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How do I teach my 17 month old it isnt ok to bite, pinch, or scream?

My son is 17 months old and has just started to throw tantrums, scream, hit, bite, and pinch when he doesnt get what he wants or wants something to happen. Just the other day he bite one of his little friends in the arm.I dont want to spank him and Im not sure if he understands time outs. He also thinks it's a game when I tell him no. (he laughs at me)

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Asked by mle14boo at 6:27 PM on Jun. 18, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • be consistent in telling him that biting/pinching/& hitting all hurt & the screaming i cant help you with but the others i can my dd is 21mnths & rarely does that because im consistent w/telling her that it hurts & she wouldnt like it if i did it to her

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • I wish I knew the answer to this as well. My son is 22 months and he screaches, hits, and has just recently actually stopped biting as much. I try to be consistent but its like he is playing a game or something. He doesnt like it when he doesnt get his own way and thats just that! Maybe its just a phase and he will grow out of it, I hope for you as well as myself that it goes away soon! Mine isnt talking too much right now so the DR. says thats how he is getting rid of his anger because he doesnt know how else to express it! Maybe that helps!

    Answer by ohara_b05 at 6:41 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • My son's pediatrician said that my son was definitely ready for timeouts at his 18 month old check up. They can't be very long, 30 seconds to a minute is age appropriate at that time. We also started by time out on my lap, then on the couch and now on "the timeout chair" in the corner facing a wall that he can't reach anything else from.

    When my son throws fits, bites, or hits, he goes in to time out. He knows exactly what he did to end up there and is learning that is not the way to get what he wants.

    Answer by kaseysmommy1003 at 6:46 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • my daughter is 15 months old and I tell her no that hurts and bite her back or pinch her back! but i do it lightly! no marks or anything just ebough to show her that it hurts and the screaming I dont know there cause my LO screams but it is talking screaming!!

    Answer by calliandmomma07 at 6:58 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • I know it may sound cruel to you but when he hurts someone (like pinching or biting) you need to do it back so that he really starts to understand it doesn't feel good to other people. it's like telling them not to touch a stove when it's hot. They don't understand it hurts till they actually touch it. You try to avoid it, but sometimes its unavoidable. Then just keep telling him no. I know that when mine was that age I had to do it. It shocked her and she stopped shortly afterwards. I don't mean biting to puncture skin, but enough that it really sinks in (in their thought process). Sometimes you might have to ignore the tantrums. The more attention he gets the more he'll do it. Just some thoughts, worked for me in time. Just be consistant in whatever you decide to do. Good luck!

    Answer by amoremio at 7:04 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • I disagree COMPLETELY with amoremio's response. Pinching, hitting, yelling back at your toddler will only confused them... not teach them anything.

    When you child hits or pinches, get your child's attention (by sitting in front of them and having them look at you) and tell him/her FIRMLY "No hitting!" They will understand by your tone and your response that it's not something to do again. It may take a few times of doing this, but it's a clear response that your toddler will understand.

    Answer by Home_Interiors at 7:30 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • I agree with Kaseysmommy1003 about toddlers getting timeouts as well. If my son is completely disagreeable I let him sit in his crib (or other designated area) for 1 minute. I leave his bedroom door open so he understands that this is timeout.. not nap time. It gives him just enough time to calm down. When I take him out I sit him in front of me and explain to him why he was put in time out. He may only be 22 months old, but he DOES understand on some level that what he did was wrong. It's a quick and painless way (for the baby and the parents) to readjust a day. :)

    Answer by Home_Interiors at 7:35 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • You could try social stories to help provide him with a way to understand what behavior is appropriate and what affect his behaviors have.

    Answer by faeriemamma at 10:53 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

  • when my daughter bit my boob SO hard she left teeth impressions, I grabbed her arm and bit her hard enough to make her cry and leave slight impressions. I had tried everything up to that point to get her to stop biting. after she stopped crying I asked her if she liked me biting her? She said no and cried some more. She was 17 months old then too. She NEVER bit anyone again.

    Answer by vbruno at 11:37 PM on Jun. 18, 2008

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