Why has my 17 month old started hitting me?

Louise - posted on 09/18/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 17 month old son has started hitting me when he cant get his own way. Is this normal and whats the best way to stop my 17 month old's hitting?

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Melanie - posted on 05/03/2011

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my baby is 17 months old and started hitting about 6 weeks ago, it has been very frustrating to say the least, to not get upset with him, but instead, I try to do the "super nanny" thing, I have designated an area in my home where I sit him for time out, he has to sit there for 1 minute, even though I am not sure if he understands me, I tell him he has to sit in time out for hitting, he cannot hit mommy, or himself if thats why he is there and them I walk away, it took a couple days for him to understand that he had to stay, after I sat him down the first time I would not talk to him if I had replace him in the time out spot, he will now sit until I come get him, when its over I tell him I love him but he cannot hit and then we give eachother hugs and kisses ad he can go play again, I don't know if this is right, and have only started about 2 weeks ago, but am hoping it will help stop the behavior, I agree with the other moms, it doesn't seem to get better right away, consistency hopefully will prevail

Sammie - posted on 01/20/2012

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I've been reading all yr posts here n there all just like my Lil boy!! My son is 19 months old & has started hitting/ or pinching me! It's never his dad though!! & only sometimes it's in Anger!! He cnt b wanting my attention as he gets alot of my time!! I think I will try this supper nanny thing too as I'm finding it hard to control it!! He also pinchs him self but I think that's to take away his teething pains?? O I dnt no,, lol there's to much thinking involved!! Y y y?! Lol this is my 1st time on here & all yr tips are welcome my way!

Karli - posted on 05/03/2011

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He has developed freedom, he can walk and run and climb and do all sorts of new things and then you enter his new cool world and want to change it on him, stop him or slow him down and he's not happy with you about that. He is just expressing some feelings but does not have the words yet. If he hits you because he's mad or frustrated that you've tried to stop him from doing something, try to label his emotion. Something like "you are angry, mad, upset or frustrated"(whatever the emotion may be) at mommy for asking you to stop or sit or be quiet..etc. Tell him that it's okay to feel whatever he is feeling but that it is not okay to hit. I used to tell my kids that we are going to use our words and to tell mommy that you are mad, sad, instead of hitting. It is not easy but I have been "emotion coaching" my kids since they about 18 months old and my oldest is 4 now and the hard work is definitely paying off. A good book that may help is raising an emotionally intelligent child by John Gottman. It is a great tool for preventing tantrums and power struggles before it starts. Hope it helps.

Laurie - posted on 05/05/2011

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He needs to learn to redirect his anger. My son used to hit and throw his toys when he got mad. I told him that was not acceptable and suggested he find something else to do to express his anger. He has taken to stomping around like a giant whenever he is mad. It is a very visible display that he is angry and upset but does not involve (usually) hitting or throwing things which could hurt people. I don't get angry at him when he starts stomping but do try to diffuse his anger and frustration - assuming it's not something really obvious such as I just told him he's not allowed to have/do something. He is three and half now.

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Victoria - posted on 05/05/2011

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Your 17 month old hitting you is totally normal. My little guy does it too. I put him in the naughty corner for one minute, and explain to him that it is not nice to hit. He definitely thinks twice before hitting in the face now, but if he does slip, he goes back into the naughty corner.

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

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I like Karli's post, too....that's actually what I meant when I said, "talk to them" lol but she explained what I wanted to say lol

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

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It is hard for me to put either child in a time out without putting them both in one lol because if I put my 5yr old in a time out and she's crying on her bed or what not the 19 1/2 month old will usually try to go over there and hug her LOL! sweet, but I have to remind her not to go by her sister because she's in a time out....
I remember when the 19 month old first hit me on purpose. I spanked her hand and told her you do NOT hit Mommy. Naturally, she cried, but the few times she has done that since I have the same reaction and she rarely tries to hit me. Yes, they may not know how to express themselves, but, them hitting you until they out grow it is not happening in my book. Some kids don't out grow it and get themselves into trouble at school and later in life. Even if they don't have the words to say to let you know how they feel or even if that is how they are expressing their anger, hitting you is not okay. Once they learn that they cannot hit you then you can talk to them and I think it might make it easier to help them find words to their emotions. This is just how I handled it. But I do like Super Nanny's methods. I just have a hard time following it with two of them and only one of me....

Lorelei - posted on 09/19/2009

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Tell them the behavior is unacceptable, and not to hit, if they do it again naughty spots (chair, corner, etc.) does work and when they are done throwing their fit tell them why they were in the naughty place and tell them to say sorry

Louise - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

I assume your 17 month old is hitting because he is angry and don't know how else to express his emotions. I have a 19 month old and he used to hit me to. I let him know that he hurt me and that makes me sad. I have him say sorry and hug me. That might be the best you can do for a child that young. They don't understand a lot of things.




My 17 month old is hitting when hes angry with me if ive told him no or took something away that he shouldnt have. Hes normally a very loving and placid child and i love him to bits he is my world and it has upset me that he hit me as i have never hit him, thanks for your advice and i will try your suggestions.

Lorraine - posted on 09/19/2009

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my 2 year old is the same he hit's and bites yes it's there way of showing us how they feel because they can't tell you, and it can be a way of getting your atention i tell him no that's naughty then if he dose it again i will put him in the high chair for a few minutes or in his room, then when i go back i tell him that was naughty and get him to give mummy a cuddle then it's over untill next time as they say the terrible two's come before there two so good luck and show them who's boss.

Sarah - posted on 09/18/2009

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I assume your 17 month old is hitting because he is angry and don't know how else to express his emotions. I have a 19 month old and he used to hit me to. I let him know that he hurt me and that makes me sad. I have him say sorry and hug me. That might be the best you can do for a child that young. They don't understand a lot of things.

Victoria - posted on 05/05/2011

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Your 17 month old hitting you is totally normal. My little guy does it too. I put him in the naughty corner for one minute, and explain to him that it is not nice to hit. He definitely thinks twice before hitting in the face now, but if he does slip, he goes back into the naughty corner.

Louise - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

I assume your 17 month old is hitting because he is angry and don't know how else to express his emotions. I have a 19 month old and he used to hit me to. I let him know that he hurt me and that makes me sad. I have him say sorry and hug me. That might be the best you can do for a child that young. They don't understand a lot of things.




My 17 month old is hitting when hes angry with me if ive told him no or took something away that he shouldnt have. Hes normally a very loving and placid child and i love him to bits he is my world and it has upset me that he hit me as i have never hit him, thanks for your advice and i will try your suggestions.

Sarah - posted on 09/18/2009

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I assume your 17 month old is hitting because he is angry and don't know how else to express his emotions. I have a 19 month old and he used to hit me to. I let him know that he hurt me and that makes me sad. I have him say sorry and hug me. That might be the best you can do for a child that young. They don't understand a lot of things.

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