I have a thirteen month old who is hitting when he doesnt gt his way..Any ideas on how to stop this behavior..without hitting or spanking?

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Kristen - posted on 12/28/2008

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I also agree that teaching the word gentle and modeling it helps a lot. It was one of the first words my daughter learned and as she grew she would often show it or say it to other kids who were being rough. Sign language is also helpful since children can learn it as a way of communicating before they have the muscles developed in their mouth for speech to occur. Please, more, mine, no, eat, sleep and some favorite food signs are a great place to start.

Alexandra - posted on 12/28/2008

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Yes. I have an idea. First off- always remember at this age they are mimicking modelled behavior. So, if he is in daycare and sees this, this could be a behavior he is learning. HOWEVER, that being said, I would like to tell you - i have a 15 month old child who is learning sign language (babysigningtime.com). This has helped GREATLY in helping him to communicate his actual needs. For the most part, his needs are being met because he asks for "eat", "Cracker", drink, and shows other signs -- one of which is "MORE". When he has a bit of a fit because we have to change what's happening, we let him do this (at home), and MOST IMPORTANTLY, we immediately attempt to INTEREST him in something else (could be a toy, or singing a song) and we are persistent IN THIS and it usually works. Also, another thing we do is constantly model "Gentle" by taking baby's hand and stroking or patting something softly with it. I do hope this helps and if my advice is not helpful, please excuse my interjection.

Annick - posted on 12/25/2008

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I agree with this response. My son used to hit as a baby also and I found this method to be useful. It was a long road to success but well worth it. As Kristen said, consistency is the key. Children of that age often get frustrated with being unable to communicate well. Another method a close friend of mine is adopting and which is working quite well for her, it to teach the child some basic sign language to help communicate.

Kristen - posted on 12/24/2008

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This is a very typical behavior at this age. As soon as he hits, hold his hands and firmly tell him and show him "You may jump up and down or you may stomp your feet, but you may not hit." You will need to demonstrate the stomping or jumping up and down. It will not change overnight, but keep at it. Consistency is the key. Be sure to do and say the same thing every time. That's not to say that this is the only way, but I have seen it work very well in my preschool and with my own daughter. Toddlers hit because they don't know what to do with the anger they feel. They will learn much sooner with consistent modeling. Good Luck!!

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