i need help disciplining for hitting/grabbing/pushing!

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by stephanielynn, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. stephanielynn

    stephanielynn New Member

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    ds is almost 2 yos. he's not generally aggressive or angry at all, but the normal hitting/pushing stage has seemed to get a bit out of control lately. he grabs his friends in the face...grabs a cheek/mouth part...and leaves a red mark, scratch, etc. i've identified in one situation that it's usually when his buddy screams or raises his voice. the other times...almost always when he's around other kiddos his age...i don't see any real reason. just that they're playing with something he likes and was playing with 10 minutes ago sort of reasons.

    so...we're doing time away...and then saying sorry. i tell him that he can not hurt his friends...no grabbing...and then take him to his room if we're at home/away somewhere random if we're not at home. he recites "gentle friends" or "love friends" or "no grabbing" or whatever i say, goes back to the friend and says sorry, and then turns right around and does it again over and over.

    feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. lost my patience the other day and found that my first instinct was to squeeze his arm super hard while i talked to him in a super frustrated voice. uggg...don't want that to get out of control.

    :help:
  2. cathleenc

    cathleenc dirty. good dirt.

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    big hugs. My kids can set me off into confused, unwanted behavior like no one/nothing else in my life! It's scary and uncomfortable - big clues to me, at least, that I need to grow new skills.

    Your child is only 2 - he cannot act mature nor have mature impulse control. He is learning! He is excited! He is learning!

    In our household, timeouts did not help us make progress towards desired behavior - what did help was using the time to sit together and get our feelings (both child and me) under control. Then recognize that your child is learning - that you are learning - and with compassion for each of you model nice behavior (which it sounds like you have been doing) and return to supervised play. Kids at age 2 really cannot play together without hovering from an adult to help keep play safe.

    Cathy
  3. stephanielynn

    stephanielynn New Member

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    so...you would take you and dc away from the situation to sit down together and talk? and then what did the conversation sound like?
  4. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    Well, it was around that age and for that very reason that Lauren got her first time out (I know, I know, I'm the bad time-out mama, but it absolutely can work and if it works you'll eventually almost NEVER have to give one).

    So, from my POV, here's what I did:

    I told her that we do not hit in our family. Hitting, kicking, biting, etc. are off limits and that doing so will result in a time out.

    Of course, she immediately hit me.

    So, she went to time out (and it isn't as if she stayed in easily, so I put her in her stroller and strapped her in - I know 1/2 of you think I'm horrid and I don't really care :D ).

    for about 60 seconds.

    Before she got out, I reminded her that she would go back to time out if she hit again.

    Of course, she immediately hit again.

    So, she immediately went (I'm calm throughout all this) back to time out for 60 seconds.

    Remind her that hitting will result in a time out.

    Repeat about six times.

    I was calm, soft-voice, loving-voice the whole time.

    I've never had to send her to timeout again for hitting. That was almost exactly three years ago and she does not hit, kick, bite, etc. She is pretty much never physically aggressive.

    It used to irk me that so many mamas around here feel that time outs are not "gentle," but, really, I know that they can work in a compassionate, calm, loving and educational manner, so I don't worry any more. I believe it to be gentle to help the parent set limits calmly and lovingly and significantly reduce the frequency of any conflict (as I've said, yes, I give time-outs, no, my daughter is not afraid of me or an automaton, yes, she has a strong personality, and because she understands that I rarely give direction, but that when I get those two fingers up I mean business, she only averages about one time-out a year - how can that not be gentle?)

    So, I know time-outs are not popular to discuss round these here parts, but I do believe that they can be effective and so I'm just going to state my POV whenever these threads pop up :D

    :hippy:

    peace out.
  5. MotherMoon

    MotherMoon Super Crunch in AL

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    Children react when they can't express. This is very common at 2 but continues. For us, modeling was the biggest help.

    "No Samantha, we don't hit. See how hitting has hurt Beth. Are you mad at Beth? You tell her with words. 'Beth I'm mad.' Why are you mad? Did she take your toy? 'Beth I am mad you took toy.'

