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My 2.5 yr old is going through a very bad hitting phase and time outs and conseuqences are not working.. i refuse to use pyhscial discipline.. any tips? I really need to get him to sotp before his baby brother comes

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Asked by JrsMommy07 at 12:07 PM on Aug. 1, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 10 (419 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • First, keep track of when he is hitting. My daughter loses control when she's hungry, for example. Some days she skips her snack, saying she isn't hungry, and she hits on those days. Thankfully, I can now say to her, I think you're feeling out of sorts, is there something you need, and she'll say yeah, snack. It also redirects her.

    When she was hitting for no good reason (which all toddlers do, and you're doing the right thing to discipline it!), we were very very very consistent. Every single time straight to time out. We used a pack and play. No questions, just "gentle hands, no hitting". It takes lots of repetition for toddlers to learn not to hit. And make sure you are showing ways to get what he needs without hitting, like asking for space (a big one at our house) and even hitting a pillow if need be.

    Answer by apexmommy at 12:15 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • One thing I know, time-out does not work until age 3. They just don't get it until then. Our son had a hitting problem and I agree, consistency and patience are key to stopping it. It is a habit with them, when they get angry, the hand goes up and that's that. They need to learn there are negative consequences to their actions. You can convey this w/o resorting to violence of course. Redirection, saying your sorry, hug for the one who is hit, and yes, making sure your child's blood sugar is not low or they are tired is important too. Almost all children hit, you can stop it with patient discipline.

    Answer by tpickle at 1:13 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • My 21 mo is a biter. I tried everything--redirection, spanking, biting back, time-outs--and nothing worked. I got her a book called, "Teeth Are Not For Biting," and it really helped.The have a book made by the same people called, "Hands Are Not For Hitting."

    Whenever DD bites, or acts like she is going to bite, I use a line from the book: "Get a hug. Mmmmm, that feels better." The first several times I read it, I always gave her a hug at that part. Now when I say that, she stops dead in her tracks and gives me a hug, and doesn't try to bite me afterwards. We read that book about 3 times a day (she loves it and always brings it to me to read to her) and the message is really getting across. HTH and good luck!


    Answer by epoh at 1:35 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • I'm sorry but you do NOT have to wait until your child is 3 to start time outs.
    We started giving my son time outs when he was a year and a half old and he understood and still understands just fine.

    How exactly do you give time outs?
    For us we picked a spot in the hallway for him to sit because we didn't want to use the high chair or play pen. We didn't want negative thoughts associated with them.

    We give a warning and tell him that if he does it again then he gets a time out. Usually he'll test us and do it again so we sit him in the hallway and set the oven timer for 2 minutes. If he gets up then he has to start his time over again.

    Once his time is up we(whoever gave him the time out) goes and re-explains why he was given a time out. Then he has to say sorry and give a hug.

    Sometimes it seems like time outs aren't working but you just need to keep at it.
    Now if he gets too worked up he'll give himself a time out

    Answer by Laila-May at 2:04 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • We've had a similar experience as laila-may with time outs. My two and a half year old may not undestand they are punishment, but they produce the desired results. Our results are she thinks (sometimes) before she acts, and when she misbehaves, there is a consequence that she can anticipate. Consistency, I guess. It doen't stop everything, but she understands enough. When others hit, she tells them it's time out time. When she hits, she walks over to the stairs and sit.

    Answer by apexmommy at 3:02 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

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