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My 16 mos old scratches us when he's mad!

What should I do to get him to stop?
He knows it hurts, and he knows it's wrong.
He can't talk yet.
He'll sometimes walk up behind me and just scratch my leg for no reason, other than to get my attention.
Any ideas on how to get through to him that he can't do that?


Asked by ARmom at 2:51 PM on Jun. 24, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 18 (4,909 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • We went through this too. If he's using it to get your attention, tell him no, it hurts and walk away. When he gets your attention without scratching, make sure you praise the behavior. When he does it out of anger, I use to pick my son up (facing away from me), gently wrap his arms around him (to prevent him from doing it again), tell him it wasn't nice to scratch and just hold him for a little while (sort of a mini timeout). Then put him down and move on. Worked for hitting/biting too... If he kept doing it, I'd leave him some place safe (for us that was in our family room which was gated and babyproofed) and go to another room for a couple of minutes (where I could still see him). He typically didn't like being alone and he'd stop. You need to be consistent in whatever you choose to do. Personally, I think spanking is just going to cause other problems later.. Just my opinion.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 5:00 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • First, trim those nails down so that he can't scratch. Second, I will answer from the stand point of it being my kid. I would swat him on his diaper not hard enough to hurt, just enough to shock him, then take his hands in mine and say in a firm low voice, "We do not scratch". AT 16 mo, he may not be able to speak clearly, but he should understand most simple sentances, and more importantly the change in your tone of voice. With my kids, I have noticed that the swat on the butt serves as mostly a huge attention getter. as if to say "stop, payattention, this is not okay." While some may argue at the effectiveness of a swat on the butt, I have seen it work wonders in my kids. Good luck

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 3:07 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Ditto....trim those nails down to the point where it doesn't hurt. Then each time he does it get down to his level and tell him we do not scratch and show him what to do to get your attention....At 16 months they may not talk much but boy do they understand A LOT!

    Answer by MrsPilat at 3:49 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • And make sure he is getting a lot of positive reinforment for the things he does do right and gets enough of your time. Good luck

    Answer by elizabr at 4:00 PM on Jun. 24, 2010