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What can/should I do to stop the hitting and bad attitude?

My two year old son has been acting so mean lately. He hits and slaps everyone. He is constantly talking back and refuses to stay in time out. I'm hoping it's a phase, but it just seems to be getting worse. He's been quite a little monster lately and it's really becoming stressful. Does anyone have any advice or tips as to how to handle this kind of behavior?

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Asked by samoore at 9:34 AM on Jan. 21, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • IMO I think 2 years old is too early to be putting a child in a time out. I know a lot of people do this but in order for a time out to be effective the child must make the association between the negative behavior and the punishment and MOST children at this age can't do this and then get frustrated because they don't have a clue as to why they are being punished. I also FEEL that you really can't use any punishment at this age for the same reasons stated above.


    Answer by freespirit227 at 9:58 AM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • I think the best way to stop hitting is to just be patient and tell them no! Also, demonstrate the behavior you want your child to display. When our daughter started hitting we just said "No no you need to be nice and then we would take her hand and have her rub our hands and say nice nice. After about two weeks of this she started "petting" people and saying "nice, nice" instead of hitting others. This worked really well for us.

    Good Luck 2 years old is a tough age.

    Answer by freespirit227 at 9:58 AM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • He doesn't have the words necessary to express himself, but he has enough body control, so he uses his body to express his emotions. He needs to understand that he's being heard - don't just send him in time out - let him know by using your words that you understand he's angry, upset, frustrated, sad, whatever...give him the words to use, then gently remind him that hitting/scratching/kicking people is not a good choice - give him something he CAN hit like a pillow, or show him that he can stomp the floor. Give him alternate ways of expressing his frustration - teach a positive alternative for the same emotions. Remember always that he's not being bad on purpose - he needs to learn how to express himself appropriately to meet his need. When he does hit or kick, immediately walk away or put him down so that he will learn that type of behavior makes mommy and daddy go away...NOT what he wants.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:59 AM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • Thanks for the advice! I just wanted to clear up that it's not like I just put him in time out at any little hit or bad behavior. He has warnings and we talk about making better choices and that hitting hurts and makes the person sad and feel bad. Time out is more of a place for him to "chill out" and before he comes out of time out we talk about what he did and how he can do it differently. Thanks for the advice I do like the idea of giving a pillow or using the floor to vent his frustration. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question. I'm always open to any advice!! :o)

    Answer by samoore at 11:44 AM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • well when your child starts hitting just tell him no and then talk to him about what he did and tell him hitting isnt nice also he could be hitting people because he feels like hes not getting any attetion so talk to him play with him show him that your paying attetion to him have a family time togeather

    Answer by henderson20 at 12:14 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • My son is already been doing this since he was 14 months. Hes now 16 months and still doing it. He throws toys too.

    Answer by mrsmilander at 4:10 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

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