tough as well, to get him bent over my knee I have to wrestle with him. I am firm and not crazy about it. But it makes me so sad. I believe in Gods word, of which says to spank your child, but I just cant keep up. My heart hurts to have to spank him. I need to hear from someone who has weathered this storm please. I feel like I am loosing my sweet precious little boy. (tear)

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Casey Lynn - posted on 12/10/2012

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First of all I think he is probably jealous of the other children and feels like he isnt getting as much attention from you and he is probably acting out to get more attention weather it be good attention or bad attention. I would say take some extra time with him each day by yourselves. I also am a christian and I dont necessarily think that "Spare the rod spoil the child" means spanking. People take that out of context. It is "the rod of correction", meaning that you should correct your child if they are wrong with a form of disipline. I do time outs with my 3 year old who had a hitting problem, all the kids in the family were scared of her and no one wanted to play with her. Well I was watching Nanny 911 and seen how she was doing time outs and realized that I was doing it all wrong. My daughter would get up and run out of time out and I also had to "carry" her to the time out. Here is what I started doing with my daughter when she was your sons age... If she was hitting or doing something she wasnt supposed to be doing I would giver her 1 warning, if she done it again I would take her by the arm and bend down to eye level calmly and explain to her what she done and why she was going to time out, then I would take her to time out, everytime she would get up I wouldnt say a word to her and just calmly put her back on the chair, for a while it took me like 30 mins to do a 2 minute time out, keep putting him back everytime, until he does the 2 minutes. Then after the time is up, calmly explain why he is in there, ask him to apologize for the behavior and then hugs and kisses! I know people have said that time out doesnt work, but those are probably the people that arent doing it right. My daughter has adhd and had trouble with anger and was very hard headed. This technique has done wonders for her! She minds me very well because she knows I mean business. The main thing is to stay calm because children feed off of your energy, if you are aggrivated then he is going to be more aggrivated as well. I hope this helps!

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Shell - posted on 01/03/2013

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Hi... Spanking was always a last resort for us... but TRUST ME our son needed a good spank on his butt sometimes. (as did we when we were kids!!!!) Mostly to get his attention as the time out and taking toys away had not! Mind u no bruising or belts... just a safe ole swat on the butt from our hand.

One time my son hauled his hand back and hit me! I took his little hand and smacked it.... "how does that feel?" Shock value there. It didn't hurt him but he sure didn't like it. He never did it again.

Don't worry boys are boys.... they do that stuff. As disturbing as it is! lol

BUT try saying "a better response to that would be to ask if you can have a turn" or " you have to share" or " why did you do that?" if you don't know........ then say "if they did that you should have....."whatever he should have done". It's a learning process. And regardless of if its becuz u R babysitting... the child still needs to learn right from wrong. You can use it as a teaching lesson. But always follow up with a discipline also. He can't get away with it!

He is a boy. It is harder to work that out than it is with a girl. Take care and Good luck!!

Rochel - posted on 12/30/2012

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Hi, I know it can be frustrating when your LO starts to hit. Usually this is the way they are expressing themselves because they can't find the words to talk and express their feelings. Hitting is actually 100% normal and most kids go through this phase. In your case, it is most likely jealously and they do want more attention from you. I would suggest always spending one on one time with your child during your off time, even if its just reading a book or two. Also get down like mentioned above eye level and say "we don't hit" "so and so is crying or has an ouchy and that doesn't make them feel good, look how you made so and so feel" It is very important they see they are hitting which produced bad feelings. Then say, make nice and just touch softly, also tell them if they were hitting because they did't like something tell your LO to say "stop it I don't like it" and teach them they can move and play elsewhere away from the other child. I redirect it and say to my LO, if you want to hit give me a high five, that is a happy kind and you are allowed to give mommy high fives.
Lastly, please try to refrain from hitting your child, this just shows them that hitting is acceptable and ok and it will make them want to do it more not less.
Good Luck!

