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My 17 month old son has taken up hitting. He hauls off and smacks me in the face or my husband, or anyone that happens to be around. Sometimes for no apparent reason, sometimes b/c he gets upset, and sometimes (I think) just to see what will happen. Anyone have any advice for me on how to stop it. We've tried, so far:
1. Gentle hands please and showing him what that means
2. NO, STOP No Hit
3. Strapping him into a chair and letting him fuss for a minute
4. My husband has hit his hands

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Asked by Joemansmommy at 3:53 AM on Apr. 20, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (3)
  • dont hit back it will only tell him that it is okay. dont strap him in a chair either...too hostel for a little kid to understand. Rather, what has worked for us is fake cry when he hits you. Then dont wanna see us hurt they are too sensitive and it will bother him to see that he hurt you. After a few times of crying he should stop. When you cry, while crying mention to him "you hurt mama, or dada" "say sorry" I make my son either kiss me sorry or hugs...its usually a kiss on his part. IF all else fails he goes in the time out chair or threatened to go in it and he automatically says sorryGL(my son is 15months)

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 4:16 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

  • One - this is NORMAL behavior. Two - it's going to take a hundred or more repetitions of the SAME response before he "gets" it. Gently but firmly say No, we don't hit people. Put him down and walk away when he hits you. Let him know that that type of behavior makes you go away, not stay - which is not what he wants. If he's hitting out of emotion (frustration, anger, whatever), let him know you understand he's frustrated, why he's frustrated, but that hitting people is not okay. Give him something he can hit, like a pillow. Teach him how to express his emotions appropriately - again, it will take hundreds of repetitions at this age, so consistency is key. Don't hit him back for hitting you - that sends mixed messages (I can't hit you but you can hit me? So when CAN I hit you if it's okay for you to hit me...) If he hits another person, give them your attention first, then focus on him second.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:08 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

  • My 2 yrs old went through this too. We did exactly as the last post said. Put him down and ignored him. It took a couple of months but he's now pretty good. If he hit us when we were holding him and his goal was to get down, we held him in out laps and gently pinned his arms while telling him he couln't hit. In this case, putting him down and ignoring him would otherwise have reinforced the behavior since he got what he wanted. Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:24 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

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