Michelle - posted on 03/31/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




My almost 3 year old daughter has started to hit. She has been constantly trying to hit me when I discipline her. It is getting very frustrating. Last night she kept swatting at me, so I grabbed her from the counter (we were trying to brush her teeth) and put her on the floor and told her to just go and get away from me. She went in her room and told her Daddy she was on time out. Any suggestions? I don't like feeling like a monster, but I don't want to hit her back either or hurt her feelings like last night...


Yvonne - posted on 03/31/2011




Has her father stepped in and let her know that in no circumstances is she to hit her mother. It is amazing the effect a father has when he makes known to the kid/s that he considers Mum someone they should revere and respect and that He expects it. You can do the time out (2 mins max at her age) Or if you are quick enough hold her firmly to you. And firmly but lovingly say “No.” count to 3 and repeat no (and her name.) To help keep yourself calm you could try and estimate how many times you might have to repeat this before she gets the idea that she is not the boss. I quiite often found this really helped me to stay calm and not get upset by the wilfull naughty behaviour. Remember most of the time she is beautiful, and easy to love. These are precious teaching moments so that she becomes a beautiful young lady. I learned over time to be thankful for all the “challenging” moments when they were young as it is much easier to get through to them then than when they hit the teen years.

Jenni - posted on 03/31/2011




My son is 2 1/2 and we've struggled with hitting since he was 12 months. I started TOs at 18 months.

We have a no tolerance rule for being physical. You hit, you sit with no warnings. If he hits, he sits on the step for 2 mins... I get down to his level and give a simple explanation of why he is there: "We don't hit... hitting hurts" seems to suffice. If he leaves TO he is placed back on the step with no words. TO does not begin until he is staying in his spot.

Now this is the most important part of TO: The explanation or talk. I ask him why he is in TO... he'll say: I hit mommy.

"That's right, and we don't hit because hitting hurts. It's ok to be mad but we say, 'I'm really mad right now' and use our words."

Apology to me and the person he hit. Hugs and kisses and thank him for saying sorry.

You have to be consistant and not give up! It's so easy to do when you're not seeing immediate results. The thing about TOs is you're unlikely to be an immediate cure. Although it entirely depends on the child's temperment and age. It is a teaching tool more than a punishment. A chance to calm down and be receptive to your lesson or chat. It takes time... but here are some words of encouragement: They work! Parents tend to give up and say 'time outs aren't working for my child" but with my son it took about a year before I seen results.

My son use to hit multiple times a day at around 18 months. He hit less and less between 18 months-2 years old. He could not get through a day, let alone a weekend without hitting his half-sister on her visits. But for the last few months he hasn't hit, not once. Instead he's learned to use his words and says: "I'm really mad right now!" I always praise him when he does "Good job. You used your words. Now tell Mommy why you are mad." When he tells me, we try to solve the problem.

Children hit for a few reasons: Lack of language to express feelings, attention, finding a method that gets them results.... Time-outs address all of these issues. They teach children the language skills necessary to express their feelings, ignore the behaviour and doesn't give them the desired results for a negative behaviour.

I am a member of a community that may help you with additional questions or alternative methods to spanking it's called Positive Strategies - Solutions without Smacking.


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Doreen - posted on 03/31/2011




O I might be a bit harsh on this topic but I won't stand for that... however, you can't bash your kids either. I have only given my kids maybe in all 5 smacks on the buttom because .... here goes... I don't like screaming or hitting - so I don't scream or hit. Number 1 Rule and the most important. We do loose our cool but then you loose our childrens respect. Negotiate and be firm, always follow through with what you say. The twins once had a massive tantrum for a toy in the shop when they were about 3 years old... firstly I was so embarrassed and wanted the earth to swollow me whole, because everyone looked at me in horror - I just didn't know what to do at that moment. So I composed myself, and calmly ignored everyone, payed for my stuff and picked them up kicking and screaming and carried them to the car very patiently strapped them in their little seats and got into the car. Before we drove off I told them that when we get home I am going to give them a hiding (smack) because this can never ever happen again. I negotiated in the shop that we will speak to Dad, check our piggy bank and see if we have money to buy it and come back. They were a little teary and that 20 min drive home felt like forever because by the time I drove out of the parking lot I wasn't mad at them anymore, but read somewhere that you should always follow through. When we got home I calmly asked them to go to their room and fetched the belt and gave them each 2 fairly hard smacks with the belt - I know it seems terrible and it feels AWEFUL! But they have never done it again but I must also add that I always take time when we at the shops to give them so time to look at things they want to. Sooooo after my long winded story the point is - it is your responsibility to set the boundaries - not her's. Don't ever act out of anger - be calm - talk softly and with love, but be firm. After warning her 2 times do follow through with the punishment that you set out for her. The punishment needs to be a punishment and not a "time out" - it means nothing to them really. AND o yes also remember to give her some time to sit in it and then always go back and reassure her that you love HER but don't approve of her choice or that specific behaviour. Warn her should she do it again - you will punish her again... you don't want to but that is the line.... :) Hard Hey? Never say sorry because that would mean you apologizing - you are not admitting to any injustice. Remember that because it is hard. ALways apologize when you do do something wrong but only then.

Gemma - posted on 03/31/2011




Just keep perserveing with time out each time she hits. hopefully she will get the message. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she has just started knocking her brother down alot. he is only 9 months but just starting to try and walk. so it is not helped by ellie. She is also getting very strong willed and i to have some times yelled at her and told her to go away, which is horrible when you look back. People have told me to just keep trying to put her in time out and stay strong. which is hard when she justt keeps doing her own thing. But hopefully she will get the message. Also the nursery said to put her in time out and when her time is up try getting her to say sorry but also to talk about feelings on how she thinks she would feel if someone hit her and after a while m,aybe ashe will stop. stay strong and make sure both of you stick to the same discipline. she will then know she can't get away with it. good luck

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