    You have to be on top of things and there is a lot of repetition involved. But, it teaches respect. It teaches them to consider other's feelings. It also teaches them to be verbal and put words to their feelings. The faster they can put words to feelings the faster the frustration disapates and so does the violence.
  6. cathleenc

    cathleenc dirty. good dirt.

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    In addition to what Michelle said, I'd be on the look out for what provoked the frustration - were you in a new setting, was it a difficult day, was there a lot of stimulation (people, noise, location) that might have pushed your child to overload? We all overload - it's what we do with it that matters/makes it acceptable. We all have feelings. Being able to name our feelings, get them acknowledged, know that we are lovable while having 'bad' feelings or actions, and that we can communicate can make all the difference.

    As a parent, I used to always wonder 'yeah, great, but what do I DO?' after someone would post theoretical rather than practical response like I just did. You wing it. You wing it with love. Some days a solution will work - somedays it won't. You evolve. You learn.
    hth,
    Cathy
  7. AngelaJ

    AngelaJ Senior Member

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    I agree 100% with the above posters!


    When we were in that stage, we did 1)time away to get feelings under control, and talk about being gentle. 2)If it happens again, we leave. Obviously child is overloaded with something that day and is having a difficult time. If it happens twice, it is going to happen again, IME. 3)Next time we will be around friends, I tell child what behavior I expect, and we talk about ways to be nice to our friends, and how it might feel to be hurt.

    With my 1st and 3rd child, we only had to leave a playdate *once* for them to get it, and it was right around their second birthday for both. With my middle DD, a biter, it did not work, so she had to be *very* closely supervised, when she was around other children, until she was 4. It sucks to have to do that, but I have absolutely no tolerance for hurting other *beings*. Now, all of this was done with love, no spankings, and no time-outs. I am not opposed to time-outs really, just haven't needed them with my 1st and 3rd, and then they didn't work at all with my 2nd. She has Asperger's though, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.

    I know it is hard. I know it is developmental for a child to do these things. That said, it is not normal for it to continue indefinitely. This is something that I have been struggling with over the past few months, because my child has been the victim of a couple of vicious attacks. 2 of the little ones were right around 2 when they began(same age as my DD), one is 3.5, and their mothers are still making excuses about it being normal for little boys to be aggressive.(a year later!) I even babysit one of the boys 2x a week, and he has never hurt my DD while in my care, but as soon as his Mom shows up, he immediately gets aggressive. And I have *never* had to put this child in timeout.....Mom can't believe how sweet he is with me. The parents of all 3 of these children spank. The other little ones, well we no longer hand out with them, and neither do most of the other Moms in our group.

    Okay, all this is coming from a Mom that has been on both sides of that issue, and it is trying no matter if your child is the aggressor or the victim. :hug: It will be better soon. My DD is 33mos, and hasn't hurt anyone since she was about 26mos. There is just a huge spurt of maturity that happens between 2 and 3. Young 2s are still babies, but older 2s are definitely moving into *kid* territory and out of toddlerhood.
  8. juliebelle

    juliebelle taking pictures

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    he seemed to be "getting it" this afternoon when i was over...
  9. tracey

    tracey no worries on my mind

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    i always recommend a couple of books for moms at this stage. it's just the beginning of discipline...and in some ways is harder than it will be later bc the child is so young and really quite immature. the issues later will be bigger (as will the child) but at least you can reason with them :lol: and hopefully if you've done ok they'll have empathy and will understand what you're saying (even if they don't agree...)

    dr. sears has a great book called, quite simply, the discipline book. highly recommend that one.

    ames and ilg have a series of books...your one year old, your two year old, etc...get the your two year old and you'll gain a lot of perspective into the "why" of his behavior. for me, that removed a lot of anger from my side of the conflict to understand exactly why he did it.

    playful parenting (forgot the author and i leant my copy out) LOVE this one.

    how to talk so your kids will listen by faber and maslish...omg this is a staple parenting book.

