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How do I teach my year old son to stop slapping everyone in the face?

I dont think that he is doing it out of anger. I dont know what he thinks he is doing, but I do know that it has to stop. I dont know what typer of punishment to use, because hes so young, so a light spanking and putting him in the sit postion on the floor is what I have been doing. It the same thing we do when he does other no nos, like climbing the stairs by himself. Im at my wits end. Everytime I pick him up, he hits me in the face. And, its not just me, its everyone in the house. How do I teach him no, that he cant do that.

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Asked by notforgotten at 6:08 PM on Nov. 10, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (12)
  • it might be like biting, you have to do it back before the understand it is mean and hurts, you just cannot explain it, you just do it and they cry and you feel bad and hopefully lesson learned, my son was the same about screaming in ur face. very disurbing and he stopped only after he understood why it was mean. good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:38 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Slap him in the face, see how he responds...If he doesnt like it then tell him not to do it to others...It might sound mean, but it works.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:19 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • My 19mo old daughter got to the point that she wanted to bite me, and pinch me so I started doing it back to her. All she did was look at me cry, and laugh at the same time than come right back around me just to pinch in bite me again in what did I do I'll just pinch in bite her back. Thank goodness it worked lol. Now she runs up to me, and says out of the blue mommy people dont like to get bit or pinched soooooooooooo funny when she says that.

    Answer by My2ButterFlys at 7:28 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Hitting your child back makes a game of it and teaches them that it is alright to hit.

    It is a phase, it will end.

    In the meantime, rather than punishing him, ENTERTAIN him!!! He does it because he's bored and it is fun. It gets a reaction- in fact, it gets your sole and undivided attention. So, redirect him. Instead of "don't hit," say, "hitting hurts, mommy likes kisses" and give him a kiss.

    Answer by Liyoness at 7:42 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • but how do you slap a one year old? i mean 13 month old, .... not almost 2, but 13 months. but, i also dont think he should be redirected for bad behavior. redirection is for when he gets into things on the coffee table, of fussy with a toy. not for slapping in the face. he gets plenty of attention. when i am not paying direct attention, his nana is. hes hitting the terrible twos at one. but, i will give the redirection a try for a few weeks, and if that doesnt work than i will resort to the last possiable choice, showing him why its wrong. i thank you for the advice.

    Answer by notforgotten at 8:09 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • There is no such thing as "bad behaviour" in a one year old. It is a "mistaken behaviour".. He is not doing it to be mean and spiteful. He is doing it out of fun.

    What is "wrong" about him slapping? Because it hurts? Well, doesn't mommy know better? If it's wrong for him to do, why wouldn't it be wrong for you to do?

    Not everything a child does that we do not like should lead to a punishment.. Punishment makes the parent feel better because they think they are "taking control" of a situation, but it rarely works, and even more rarely is warranted.

    He is not hitting his terrible twos at one- this is a perfectly normal toddler behaviour. He is learning cause and effect. Hitting causes mommy to make funny faces, and her voice takes on strange tones. This is fun.
    Teach him that it is just as fun to kiss and to give mommy soft, gentle touches.


    Answer by Liyoness at 9:23 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Teaching him that slapping hurts by smakcing him back, at an age where he doesn't understand it isn't going to teach him why it's wrong. Save that for when he's two and you can reason with him.

    Corporal punishment never ever instills in children the "why" of things. At best, when it actually succeeds in stopping a behaviour, it is out of fear of being hurt, not out of an actual understanding..

    Do you truly believe that if you smack your 13 month old back, he's going to sit back and go "oh gee, I guess what I did was wrong, and I shouldn't do it"?

    He's exploring the world, and reactions to it.. Your reaction is triggering the slapping, not an actual want to hurt you.

    Answer by Liyoness at 9:26 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • I said that showing him why it hurts would be a last resort, and no offense but I believe when my child throws himself on the ground in public, makes his body go limp, and refuses to eat anything he doesnt want to eat at the moment is a part of the terrible twos. When he knows not to hit but does it anyway, climbs the stairs after you tell him no, and throws tempertantrums 20 times a day, hes hit the terrible twos. Atleast where I grew up.

    He cannot understand the whys, thats why talking to him ist going to work. Punishment is alright, it is a form of redirection. And the punishment he recieves, he understands.

    Mistanken behavior is when he feeds the dogs his food, when he plays to rough with the yorkie, and when he digs in the ash tray. Not when he repeatitively does something he already knows is wrong.

    All this is in my opinion, and how I see things with my son. Thank you for all your advice.

    Answer by notforgotten at 10:13 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Parent your child the way you would want a daycare to do so when it comes to discipline.

    Modeling behaviour is how he is going to learn.

    And if you say that your 13 MONTH old child has hit the terrible twos, then you must be right. There's absolutely nothing normal about his behaviour for his age. He is wise beyond his year.

    *Shakes head*
    He is behaving this way for a reason. Most likely boredom and an eagerness to learn. If you don't want him climbing the stairs, get a baby gate. If you don't want him to hit, teach him what to do instead. If you don't want him throwing temper tantrums, entertain him.


    Answer by Liyoness at 11:17 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • He cannot TRULY know something is wrong if you're reinforcing the behaviour. And yes, smacking him back, or even spanking DOES REINFORCE it.. It does nothing to model what he ought to do instead.

    I also suspect that your time outs are spent more trying to keep him in time out, than actually taking a full minute to himself, alone. Again- reinforcement of your undivided attention for what he has done. (Any wonder why they're not working?)

    But hey- keep doing it your way. Take the long route. Just try to control yourself when you're at your wits end and TRULY frustrated with his behaviour, okay?

    Answer by Liyoness at 11:19 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

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