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How do I get my 15 mo old daughter to stop hitting?

My darling daughter is 15 mo old and very precocious. She knows that hitting is an "ow." She doesn't hit terribly hard, she's tiny, but she'll hit someone or something and say "ow." We've tried time out. She'll sit for her 1 minute duration, get up, say "sorry", give kisses and then hit and say "ow" again! As I said, she's very precocious and she knows she's not supposed to do this, just like she's not supposed to stand up on the couch. It seems like she's trying to use it as an attention getter but she'll do it while we sitting on the floor playing with her as well as when we're otherwise occupied. I've tried distracting her, everything I can think of. She knows the concept of "gentle." After she hits, I say "be gentle" and she'll stroke my cheek just like I have shown her. I don't know what to do.

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Asked by MiaMJK at 10:48 PM on Feb. 2, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • My son did the same & we just kept reinforcing "gentle touches" & "no hitting" & eventually he grew out of this phase (he's now 20 months old).

    Answer by oahoah at 11:05 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • Just keep doing gentle touches. My guess is someone patted her little hand when she was doing something they didn't like, and she thinks that is what you do when someone is doing something you don't like. I found out my SIL tapped my fifteen month old's hand. It took a month to get her out of the phase.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:55 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • Its hard to do, but i hope you can get it stopped bc my son is almost 3 and still hits! and he also bites

    Answer by camtri3 at 10:49 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • I just asked this question last month when my son was 15 months old. Everyone pretty much told me it's a phase. If you keep letting them know it's wrong eventually they'll get it. Here I am a month later though still getting hit. LOL! Don't give up.

    Answer by Nika75 at 11:56 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • Thanks all. It's crazy, she does it to herself as often as she does to other people. One would think she realizes it doesn't feel good. It doesn't seem to be an agressive thing all the time so hopefully it's just an expression of feeling and a phase! Thanks again.

    Answer by MiaMJK at 3:07 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

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