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How to handle an abusive child

My 3 year old has became very abusive. He hits and throws things at all kids, especially his 5 year old brother. He beats our dog with things and i dont know what to do. I have tried all kinds of discipline. From spanking, to time outs, to talking to him and even sending him to bed. Im out of options and really stressed.

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Asked by stressedmomma83 at 10:44 PM on Aug. 11, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (21 Credits)
Answers (10)

  • My son has gotten like this at times, when he is very frustrated & tired. I think the best thing for him is to go to his room and be without contact to those he may hurt. Usually, he can come out when he's calmed and needs to make right what he's done. If it continues, he doesn't get to participate in our 4:00 time of computer/tv time which he looks forward to.

    This isn't the best but I thought I'd put it out there/.

    Answer by txdaniella at 10:48 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I would spank him every time he hits or throws. Then I would put him in his high chair or a play pen for a few minutes with no toys or nothing that he could throw. Maybe you haven't spanked him hard enough. It has to sting. A lot of parents spank but they spank through a diaper so that the child really doesn't feel it. It has to hurt. So you have to spank on bare skin. I don't like to spank with my hands, so I use a little plastic flyswatter that is actually shaped like a hand. It is known as the instrument of discipline. This is something you need to get a handle on quickly, but his behavior won't change overnight. The key is to be consistent. Every time he abuses, it has to be taken care of immediately.. If you will do that, he will soon stop.

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:53 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • The worst way to handle a child who hits is to hit him back. He is 3. He thinks everything big people do, I can do too. If big people hit, then I can hit.

    Violence is a behavior that causes isolation. He needs a structured time out system. Some time when he is not upset, there has been no hitting, sit him down and discuss nice touching and mean touching. Explain why hitting is bad. Expllain the consequences. Maybe even have his brother tell him how hurtful hitting is.

    Answer by ecodani at 10:59 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Please take him to the pediatrition and tell him whats going on. Maybe he cannot explain it but something might be really upsetting him. Rule all of that out then maybe try play therapy.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 11:04 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I have a three year old who has had hitting and pinching issues. We have just kept saying. "No hitting- we don't hit." We also explain "Hitting hurts and makes _____ sad." We have tried spanking and it doesn't work. It just feels wrong to me to say "no hitting" and then hitting the child. I am not really anti-spanking, but it doesn't work in this case. Structured time out works best. We can see her fighting the urge to hit now, most of the time. We also have used the book "Way to an A" or something like that- it explains that "A choices" make you happy, but "B choices" make you sad. And then you say "That was an A choice. Good job, " etc. The preschool summer camp teacher did this with her and explained it to us. There is a kids' book to explain it.

    Answer by Hazelnutkin at 11:22 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • When I read what NannyB wrote, I wanted to throw up. That is THE WORST advice I have heard so far on this site and I fear that anyone will take that advice. PLEASE DON'T hit that poor child. You need to have him evaluated by a Dr. It may be his diet causing this behavior. Children also learn from example. Try reading the book 1-2-3 Magic. You can even get it at the library. It will help you with his behavioral issues. Please don't spank the poor thing, his bad behavior stems from something, you just have to figure out what. Good Luck.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:30 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Have you considered ADHD?

    Answer by amessageofhope at 12:04 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • bump

    Answer by SwtSnowflake2 at 8:59 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • Make sure there is not a medical problem. Also make sure he is getting praise when he does things right and is getting enough one on one time with you and DH. Lots of times they are going for the negative attention if they do not get enough positive attention and positive reinforcement. Just ideas............Hang in there.

    Answer by elizabr at 4:51 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • Well you need to stick with one thing or maybe steps of punishments and keep it that wayang continue with this. However I have found spanking when a child hits it just makes it worse. Usually I grab the arms almost scaring my son and get in his face and say a calm but firm say "no hitting" then slowly move his hands to my face and say soft touch, yes this has to be done ALOT but it will work and you might come back to this phase again have to do it all over again.

    Answer by whoreallycares at 4:13 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

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