18 month old hits my face when he's mad or tiered!

Paige - posted on 01/21/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )




My Son is 18 months old and picked up this mean habbit of slapping me on my chest or face when he gets mad. We dont hit him and I am a stay at home mom so I know, no one else is hitting him.... I have no clue why and where this is coming from! To correct him I usually grab his hand firmly and look at him in the eyes and say, "NO HITTING touch nicely" It makes him even more mad so he starts swinging his arm.... Now i say "touch nicely" and I put him down and walk away. This obviously helps, but when we are out in a public place and he makes a show for nosey people I cant just put him down.... Any advice on new things to try....at home and in public??? Thank you!


View replies by

Nadine - posted on 01/22/2009




Hi Paige,

My son is 15 months and has also started hitting... I was upset at first  but after doing some research and talking with other moms I think that it is a natural part of learning how to cope with emotions and I can see when my son gets frustrated with somthing he will sometimes hit...It sounds like you are handling things well and I do the same... tell him "No Hitting...be nice..."  I am not sure if your son also will tantrum after...but if so it's improtant to sooth him afterwards (after the ignoring part!).  The public issue is always tough... I cringe when my son starts to act out in a public place but I try to just stay on the usual coarse as much as the environment will allow... :)  Good Luck...

Corinne - posted on 01/22/2009




Hello Paige!

It's a normal part of their development at this stage.

My 22 month old son started doing this when he was about 16 months, and continues to this day, although not as much. He is still learning how to communicate his needs. He becomes so frustrated, the only way he can express his frustration is by hitting. Then I read on babycenter.com that toddlers who do this, do it because they TRUST YOU ENOUGH to express just how frustrated they are. After reading this, it made total sense to me. I felt relieved knowing it was actaully a positive thing, as strange as it may seem, and not my son simply being mean spirited. Now when he hits me, it look him in the eyes (like you) and calmly say "Luke, stop. No hitting" and try to focus on what else might be bothering him. Of course he continues to be angry, so I distract him with something else.

In public, it's pretty much the same and you can't put him down when it's your attention that he wants. I usually keep a toy of his stashed away in the diaper bag, that I know he loves and save it for these occasions. It works most of the time.

Good luck to you Paige!


Ruth - posted on 01/22/2009




My 19 month old son has started doing the same - he does it out of frustration when he does not get something he wants, or does not want to be carried. We never smack him either. At home I say a firm 'No - it hurts mummy when you hit' then put him down somewhere safe and let him have his short 'tantrum' as long as he is safe i try to ignore him until he sorts himself out. Its harder when out- I often distract him with something new to look at but I have twice had to put him into his buggy after hitting out at me when tired and he tantrums there - then both times fell asleep. I think its just a stage but would be interested in any advice. R

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms