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My 21 month old son will not stop hitting people. He is not being mean, he just constantly walks up to anyone and hits them or throws something at them. Any advice?

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Asked by mum231332 at 9:26 AM on Jul. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • If he doing this to get people's attention, teach him how to get people's attention correctly by tapping them or politely saying "Excuse me", and not by hitting or throwing things. Help him practice this by having him try to get your or other family member's attention and keep doing it until he gets it more often than not. When he does hit, simply remind him to not hit and then don't give him any more attention after that. It takes a long time of do-overs and practicing to get childrens' actions to match their actual intentions.

    If getting the other person's attention is NOT his intent, then try to find out why he's doing what he's doing and then teach him an appropriate way to meet the same need.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:02 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • When our FS was about that age (and not talking much) we were constantly dealing with hitting people. I agree that he wasn't trying to be mean, but is trying to say, "Come here", "move over", "gimme my toy back", etc. The good news is that it is a phase. By about 26-27 months, he stopped doing that as he realized that he can say a few words to get our attention. Things like, "Help", "come" (usually by holding your finger and pulling you to what he wants), "eat", etc. Also, ours started speech therapy at about 21 m/o, and that has helped A LOT! He still didn't say much (but some) for about 4-5 months. Now at 28 m/o he can say more than 100 words, a vast increase from about 6 words. You both will get thru it. Perhaps you could call Early Childhood Intervention to see if it would help your DS. But act quickly, they only work with them until 36 m/o.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 10:23 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I never realized that he is probably doing this to get people's attention and to try to say something to people. We are having a big problem with his speech. My girls were talking a lot by 21 months and he can hardly say anything at all. We have considered a speech therapist, but I think it is time to do much more than consider it. Thank both of you for your answers, it is nice to view other people perspective on things and get some good advice.

    Answer by mum231332 at 10:36 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • both of my sons didn't really talk much until around 3 or 4. Now they're 11 and 15 and have a college vocabulary. A boy I used to babysit didn't talk much and at about 26 months, had alot of words. I think JP's answer is good advice.

    Answer by ranedare at 10:55 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

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