    these will get you started...i am of the rebecca variety of parent overall...we strive to be gentle with our boys. we are not always quiet (i wish we were but if you know charles and i well you know that's just not our personalities, nor is it our sons' either...) but we are always loving and caring. we always follow up discipline with hugs and a chance to snuggle. as it is my 8 and 9yo ask permission for everything and mostly talk through their feelings (including the big ones) rather than acting out...unlike lots of kids their ages in the neighborhood that i see. they are not automatons and are allowed to question us respectfully (now...not when they were 2) but seem to respect that we know best and are in charge.

    my disclaimer: my parenting style may not mesh with everyone but it jives for my family and it stems deeply from my LLL experiences. we have never been the sort to "wear" an AP badge of any sort (although i don't know of one we did not/do not do if you visit mothering.com :joker: i could have such an impressive siggy over there if that was the case :hahaha: )...we parent from the heart and follow our instincts. our goal is not to have robots for kids who blindly obey but rather to raise empathetic and thoughtful men who think for themselves but respect authority when it is present.
  10. stephanielynn

    stephanielynn New Member

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    <sigh> thanks so much for the help, mamas. it's hurting me so much that he hurts his friends and that i am feeling lost sometimes about what to do...or either doing something that i don't want to continue (yk, like squeezing his arm or jerking him around or something). i have much less patience/joy when dh gets home from work these days after dealing with this stuff all day, and i don't like that either.

    had a meeting with several of the LLL leaders tonight and asked their advice...and gots lots of good stuff. i have decided i am def going to commit to being right with him at all times when he's around other kiddos, so that i can give a "punisher" (using that word to mean interrupter...not some crazy form of punishment) as soon as his hand goes up...and before he actually hurts someone. for right now, i think i will grab him up and sit him down in my lap, explain to him that he will not hurt others and that he will have to sit with me, model something for him to express verbally (and i will see better what to tell him to do b/c i will be right there), hold him gently against his will, and then let him go and say he's sorry.

    please, lord, let this work quickly. :)
  11. stephanielynn

    stephanielynn New Member

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    i appreciate you explaining so well, rebecca. i have been doing this..except that a couple of times i have not remained calm and spoken gently, to be honest. it has not been working so far...hence, the desperation to try something else.
  12. tracey

    tracey no worries on my mind

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    i was once told back when i was a leader applicant and mother of a young toddler and newborn at the same time (older 2 kids are 16m 1d apart in age so *very* intense period of my life as i'm sure you can relate to ;) ) by a very wise LLL Leader and mother of 3 older (than mine at that time) kids that we'll say it 500 times before the kid *gets* it. and by then, they'll have stopped the behavior bc they outgrew it developmentally.

    she was right.

    :hug: just keep going mama...your heart is in the right place and will lead you in the right direction to lead your son by example.
  13. mamatanya

    mamatanya the bead lady

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    I totally agree with what everyone has been saying.
    For me, the big thing was realizing that this was because my son's verbal skills weren't doing it for him. I encouraged him to use his words, not his hands. And when working through the apology with his friends, I tried to gently help him with what he could have said rather than using his hands. We still talk about other kids who bite or hit at school and how they will stop doing that when they are better at using their words. It kind of became a being a big boy thing for him.
  14. juliebelle

    juliebelle taking pictures

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    i think one of the hardest parts about kid behaviors like this is that they are inconvenient for us...what i mean is. when our kids react like that...it means we need to follow them, leave a hang out time with our friends or a fun party, leave the playground or something else that we were enjoying. that's what usually brings on my frustration...their behavior means i can't enjoy doing whatever it was that *i* was doing. but...this is what it means to be a parent.
  15. stephanielynn

    stephanielynn New Member

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    :agreed:
  16. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    Oh, that is the toughest thing...especially for moms who don't get to socialize much irl. Hopefully he'll pass through this stage quickly and be onto another one soon!:lol: JK (There's always something!)
  17. Mrs. Mommy

    Mrs. Mommy Breathe

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    I am appreciating this tread, Stephanie. We are having the same problem with my 21 month old hitting his 6 month old cousin. (I watch her 3 days a week) Some days he doesn't do it at all, and other it seems like it is constant. I do realize it is hard for him to share his mama and he is just wanting attention. So I know how frustrating it can be!

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