How do you teach a 14month old not to hit?

Christin - posted on 02/19/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 14 month old who is really mean to her 3 yr old sister. She hits and slaps her, HARD! How do I break this? I've smacked her hands or spanked her but I don't think it's effective. And when I say, "be nice, be gentle or pat, don't hit" she'll repeat "Nice" -- while she's slapping her sister or me. She doesn't get it. When she's disciplined she cries (sometimes they're fake tears) and hides her face in a pillow or the side of the bed and knows she's in trouble but I just don't think she gets it that she hurts her sister. Usually the attacks come when I'm showing attention to her sister. Tonight it was while I was helping my 3 yr old put on her jammies after her bath and she was stepping into her pants when my little one came up and smacked my big one on the stomach, hard! The older one really cried b/c it hurt so much. I was shocked. The amount of force behind the hitting is almost as concerning as the behavior itself. Help! Any suggestions?

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User - posted on 02/20/2009

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wow, that is strange that the sibling rivalry would be coming from the younger child.  My only thought was to hit her back, which works very well when my 17 month old forgets that hitting isn't nice but since you've tried it and it still doesn't work I don't know what to think.  Have you tried a time out?  I do this occassaionally when he is "in a mood" and just not listening - he gets to sit in his highchair and face the wall or corner for an indeterminate amount of time (sometimes its 3 mins sometimes 5 - depends on what he was doing).

Ginger - posted on 02/20/2009

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my youngest is a bully too.. they are 2 years apert she does it when Im not looking she is now almost 2.. I tried the disipline actions you did too.. what I found worked the best is.. I made her say sorry and give a kiss when she has hit her brother.. I dont do much besides that( I dont want to bring attention to the things I dont like) Instead I look for when she is doing what I would like her to do.. Like "you are sharing nice with you brother, what a good girl you are".. stuff like that.. It hasnt dissapeared completly but it has improved her behavior.. besides that Im still working on it myself.. I just wanted to let you know your not alone.. good luck

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