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Hitting/pushing when excited

My son is 2 1/2 and started preschool 6 weeks ago. He's suddenly started to hit and push other kids when he gets excited. He doesn't do it maliciously but it's happening none the less. In the past, we've successfully dealt with hitting when he was angry. We've used a combination of ignoring him and short timeouts. The problem is, when he hits/pushes when excited, he doesn't seem to realize what he's done so if you put him in any sort of timeout, he's confused as to what the problem is (his teacher has noted the same thing). As a result, timeouts aren't helping. Has anyone else encountered this and successfully stopped it? (Note: Spanking isn't an option since we don't hit him at all and the problem is also occurring at school.) He's just now starting to move from "parallel" play to "associative" play (i.e. playing with other kids) and I suspect the problem is related to not quite knowing how to play with others..

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momofryan07

Asked by momofryan07 at 1:38 PM on Oct. 29, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 14 (1,373 Credits)
Answers (2)
  • LOL... Your post reminded me of Elaine from Seinfeld. She does the pushing people thing when excited. HAHAHA

    Anyway to answer your question I would tell him how it better to clap or jump when excited and tell him you understand that he is pushing out of excitement and not out of anger yet someone could still get hurt. I think if you show him by doing it yourself when you get happy or excited he may follow your lead. Get to clapping, mama! Good Luck!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:31 PM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • I think Anon's idea of replacing hitting and pushing with a different response is a good one. If he can't push or hit he needs some other outlet for his excitement. My toddlers will shout "Yay!" and clap their hands when they get excited, and we all join in and encourage it. They also like to do high fives or raise hands overhead and shout "Tee-Dah". If you choose to do something like this maybe he will imitate, especially if it looks like you are having fun.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:40 PM on Oct. 29, 2009

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