pinching

Nichole - posted on 11/19/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter is always grabbing/pinching my face/neck. How do I get her to stop?

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My son will be 2 in December and he also loves to pinch my face and any other part he can pinch an inch off of. He also likes to pull hair. He watches me and my reaction when he does these things and then laughs. I usually would say in a stern voice "no, that hurts mommy, don't pinch mommy" then I would have a sad face to teach him that he has hurt mommy and mommy is sad. So far it hasn't really worked for me, but maybe one day...wishfull thinking lol. GL and I'll be watching for other's advice on this topic too seing that you and I are in the same boat.

[deleted account]

OK - I feel bad for just posting that link without saying anything else - it seems hostile almost, which is not where I am coming from!

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE that you need to show the kids who is in charge, no doubt! They do need to learn to be respectful and obedient to their parents, please don't mistake me for one of the "Whatever my little darling does is wonderful and I will never discipline her or it will crush her spirit or worse she won't LIKE me!!" people. Far from it - I am just as annoyed by permissive parenting. But I think, truly, that corporal punishment sends the wrong message to kids - that "might makes right" and that they internalize the lesson. I don't want my daughter to obey me because she is afraid of me. I want her to behave because she knows the difference between right and wrong, and my very hard job as her mom is to show the difference without resorting to the easy fixes, like spanking. I know this can be done because I am a preschool teacher, and our class is filled with 20 well-behaved, respectful kids. And I am not allowed to hit them! (Not that I would!)

This is a very volatile debate - I once almost alienated my sister-in-law by arguing that spanking is child abuse, that wasn't a great Easter! - and I know that people feel strongly about it and don't appreciate being told they are abusing their children. I don't think spanking is tantamount to child abuse exactly, but I still think it's the wrong way to go - an abuse of power. We have complete physical domination over little kids, and it can be very scary to be in a world full of big people who can do whatever they want to you. Children are little sponges, they soak up whatever they experience, and they watch their parents very closely to see what is acceptable in this world. I don't want my child to think that it is EVER acceptable to hit - or pinch - anyone for any reason. So I hope I didn't come across as a complete jerk to Faith - I didn't mean to be.

Faith - posted on 11/20/2008

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When my kids were younger (5 or less) we kept our cool and spanked our children for inappropriate behavior and told them "No!" . The children were shocked more than anything and it really made a difference. My children respect authority and are very well mannered. It pays to be consistent and make it clear who is in charge when they are still young or it will be an uphill battle as they grow up.

[deleted account]

I think that knowing her age is important for a good answer to this question. Not knowing that, I can't give you concrete "do this" advice, but I would say, respectfully disagreeing with some of the other replies, NOT to pinch her back. You would be teaching her that a) pinching hurts and is a good attention getter - "If I REALLY need Mom's attention I'll pinch her!" - and b) that it's ok to reciprocate an annoying and/or painful behavior - meaning she will be more likely to pinch or hit another child who does that to her. That's why her age is key - telling a 15-month-old to use her words won't be very effective. What might work for that age is taking both her hands in yours, saying "No pinching!" very firmly with an exaggerated shake of the head, and if possible, sitting her down for a few seconds away from you. Ignore her for this short amount of time - maybe a minute - then go back to her and take her hands, stroke them gently across your neck, and then say something like "Nice, gentle, thank you!" and give her a big hug and smiles. Hopefully she will begin to notice - pinching leads to Mom being angry then ignoring her for a while, and gentle hands earn Mom's smiles and hugs.

I know advice like this may sound good in theory but in reality might be hard to follow through on - like, if it is not realistic to put her down and ignore her for a minute because she won't stay put or you are in a public place - but it's something to think about. You want to reinforce good behavior that you teach her, and demonstrate that undesirable behavior does not lead to an exciting response. Hey, if you want to try the pinching her back thing once to see if it works, like it did for someone else here, go ahead - and maybe your problem will be over! But if she pinches again, you know it didn't work and you can try something else, even though it may take longer - and it probably will take several instances of "No!", etc., before she begins to understand. You probably don't want to pinch her repeatedly to teach her to stop, but repeating the other idea at least won't inadvertently teach her a bad behavior. Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 11/19/2008

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Pinching her back might work, but that's only if she doesn't know she is hurting you. If she does know I used a flick with my son. On his cheek or arm and since little kids can't really flick it makes it impossible to truly imitate.

Lisa - posted on 11/19/2008

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My daughter used to pull my hair all the time and the stern no's didn't work , she used to smile and giggle, when I got fed up of this happening after 2 months time I decided to pull back and she caught on very quickly that it hurt . I only had to do it once though. She never did it again after that. Good luck !!!

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2008

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how old is she? can you tell her fingers aren't for pinching and that it hurts and makes mommy feel bad? take her hands away from your face and tell her a firm 'no!' keep doing it until she stops. make sure you do it every time she pinches or she might start to think it's okay to do it sometimes. pinching her back may just reinforce that it's okay to do it. good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2008

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Pinch her back, i know it hurts both of you, but she will figure it out that it hurts and she will stop.

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