Scratching Mommy

Rhonda - posted on 02/10/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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HELP!!!! My 17 month (almost 18 months) old scratches me. He will pull my hair and sometimes grab (pinch) me. But mostly its scratching. He has even tore my skin. I have tried saying 'NO' in a stern voice. I have tried ignoring him. I have tried gently scratching him back (which I don't like, as I think it is teaching him that it is okay to scratch). I have tried tapping his hand (same as above, teaching him its okay to hit). I have tried telling him in a calm voice, 'that hurts Mommy, please don't scratch.' I have tried pretending to cry, like my feelings are hurt. I have tried taking him and getting him to look at me and talking to him in a stern voice. He is learning sign language and knows some signs. He ONLY does it to me. He never does it to Daddy or his Nanny or Grandparents or other kids. Just Mommy!!!! I am really feeling like a failure and taking it personally. I don't know what to do. I don't think he will stay in time out at this age. I really need some advice.

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Krissy - posted on 02/11/2011

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same as biting... you need to be 100% consistent... I know you are trying, but trying all different things all the time doesn't work.

You can only say, "NO scratching, that HURTS." and then offer the discipline... (for his age, it usually is taking him to a corner, or something and plunking him down and walking away)...

If he gets up, do it again, and again and again until he stays....

after he stays for a few moments and is not screaming at the top of his lungs... LOL! Go to him and say, "There is NO scratching. That hurts. Now tell Mommy you are sorry...(then encourage a hug... or him rubbing the boo boo or something)...

Do this every time... it won't necessarily work or be easy the first few times... but be consistent and I bet he'll catch on and you'll see a drastic drop in incidences within a month or so.

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Rhonda - posted on 02/14/2011

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Thanks ladies. I tried it today for the first time and I think it may have worked. He only tried to scratch me once and that is when I brought him to the corner. He cried every time he tried to come out and I would turn him around and put him back. It broke my heart but I did it for a full minute then told him it hurt Mommy and hugged and held him. Let's hope this is the ticket.

Thanks again I truly appreciate the advice and support. :)

Julianne - posted on 02/11/2011

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pick him up and put him in his room and walk away. dont talk to him or look at him till he calms down and then get face to face and say in a firm voice that hurting mommy is not allowed and he has to have gentle hands.

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