Screaming and hitting

Keri - posted on 12/10/2008 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My boys (ages 4 and 2) have recently taken to hitting me when they get angry at me. The older one likes to scream at the top of his lungs right in my face. I know some of this is normal age 'appropriate' behavior. What I need is advice on how to respond to it the right way and what NOT to do when responding. I have been explaining that I don't like that and we should use gentle hands only and at times using time outs. I am not so sure I like the time outs, but sometimes they seem to be the only thing that works for my 4 year old. Any advice?

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Keri - posted on 12/31/2008

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I'm looking back at this post I started and I have to say that the situation has gotten a lot better. I have been giving the 4 yo a choice of time out or cooperating. He hasn't been screaming near as much. Both my husband and I have been working with them. I think praising the 4 yo when he is doing something well/good has really helped. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all of the great advice!

Paulette - posted on 12/31/2008

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Hi Keri,

What is it about time outs that your not sure of or don't like? At this early age you need to crack down on the 4 yr old's behavior...when you do the 2 yr old will follow. It is total disrespect and if they treat you like this now it will get worse. How will the treat their future spouses? I am not saying to spank them..NO. I am saying that you need to use a firm and stern voice...no yelling or they think they have control. If you give the 4 yr old two choices rule and stick to your guns it can work. Example: You can play nice with your brother or go in time out. It needs to be opposites so they will pick the lighter of the two. For hitting you it needs to be something that he will really hate for you to take away...like movie time, tv time, a favorite toy...you got the idea. The first time you take it away...it is for like an hour, then two, etc. You need to tell him you will not accept him hitting you. And the same for screaming at you too. When you enforce your punishment...just do it, 'I am taking this away because you hit/screamed at me' then walk away...if you stand or sit there and say something back and forth. You loose the control part of things. I would recommend the books by Jo Frost (Supernanny). Take care.

Keri - posted on 12/18/2008

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Time out does help the older one calm down to some degree. I'm just not that happy using time outs (sigh). I just get so aggravated when my 4 yo will hit and destroy things when he is frustrated about things. I just want to get the message across that reacting the way he does doesn't make the situation any better, it only makes it worse. My 2 yo doesn't quite get the time out concept. But he is a little easier than the 4 yo.

Deborah - posted on 12/14/2008

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Have you started doing time outs with them? I have a 22mo. old and it took working with her to get her to stay in time out. I kept having to put her back in everytime she got up. I had been using her pack n play prior to that. She responds pretty well to time outs. Also taking away things they enjoy playing with. Being firm, but loving when you discipline. I get all my ideas from Nanny 911 ;) There methods really work.

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