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How can you handle a physically violent 3 almost 4 year old without spanking her?

My daughter has become violent any time we tell her she can't do something. We have tried time outs and sitting down and talking to her. She is our only child and I have received 2 nasty black eyes from her hitting me when she can't do what she wants. I have had to restrain her when she does these fits to keep her from hitting me and hurting me. 99% of the time she listens and is a great child. But when she hits her mood it gets awful. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Asked by BeverlyC. at 3:36 PM on Aug. 4, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Talk, time out, and more talking. Model not using your body when mad. Put her I a safe place to have her fit and get away from her. Take away favored items and be clear in what you expect and want from her. Let her know you understand she is feeling mad/sad/scared but she can not use her body to express those feelings. Be firm and do it every single time, also praise her for handling herself in the correct manner. She will start to use her body less, but it will take time. Also talk to her doctor to rule out any medical reasons.

    Answer by PeytonNBella at 7:45 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • I would speak to her doctor for advice, and maybe look for some books on dealing with aggression in children. Also, maybe try showing her ways to deal with anger- like give her an anger pillow so that when she gets mad she can hit and scream at the pillow, throw it on the floor and jump on it, etc, anything to redirect that anger away from people. I think it really is best to avoid spanking especially in a situation like that because you can't react to violence with violence and hope for it to stop. She may end up stopping with you out of fear of your retalliation but redirecting the aggression to her peers, etc. I commend you for looking for answers and other disciplines. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:44 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Maybe take her to see a Dr. for her anger problem. (That's the easy approach)

    If she were my child she would never have hit me in the first place. There's no way a 3 yr old is going to get away with that kind of disrespect in my house. I have 3 boys, 14, 7, and 8 yrs old and they have never hit me, not even acted like it. I think it's time for you to be a parent and insist in respect before it's too late.... JMO, don't take it personal.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 3:40 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • You might want to look at her diet. My son acts insane when he has red dye #40.

    I would suggest: as well.


    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 3:40 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • First, I think I would talk to the pediatrician to make sure there isn't anything to be worried about; violence in that extreme would cause me a lot of concern. Look into Love & Logic parenting techniques for ideas for how you can handle her effectively; the methods are pretty simple to use. You'll also need a safe place to put her where she can't hurt herself or anyone else when she throws a fit.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:46 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • It is so hard with this kind of thing. I have sort of the same thing with my 1.5 year old. I hate to spank him or anything cause if is a mental illness or something and I handled it worng I would feel so bad. Talking ot the Dr. normally they say they wont diagnos at that age. So I know I'm not helpful cause I don't know but I know how you feel. GL

    Answer by ktinaza at 4:07 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • samurai_chica

    Answer by samurai_chica at 3:42 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • I want to do it without spanking her. I am trying to find a way to do it. She is respectful in all other areas but when she starts a fit she turns into a demon child. I understand what you are saying. I am a new mom and feel like I am failing horribly.

    Comment by BeverlyC. (original poster) at 3:43 PM on Aug. 4, 2010