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How to get my 17 month old to behave, stop hitting, biting, etc.

I am at my wits end here. My son is 17 months old, and he is just a handful. He was such a sweet baby too, and still is, but all the frustration with him all the time is starting to really get to me. He is constantly getting into things he knows he is not supposed to, he hits and bites and pinches his sister (three) all the time, and he is starting to hit me. I dont know where I have gone wrong, or what to do to fix this behavior I feel like I have tried about everything. He has always been a bit rough though even when he was very little, so I dont know if its just his nature. We do time outs pretty consistently, and it kind of works, but not very well. If I tell him not to do it it seems like he does it more. I really need help, I just want to have my sweet boy back and not feel resentful and angry at him all the time.


Asked by Anonymous at 7:29 PM on Aug. 23, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • No matter what don't bite your child. This is not a good idea. Try reading , "what to expect: the toddler years". It is great book for toddlers! it tells you month by months things about your toddler such as tantrums, biting etc...and is sooooo helpful. It kinda seems like your baby needs to perhaps be more physical...running outside more and to learn how to let go of his frustration. Get down to his level and says "we don't bite" and calmly isolate or give him a soft ball to squeeze or even bite. Kids at this age do learn tons and he can stop biting but you need to be consistent and try to find out why he is biting (ie...does he need more of his own toys, can he talk? If not you can teach him to motion what he wants so he doesn't feel like bititng is the way to get his point across. Also, somebody taught him to pinch and kids that age are supposed to get into everything (boys tend to be worse) that's why we have to baby proof

    Answer by viviennesmommy at 3:35 AM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • It sounds like you don't understand human psychological development much. It's not unusual for parents to have no idea what kinds of things small (or even big) children can understand, or to hold extremely unrealistic expectations of their kid's behavior. Our whole culture holds beliefs that have nothing to do with human capabilities, and that completely disregard the importance of trust in relationships.

    Time outs don't work because they fail to teach appropriate behavior, while at the same time separating the child from the only thing he really needs: his parents who can keep him safe and reassure him that he's loved. No, he cannot 'know' that he is loved when he is separate from you, because for him love is being close.

    For gentle parenting advice, please seek out books like Unconditional Parenting, and Without Spanking or Spoiling. They explain more about what is possible and reasonable to expect from a child this young.

    Answer by LindaClement at 7:38 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • Have you tried giving him a spanking? Some people even though it sounds so wrong bite back to let them see how it feels so they wont do it again. That's what I've been told. Never done it though. Talk to him. Take toys away.

    Answer by luvmynubabe at 7:42 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • My sister had a son who was a biter. They made him pick one of his favorite toys and give it to whomever he bit, whenever he bit someone. That worked pretty quickly. I just told my kids, "If you hit or bite mommy, mommy will hit or bite back and I hit harder." I only ever got bit one time and neither of my kids ever hit me.

    Answer by Marwill at 7:42 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • if he bites you, BITE HIM BACK!!!! im telling you, it works!!! same with hitting. maybe it sounds a little mean.. but it worked for my son!

    Answer by exxOHjackie at 1:53 AM on Aug. 24, 2010