Rebecca - posted on 12/15/2012

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HITTING IS ACTUALLY NOT BIBLICAL
Don't use the Bible as an excuse to spank. There is confusion in the ranks of people of Judeo-Christian heritage who, seeking help from the Bible in their effort to raise godly children, believe that God commands them to spank. They take "spare the rod and spoil the child" seriously and fear that if they don't spank, they will commit the sin of losing control of their child. In our counseling experience, we find that these people are devoted parents who love God and love their children, but they misunderstand the concept of the rod.
Rod verses - what they really mean. The following are the biblical verseswhich have caused the greatest confusion:

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." (Prov. 22:15)

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." (Prov. 13:24)

"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death." (Prov. 23:13-14)

"The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to itself disgraces his mother." (Prov. 29:15)

At first glance these verses may sound pro-spanking. But you might consider a different interpretation of these teachings. "Rod" (shebet) means different things in different parts of the Bible. The Hebrew dictionary gives this word various meanings: a stick (for punishment, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.). While the rod could be used for hitting, it was more frequently used for guiding wandering sheep. Shepherds didn't use the rod to beat their sheep - and children are certainly more valuable than sheep. As shepherd-author Philip Keller teaches so well in A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23, the shepherd's rod was used to fight off prey and the staff was used to gently guide sheep along the right path. ("Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." – Psalm 23:4).

Jewish families we've interviewed, who carefully follow dietary and lifestyle guidelines in the Scripture, do not practice "rod correction" with their children because they do not follow that interpretation of the text.

The book of Proverbs is one of poetry. It is logical that the writer would have used a well-known tool to form an image of authority. We believe that this is the point that God makes about the rod in the Bible – parents take charge of your children. When you re-read the "rod verses," use the concept of parental authority when you come to the word "rod," ratherthan the concept of beating or spanking. It rings true in every instance.

While Christians and Jews believe that the Old Testament is the inspired word of God, it is also a historical text that has been interpreted in many ways over the centuries, sometimes incorrectly in order to support the beliefs of the times. These "rod" verses have been burdened with interpretations about corporal punishment that support human ideas. Other parts of the Bible, especially the New Testament, suggest that respect, authority, and tenderness should be the prevailing attitudes toward children among people of faith.

In the New Testament, Christ modified the traditional eye-for-an-eye system of justice with His turn-the-other-cheek approach. Christ preached gentleness, love, and understanding, and seemed against any harsh use of the rod, as stated by Paul in 1 Cor. 4:21: "Shall I come to you with the whip (rod), or in love and with a gentle spirit?" Paul went on to teach fathers about the importance of not provoking anger in their children (which is what spanking usually does): "Fathers, do not exasperate your children" (Eph. 6:4), and "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will be discouraged" (Col. 3:21).

In our opinion, nowhere in the Bible does it say you must spank your child to be a godly parent.

SPARE THE ROD!There are parents who should not spank and children who should not be spanked. Are there factors in your history, your temperament, or your relationship with your child that put you at risk for abusing your child? Are there characteristics in your child that make spanking unwise?

Gigi - posted on 12/12/2012

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Children can behave similarly for completely different reasons. Your child can be hitting for his own reasons. We tried to help based on the information we were given by OP. Adults can have similar opinion, if anything it shows that their suggestion is worth a try.

Vanessa - posted on 12/11/2012

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My son does the same and he is almost 4. I don't watch kids in my home so it's not guaranteed that he is jealous. I have yet to find a solution and the replies here did not help as everyone just copied what person before them said.

Gigi - posted on 12/11/2012

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I think his behavior is connected to the change of you caring for other kids in your home. That said, life is full of changes (even for small kids) and its parent's role to teach them to deal with it in a non-violent way. First of all, I am against spanking and I firmly believe that it just teaches a child that there are situations when its ok to hit (since the parent does it) and that actually teaches violence. Bible says many things and many of them could never be taken literally.

I agree with Casey, the main thing should be that you stay calm and that time outs are done with the cool head. I do time-outs in my daughter's bed (she still sleeps in her crib) for ease of "control" - she doesn't get out of it. probably part of the reason I do it there is that she very rarely goes into the time out and then it makes bigger impact (on her at least) when I just pick her up and carry her in her bedroom (and away from the distraction). After few minutes I go to her and explain why she was in the time out and ask her to apologize.

Melinda - posted on 12/11/2012

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Is he hurting the other children? If he didn't get a big reaction from doing it maybe he would do it less. My daughter will sometimes hit me, our animals, other children. She usually does it when she is bored or frustrated and it's how she deals with feelings. Sometimes just some one on one time and distracting her helps. I have spanked her a few times but it seems to just reinforce that hitting is okay. I don't think she is really at the age right now where she fully understands the pain of others unless she sees a boo boo.

Amy - posted on 12/10/2012

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Try setting up a behavior chart for all the kids and let him know if he has a good day he gets 30 minutes of your undivided attention at the end of the day to do what he wants. It sounds to me like he's acting out because now you're home all the time but he has to share you with other kids. I personally don't spank and I don't agree that spanking a child for hitting another child will teach him anything but everyone is entitled to their own form of discipline.

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