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What to do about a 14 month old who slaps at your face?

My son has been doing this for months. He does it often and not just when he is upset, he also does it playfully. I do not know how to curb this behavior, I hate it. When he does it I say" No" very forcefully and say "not nice" I have recently tried doing it right back to him. He just kind of swipes his hand down my face and scratches me sometimes. Anyone else experienced this?


Asked by truthteller0722 at 8:35 PM on Oct. 12, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • Hold his hands firmly when he does it and say Mommy does not like that, take him and sit him down and do not engage with him for a couple of minutes, it will take couple of times, but he will get the hang of it, slapping him back does not work, he will begin to think it is a game good luck!

    Answer by kimigogo at 8:38 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • yes but my son is only 8 months

    Answer by firstimemomm603 at 8:39 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • good idea kimiqoqo, I have heard that suggestion for other similar issues before but never thought of it until you just typed it out for me. I will try putting him down and ignore him right after he does it. Thanks!!

    Answer by truthteller0722 at 8:42 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • My 14 month old is doing the same thing! I think I will have to try Kimiqoqo's advise too!

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 8:44 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • whoa don't slap him back! That just says that this is something mommy does so its ok plus its violent even when gentle. DD does it to/at me and her toys etc. I put her on time out. I quickly sit her on the floor (not a chair or bed and I remove her from any heights so she physically feels lower than everyone else which seems to heighten the punishment. I just say "no hitting. time out" and plop her butt on the floor, facing away from me. She will either cry or hide her face in shame. I count to 30 and she never tries to get up now (when she did I would sit her back and keep counting to myself) and then I just say "we don't hit." and give her a hug and something to do or play with. hope that helps.

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 8:44 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • Oh I guess I should add that she doesn't do it very often now and if she gets swatty, I ask her "do we hit?" and she shakes her head no and stops.

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 8:45 PM on Oct. 12, 2009

  • Thank you mrs pulley.... I was a bit worried that everyone would say something like "oh my goodness you slap your child, your a horrible mother". But I have never actually scratched or hurt him, although he has left scratches on my face many times. I just kind of swiped my hand down his face like he did to me only with the tips of my fingers and not my nails. I can tell it has hurt his feelings at times because he will stick his bottom lip out and start whining as he usually does when he is upset and then bury his face in my shoulder. But I will try the suggestions I have seen here! Thanks ladies!

    Answer by truthteller0722 at 9:06 PM on Oct. 12, 2009